Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Bob Berdella: The Kansas City Butcher

First Discovery

Serial Murderers & Their Victims
Serial Murderers & Their Victims

A call came in to the police dispatcher in Kansas City, Missouri, on a Saturday morning on Easter weekend in 1988. It was just after April Fool's Day, a day for pranks, but this one sounded real enough: a naked man running around a neighborhood. Prank or not, it was easy for the patrol unit in the area to check out.

And not only was it no joke, it was the start of a long investigation that was to become increasingly disturbing and bizarre.

The cops were already familiar with certain crimes involving people engaged in sexual bondage, who ended up going too far. In such cases, one person might want something that the other person did not, and the only way to avoid it was to escape. It appeared that this naked man had done just that. In fact, something appeared to be tied around his neck. As the cops drew closer, they saw he was wearing a dog collar with a red leash attached.

Two patrol cars converged on the man. Given their experience, they were already forming ideas of what they faced and how to deal with it.


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