Gary Heidnik

Gary Heidnik had great potential. He was born with an IQ of 130 and was great when it came to the stock market. Leave it up to his parents though to ruin any chance he had.

His father was a brutal man. When Gary would wet his bed, his father would hang the sheets outside where everyone could see. His mother was a drunk who left when Gary was only two years old. She would commit suicide.

In 1962 Gary entered the Army. By then he was starting to show severe psychological issues. Between the time that he was released from the Army in 1963 and the time of his arrest years later, Gary would be in and out of mental hospitals a total of 21 times. He had made over a dozen suicide attempts as well. He tried to overdose, hang himself and tried to die by crashing his car. He even forced himself to eat a broken light bulb.

As far as his sexual choice’s went, he ran to mentally challenged black women. One of his girlfriends even gave birth to a daughter in 1978. During May of the same year, Gary and his girlfriend drove to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to visit the girlfriends sister who lived in a mental institution. The sister was 34 years old but had the mental capacity of a toddler. The pair got permission to take Alberta on an outing but when they failed to return the police were called. Alberta was found in Heidnik’s basement. Medical exams showed she had been raped and sodomized.

He was arrested and only served four years for his crime. One day about half way through his sentence, Gary slipped a strange note to the guard. It read that Gary could no longer speak because the devil had shoved a cookie down his throat. Gary was a mute for the next two and 1/2 years.

After he was released from prison, Gary married a mail order bride who gave birth to his son. She soon left him though after she became fed up of his behavior. This included Gary forcing her to watch him have sex with prostitutes. After his wife left, Gary came up with a crazy idea. He wanted to make a baby factory in his basement. He would kidnap, imprison and impregnate 10 women.

The first victim was Josefina Riveria. She worked as a part time prostitute and Gary picked her up on Thanksgiving. After they had sex, he forced her into the basement where he chained her to a pipe. Just two days later he added Sandra Lindsay. The women were subjected to beatings, torture and were raped on a daily basis. Five more women would become his victims.

Overtime the punishments got worse. He would use shock therapy on the women and would shove screwdrivers into their ears. Sandra died after hanging by her wrists for a week. When she died, Gary took her body upstairs where he dismembered her with a power saw. He then cooked up her flesh and mixed it with some dog food. He would serve this to the remaining captives.

Josephina Rivera somehow managed to escape. She ran to her boyfriends house and explained what had happened. He hadn’t seen her in 3 months and she looked like hell. He called the police and at first they found everything she told them hard to believe. Once they went to the Heidnick residence though, they were horrified at what they saw.

On July 1st of 1988 Gary was sentenced to death. He was found guilty on 18 counts including two counts of first degree murder. When his father was told that he was son was going to be put to death, he simply said he wasn’t interested. On July 6, 1999 Heidnik was put to death my lethal injection.

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~ by B on August 11, 2006.

35 Responses to “Gary Heidnik”

  1. Wow, what can one say–baby factory-eh? Phew! I am almost speechless. Almost. I am sure the system work well in his diagnosis of his mental illness. One can almost see the argument for being licensed to be a parent, eh? You have been building the case, that environment is the trigger for serial killers. Case after case after case….


  2. Gary Heidnik got it too good! He’s the lowest form of life there ever was! I think he should be tortured the same as he tortured. An eye for an eye! The whole trial was a circus as far as I’m concerned. No body should have notoriety for the crimes he did! He should of been stoned to death! They should of let the families of the victim tear his body apart and torture him or let the other prisoners in the prison at him, let him suffer! Why would any one even want to represent him as his lawyer? I hope Chuck Peruto go’s to Hell with him. Men murder and rape women every day and they get more rights as criminals then civilians, and lawyers defend them! Do women get half that treatment? Women who kill men never have a chance. It’s very different for men. Why is that ? because men always defend men? Women are always wrong! Do you ever hear of women killing men for sex, or having sex with corpse? or dismembering bodies.? I have a distorted idea about men and there motives. Why would anyone want to help Gary Heidnik in any way? What is wrong with our society? It seems to me our society thrives on this stuff! And thats very Sick!

  3. I feel that Heidnik was the product of such an abusive and psychologically unfit family life, that there was no way he could’ve been any different. I feel for any person in this situation, because so many people are subjected to these kind of mind-altering family lives. Most serial killers and seriously disturbed murderer’s and rapists wouldn’t be that way if they didn’t grow up in an abusive situation. I grew up next to someone whose mother was an alchoholic, and would constantly beat him and tell him of his worthlessness. I found out a couple months ago that he was in jail for multiple-rape charges. If I werent so young and didnt realize how serious his situation was, I wouldve reported his mother to the authority, and then he may have had a chance to be a decent human being.
    Very rarely is a serial killer or rapist the product of bad genetics; in fact genetics is just a theory that has not been proven. I feel that Heidnik and many others were just put in a bad situation that screwed him up from the beginning. I feel for the victims that he tortured and violated. I feel that if that what happened was completely awful, and he deserved the punishment he got, if not something worse. But I think that it will not stop until we put more effort into nipping the problem in the bud- where the family lies.

