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Doing doubles is far more difficult than doing singles, but on the other hand it also puts one in a position to have twice as much fun.

Gerard John "G.J." Schaefer, Jr. was a convicted necrophilic double-murderer, abductor, and suspected serial killer, hebephile, ephebophile, and cannibal.


Schaefer was born on March 25, 1946 in Wisconsin and raised in Atlanta, He was the eldest of three children. Georgia and did not get along with his father, who was a drinker and a womanizer; Gerard believed that both his parents, Gerard Sr. and Doris, favored his sister over him; he later described himself as the illegitimate product of a forced marriage. The Schaefers moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and joined the local yachting and country clubs. They later divorced. Gerard proved to be very disturbed when he was young. He would steal women's underwear, fantasize about dying and even tie himself to trees because it aroused him sexually. He admitted later in life that he also killed animals, hunting in the Everglades and shooting animals that couldn't be consumed, and cross dressed, though he claimed that he did the latter in order not to be drafted into the Vietnam War. He met his girlfriend, Cindy, when he was 14 and the two were in a relationship for three years in spite of their unorthodox sex life; Gerard would make her take part in role-play fantasies in which he tore off her clothes and "raped" her. In 1963, she broke up with him. Schaefer would later boast in writing that he started killing in 1965, at the age of 19, though he then denied this publicly.

In 1967, Gerard earned an associate degree in business administration and, on January 1968, enrolled in the Florida Atlantic University to get a teacher's license. After doing so, he briefly held down a teaching job at Plantation High School, but was fired after only a few weeks because of, in the Principal's words, "totally inappropriate behavior". He also tried to become a Catholic priest but was rejected. He married in 1968, but divorced after two years, his wife citing cruelty as reason. In 1971, he got married again, this time to Teresa Dean, a secretary he met while working as a security guard. Schaefer eventually set his mind on becoming a police officer and did get a job as a such, in spite of the fact that he failed his psychological test when he applied. He was soon fired for using personal information about female traffic offenders to ask them out for dates. He then moved to Martin County and got another law enforcement job, eventually becoming a Deputy Sheriff.

Murders, Capture, and Death

Burial site of Place and Jessup

On July 21, 1972, Schaefer pulled off his first known murder attempt. Using his authority as a police officer, he convinced hitchhikers Pamela Wells and Nancy Trotter that hitchhiking was illegal in the county (which it wasn't). He drove them to a halfway house at which they lived and promised to drive them to the beach the next day. When they were in his car then, he drove them into the swamp and tied them to a tree at gunpoint. Just afterwards, he got a call on his police radio and had to leave them in their position. While he was gone, the girls managed to break free and run to the nearest police station (which ironically turned out to be the station at which Schaefer worked). When Schaefer returned to the tree and found them gone, he called his boss, Sheriff Crowder, and said, "I've done something foolish. You're gonna be mad at me." When Crowder found out about what his Deputy had done, he promptly fired Schaefer and arrested him for unlawful imprisonment and aggravated assault. He made a plea bargain and was sentenced to a year in prison with the possibility of being released after six months. Two months after posting bail, he abducted two more female hitchhikers, Susan Place and Georgia Jessup, killed them the same way he had intended to kill Wells and Trotter, and buried their bodies. When the remains were found, Schaefer was in prison. The similarities between their murder and Schaefer's attempted murder were enough to secure a warrant for his mother's house, where he and his wife lived. Inside, they found, as well as a number of graphic, disturbing short stories about murder written by Schaefer (some were written in jail) and a total of 11 guns and 13 knives, a mountain of evidence implicating Schaefer in the disappearances of over 30 women in the area over the years, such as jewelry, clothing, diaries, a driver's license, a passport, and some teeth. He had half-baked explanations for all of it, such as having "found" the items, being given them as gifts or having bought them elsewhere. He claimed that the teeth had been planted by an ex-roommate who, according to Schaefer, privately confessed to the murder (the roommate in question was interviewed by police and cleared as a suspect).

Schaefer arriving at his trial.

Schaefer's published booklet.

In spite of the massive amount of evidence against Schaefer, he was only tried for the murders of Place and Jessup. Because he was sentenced to life in prison for the crime, no other charges were pursued since it was enough to keep him away from the public. His wife only visited him once, to serve divorce papers. Though he was under close watch, Schaefer still managed to run a mail-fraud scheme from his cell, having associates post ads in sex magazines, and sending letters to people who replied, always using a female pseudonym. In some correspondence, he pretended to be a 14-year-old girl who offered to send paying customers nude photos of herself. He also enjoyed sending convicts in other prisons letters, pretending to be a woman pursuing romantic relationships with them, and acted as jail-house lawyer, using the information he gained from convicts to sell them out to authorities, even getting a murderer sent to death row. Though Schaefer, understandably, was not a well-liked man in prison, he did befriend fellow serial killers Ted Bundy and Ottis Toole and discussed counter-forensic techniques with the former. He kept denying to have committed murder (one of his explanations for his conviction was that he had been framed by local drugs lords for killing two narcotics informants) and filed a total of 19 appeals, all of which were turned down. Though he privately bragged about killing a lot of women, he pursued countless frivolous lawsuits against people who had publicly called him a serial killer, such as many true crime authors. He also sued FBI veteran Robert Ressler for writing about his case and discussing it during lectures. He once even sued a writer for describing him as overweight.

