Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Mindy Schloss

Mindy Schloss


When is it that a murder victim realizes that she is going to be executed? At what point does she understand that she— burned, gagged and bound at the wrists, wearing only her bathrobe — is being marched into the woods not just be left, but to be killed and left for dead? Do hope and denial keep her from running or is it fear that paralyzes her? Are those final moments of life so precious, even though her heart seems to pump only terror and nausea through her veins, that she accepts those precious few minutes rather than trade them for an escape attempt likely to hasten her death? We will likely never know the answers to these questions, even though we ask them each time we hear of yet another maimed and murdered innocent.

Mindy Schloss
Mindy Schloss
Alaskan nurse Mindy Schloss met such a singular and terrifying fate in the late summer of 2007. An accomplished professional in the prime of life, who became the prey of a violent, habitual killer, whose purposeless needs ended her life. We will never know if Mindy Schloss felt the pine needles press into her bare knees as she knelt in the soft, aromatic Alaskan forest or if she felt the chill of the wind and the muzzle of the handgun pressed against her skull at the end, but we can tell her story.


Mindy Schloss was a popular, ambitious nurse psychologist. The 52-year-old nurse was attractive — her shoulder length dark haired accentuated her infectious grin, and when she smiled her eyes reflected her happiness. In the weeks prior to her murder, she had been making good on plans for the next stage of her career. After spending the majority of her working life laboring for others — and commuting long distances to Fairbanks, Alaska — she had recently signed a lease for an office in Anchorage. She was going to start her own practice and become her own boss, accomplishments that would have also benefited the citizens of Fairbanks. People with her expertise were, after all, rare in those parts. Sadly, Mindy Schloss would not live to realize her longtime dream of professional independence.

Joshua Wade
Joshua Wade
Her killer, Joshua Wade, resided at 6902 Cutty Sark Road, the house next door to her own. He was already, in his own mind, living intimately with her, watching her, fostering a sexual rage and waiting to take that intimacy to the next, deadly level. His bedroom window allowed him voyeuristic access to Schloss' kitchen and, as a result, it's safe to assume that Joshua Wade's watched Schloss going about her daily domestic routine as his life spun ever more wildly out of control, and that his sexual frustration, anger, and violent, lethal rage settled on Schloss. One August evening Wade broke into Schloss' house, tortured and abducted her. When he was through, all that was left of Schloss was decomposing in the woods near Wasilia, Alaska.


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