The Kansas City Butcher

robert berdella profile

Robert Berdella was born in the state of Ohio, Jan. 31st , 1949.

His “descent into hell” begins in 1965, when he is victim of a sexual violence:  to scrape together some money begins to work as an assistant chef in a restaurant, but he gets raped by a colleague. In December of the same year his father, a figure to which he was very attached, died suddenly of a heart attack at only 39 years. Even worse, his mother immediately binds up with another man, who she would have married shortly thereafter: Robert is shocked by his mother’s very insensitive and “disrespectful” behaviour.

Over the years, Robert becomes a great chef appreciated by many restaurants. Things are going so well  at work that, in September 1969,  he can even afford to buy a small house at 4315 Charlotte Street, which soon would have become the house of horrors.

In the meantime Bob Berdella becomes ever more conscious of his homosexuality and in 1984 starts dating Jerry Howell, a good-looking nineteen year old prostitute.

On July 5th, 1984 Bob Berdella invites Jerry in his house where he drugs him with some sedatives for animals, he immobilizes his victim by binding him to a bed and then he gags him.

In the following hours he repeatedly rapes the boy and takes many pictures to remember the event  and also takes careful notes in a diary.

The young Howell will die from asphyxiation after a day of this treatment.

Berdella already knows what to do to get rid of the corpse: he carries it in his basement and hangs it upside down, he makes it bleed and then he cuts it into pieces to throw in black garbage bags.

On April 10th, 1985 Bob calls his “friend”, Robert Sheldon, to stay in his house for a couple of days. The intentions of Berdella are the same: he wants to dope the boy and use him as a “sex slave” at will.

The next day, however, Sheldon complains about a slight illness because of drugs and Bob decides to take him to a doctor for treatment. Back together at home on April 12th, Robert must finally decide what to do with his friend. To let him go or  “hold” him?

Sheldon, however, gets drunk and stays in his house since not being able to go away on its own feet: for Bob this is a sign. Sheldon is drugged, bound and gagged. The boy will suffer from violence and sodomy until April 15th, 1985, the day when a construction worker will be at 4315 Charlotte Street. (Berdella had previously agreed with him some small works on the roof of the house).

So, to prevent that the worker could hear any noise or cries, Berdella does not hesitate to kill Sheldon, by suffocating him with a plastic bag.

However, he will hold a little souvenir: his friend’s head, buried in the backyard.

Over 1985 two other poor unfortunates will suffer the same gruesome fate.
Mark Wallace, who in the past had helped him in some gardening works: he was invited at Berdella’s home on June 22 and he ended up with being raped, tortured and killed the next day. James Ferris, picked up in a gay bar, it will be raped, tortured and suffocated between the 26th and 27th September.

robert berdella

The next two years Berdella will kill only one victim per year, but he will extend the “period of the game” with each of them. It will no longer be a matter of hours or a few days, but weeks.

In 1986, Bob meets again Todd Stoops, a prostitute which he had been familiar with for a long time. Determined that the boy will be his new “toy boy” of the period, invites him  home and he puts into practise his usual ritual: drugs and sedatives to control, chains, gag and ropes for the submission.

todd stoops

In June 1987 Berdella invites at home Larry Pearson, an old acquaintance just out of prison. Pearson, clearly in trouble after his release, accepts .
From June 23rd he will be first of all drugged and then tortured for six weeks in the basement of  Berdella’s “house of horrors” .

On August 7th, Bob Berdella comes home and gets rid of the corpse. However, he holds the head of Pearson, which buries in the backyard to replace that one of Robert Sheldon, who has been there for over two years.

The skull of Sheldon ends up in full view in Berdella’s bedroom.

robert berdella robert sheldon

On 29 March 1988 Berdella picks Chris Bryson up the twenty-two year old guy and invited the boy to spend time with him in his house.

Bob still does not know that his choice will be fatal.

Bryson experiences four days of terrible violence and tortures: bleeding from eyes, electric shocks to his testicles, beatings with pipes and death threats if he had not suited to his new role as a “sexual slave”.

” Stay put or you’ll end up in the trash like the others” were the words of the monster that held him prisoner.

But on the 2nd April 1988 due to a carelessness committed by his sadistic jailer, that before going to work ties him with his hands in front of the body instead of behind his back, Bryson manages to escape. Thus the boy will throw out the window of the second floor of the house and he will drag on the road, until he gets to a home nearby.

Naked, with the sole exception of a dog collar around his neck, his body battered, red eyes, a seriously injured foot, exhausted: this is how was found by his savior, a Berdella’s neighbor that does not hesitate a moment to call the police.

Bryson, in a state of shock, will take time to find the strength to make a lengthy statement that will give rise to the investigation of Robert Berdella.
For the Butcher of Kansas City is the end.

The home of Robert Berdella is thoroughly searched.
The police found a box with over two hundred photos showing young men subjected to several tortures and extreme sex . Later, in his garden, the terrifying discovery of the skull of Pearson. Further research instead, will bring to light the atrocious content of the diary of the serial killer, where he noted all the atrocities committed against his victims.

Once sent to trial and without any possibility of being acquitted, in order to avoid the death penalty, Robert comes to an agreement with the justice: he will take over his responsibilities and he will provide a complete confession of all his crimes in exchange for his life. The prosecution accepts his proposal.

On December 13th, 1988 Bob begins to spill the beans with a long confession that will last for three days, during it he admits have killed at least six people. For him, the sentence will be life imprisonment.

In January 1992 he loses a lawsuit against the mother of Todd Stoops, one of his victims, and he is sentenced to pay a record figure of $ 5 billion for moral damage: not being obviously in possession of such a sum of money, it is decided that any future gain will end up in the pockets of the women.

On  the 8th of October 1992 Robert Berdella, 43, died in prison due to a cardiac arrest, like his father.

Filomena Crocco

Questa voce è stata pubblicata in Criminal Minds, English, Kansas City Butcher. Contrassegna il permalink.

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