Vincent Rivera, the man responsible for stabbing Schaefer to death.

One of Schaefer's biggest hobbies behind bars was writing more macabre stories, some of which were suspected of being real accounts of murders he had committed and others were grisly fantasies. In one story simply titled Whores, he recounts hanging a prostitute and having sex with her corpse. In another titled Spring Break, he recounts fatally stabbing and disemboweling a co-ed during sex. A series of stories was about a "rogue cop" who moonlights as a serial killer targeting prostitutes. Schaefer was approached by Sondra London, who was his girlfriend in high school and later became a true crime author. In 1989, she got his stories published under the title Killer Fiction, which failed commercially but maintains a cult following to this day. She and Schaefer were briefly engaged in 1991, but she broke it off, leaving him for another serial killer: Danny Rolling, a.k.a. The Gainesville Ripper. On December 3, 1995, Schaefer was found dead in his cell, stabbed 42 times and his throat slashed. The perpetrator was Vincent Rivera, a fellow inmate who was serving time for double murder; Sondra London later said Rivera had killed him in an argument about a cup of coffee, though it has also been suggested that it was because Schaefer owed some inmates money or because he would inform on them. In 1997, Killer Fiction was published again, this time with an additional text by London about her experiences with Schaefer and drawings, some of hanged, undressed women, made by Schaefer.

Modus Operandi

During Schaefer's known murders and attempted murders, his targets were teenage female hitchhikers. For both known attacks, he abducted two victims at a time. Using some sort of ruse (the first time, he used his position as a law enforcement officer), he got them to come with him into the swamps of Hutchinson Island, where he tied them to a tree and, in the case of Place and Jessup, butchered and killed them, after which he buried them in the area. Exactly how he killed his victims is unspecified in most sources, although it is mentioned that Place was shot in the jaw.

Known Victims


  • 1972:
    • July 21: Pamela Wells and Nancy Trotter (attempted; tied both to a tree, but they escaped):
      • Pamela Wells, 18
      • Nancy Trotter, 17
    • September 27: Susan Place and Georgia Jessup (both were tied to a tree, tortured, butchered and decapitated):
      • Susan Place, 17 (was shot in the jaw)
      • Georgia Jessup, 16


Most of the following victims were never found, but their possessions were found in Schaefer's mother's house. The dates denote the date of their disappearance.

  • October 2, 1966: Nancy Leitner and Pamela Nater:
    • Nancy Leitner, 21
    • Pamela Nater, 20
  • 1969:
    • Septemer 8: Leigh Bonadies Hainline, 25 (had been friends with Schaefer when they were children)
    • December 18: Carmen Marie Hallock, 22 (had dated Schaefer)
  • December 29, 1970: Peggy Rahn and Wendy Stevenson (confessed to the murders in a 1989 letter; claimed to have eaten them in the style of Albert Fish):
    • Peggy Rahn, 9
    • Wendey Stevenson, 8
  • 1972:
    • January 5: Belinda Hutchins, 22 (had dated Schaefer)
    • February 29: Deborah Sue Lowe, 13
    • October 23: Elsie Farmer and Mary Briscolina:
      • Elsie Farmer, 14
      • Mary Briscolina, 14
  • 1973:
    • January 8: Barbara Ann Wilcox and Collette Marie Goodenough:
      • Barbara Ann Wilcox, 19
      • Collette Marie Goodenough, 19
    • October 23: Mary Briscolina and Elsie Farmer:
      • Mary Briscolina, 14
      • Elsie Farmer, 14

On Criminal Minds

  • Season Three
    • "Lucky" and "Penelope" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in neither of these episode's, Schaefer appears to have been an inspiration for Jason Clark Battle - Both were serial killers (suspected in Schaefer's case) with jobs as Sheriff's Deputies, and abused this position to commit murders of innocent people.
    • "Birthright" - Schaefer may have been an inspiration for Robert Wilkinson and his son Charlie Wilkinson - All were killers and abductors who abducted two women at a time before raping, torturing, and killing them, and then writing about it in a journal. Also all three were murdered.
    • "Limelight" - Schaefer was mentioned as an example of serial killers who "do doubles" when it was mentioned that the unsub had a habit of torturing and killing two victims at the same time.
  • Season Five
    • "A Rite of Passage" - While not directly mentioned or referenced, Schaefer appears to have been an inspiration for Ronald Boyd - Both were serial killers (suspected in Schaefer's case) with jobs as Sheriff's Deputies, abused this position to commit murder, were given several nicknames because of it, and were eventually killed.
  • Season Nine
    • "Angels" and "Demons" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in the two-part season finale, Schaefer appears to have been an inspiration for Owen McGregor and Greg Baylor - All were serial killers (suspected in Schaefer's case) with jobs as Sheriff's Deputies, abused this position to commit murder and other crimes, and were eventually killed (McGregor was killed by police, Baylor was executed, and Schaefer was murdered in prison). Baylor also appeared in Season Ten.



  1. His stories feature graphic descriptions of sexual activities with corpses