Born on January 31st, 1939 Jerry Brudos grew up in Webster, South Dakota as the youngest of two sons. His childhood was full of abuse from his mother who wanted a daughter and was displeased with the fact that she had another son.
Brudos developed a women’s shoe fetish at the early age of 5 years old, he even admitted to attempting to steal his grade on teachers shoes. He also admitted that he had a fetish for women’s underwear and he would often steal his female neighbour’s underwear.
As a teenager Brudos would stalk women, knock them down and choke them until they were unconscious, he would then steal their shoes and flee the scene. Then at the age of 17, he abducted, beat and threatened to stab a woman if she didn’t obey his sexual demands. Shortly after this attack he was arrested and taken to a psychiatric facility for 9 months, whilst here he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
In 1961, at the age of 22 Brudos married a 17-year-old and they ended up having two children. He would often force his wife to do the housework naked in a pair of heels whilst he would take photographs.
Years later Brudos would start to complain about having regular migraines and blackouts, he started stealing shoes and underwear to reduce the symptoms. In 1967, he followed a woman home because he liked her shoes, he ended up breaking into her home, raping her and then strangling her until she was unconscious so he could steal some of her shoes.
On January 26th, 1968 Jerry Brudos murdered his first victim Linda Slawson by strangling her after pretending to be interested in buying encyclopedias off her. He then disposed of Slawson’s body by throwing it into the Willamette River. Her body was never recovered.
Some months later, Jan Whiteney was driving home from Thanksgiving dinner when her car broke down. Jerry Brudos just happened to be driving down the same road when he spotted Whiteney and stopped to help her. However, instead of helping her, he strangled her to death and then engaged in sexual acts with her dead body. Brudos tied her body to a railroad track and her body was discovered in July of 1969.
The next year, Brudos abducted Karen Sprinker from a parking lot, took her back to his home where he raped and murdered her. Sprinker’s body was found dumped in the Long Tom River. A month later, Brudos attempted to abduct Gloria Smith but she was able to get away. The next day after his failed abduction attempt he successfully abducted Linda Salee from a parking lot and murdered her. Salee’s body was found in the same river that Sprinker’s body was dumped.
Police received a tip from a student at Oregon State University, where they named Brudos as a suspect for the murders and this led to police searching his home where they discovered pictures of the victims.
After his arrest, Jerry Brudos was identified by Gloria Smith as the man who tried to abduct her. Brudos was charged with 3 counts of murder and after pleading guilty, he received three life sentences. Jerry Brudos died from liver cancer on March 28th, 2006.
Rest In Peace Linda Slawson, Jan Whiteney, Karen Sprinker and Linda Salee.