  4. That guy needed some serious psychologicl drugs.
    His type shoudl be studied for further use by all trainign psychologists.

  5. Just another reason why mentally ill people should be monitored in this country. They make victims of our mothers and fathers, our sisters, daughters.

  6. I’ve just seen a documentary on discovery about Heidnik and other murders (“Most evil”). They showed pictures from his basement and homevideos. Very interessting!

  7. Im doing this guy for a english project, and honestly i never knew that the world was sick like this! like anyone like that i think should all die! i never really understand why people have minds to do that to other people i think its just sick and twisted!

  8. this is all kinds of twisted! But what’s the deal about the crazy black women? Did he find them to be more exciting or something? This is like Silence of the Lambs to the 25th Power! This is really sick.

  9. Even though it is obvious to anyone sane that the twisted world which this beast Gary Heidnik created is wrong, it is still not fair to make the judgement eye for an eye. Yes in one way it seems more fair, however, I don’t understand how maiming and physically torturing another human being can be considered justice. To the relief of the victim’s family and friends, the world is no longer graced with this mental case’s presence. My main grizzle in all of this is that the second comment on the page was mainly based on feminist views. I believe that if it had been a female who commited these crimes they would have recieved the same punishment. All people are innocent until proven guilty, even if they are found with blood on their hands. This was why the whole justice system was created. So people like ZellaRay Berly are no longer able to chase after other members of the public with pitch forks and blazing fire sticks.

  10. I completely agree with the last comment. Heidnik was a beast and the system is in place to handle the task of bringing monsters like him to justice. His life was ended. What more could anybody want beyond that? The desire to make him suffer at the hands of his victims or their families is simply a perpetuation of the sub-human fantasy world in which HE lived. He was punished for doing what he did. He received his due. What I find truly shocking these days is that Heidnik’s house is still standing. Why was it not demolished? I realize that the neighborhood is quite bad (I pass through there on my job routes from time to time and usually get nasty looks from the thugs) but the house just sits there with a few knocked out windows as a reminder of the grim events that happened there. One day I passed by and there was a kitchen stove sitting out on the second story balcony. Could that have been the infamous stove he used to boil his first victim’s head? The house should’ve been put to death just like it’s former owner was. What REALLY scares me is that there are many Heidnik-types out there and though our system is set up to catch and punish these people I wonder how many of these types are created and/or betrayed by that same system. In a city like Philadelphia it is not difficult to find those seedy elements that seem to be byproducts of this corrupt world. Drugs, prostitution, violence, neglect and decay. It’s been 20 years since Heidnik walked these streets and around his neighborhood it’s clear to see that not much has changed since then. It’s mind boggling to think that there are so many cities in such disrepair. I wish I didn’t have to go to the “bad” places so often but they do serve as a reminder to me that this is not a perfect world. Fortunately for all of us, including ZellaRay Berly, there is justice to protect the sane majority from this imperfect world.

  11. I want to be a Forensic Psychiatrist, so guys like Gary Heidnik are very interesting to me. I’ve already done all the research there is to do on Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, & Albert Fish. It looks like I’ma start on Heidnik now!

  12. Even though i just found these interesting comments of Gary Heidnik i have to protest to some of the things said in the last comments. I have just started reading into Gary I have heard of many serial killers rapest ect. and i have been captivated by there brutality and some imagination. Why? you may wonder i honestly can’t tell you heidnik wasn’t just sick in the head he was smart he was a college grad and was dropped from the military. He was also extremely good at the stock market earning 550,000. Lot of money if you ask me for the 70’s and 80’s you can’t just go off calling him a complete freak or he didn’t know what he was doing. He was in control the whole time knew what he wanted and showed even compasion for one of his victims. (Josafine). He ended up putting trust in her and that was his major downfall in the end. It shows there was a human side to him but still does not justify his actions i will admitt. When he was younger he was abused and made fun of by his class mates for his misshapen head and his father for wetting the bed he was left out in the cold. There is no evidence that he was ever sexually assalted when he was a child as far as i understand but 90 percent of serial killers maybe more have or had been sexually abused leaving a sort of mental scaring affecting there judgements and abusing others as they were. Gary also contributing to his knowledge amazed me when it was said he left a part of a key broken in his door so holy he could get in with the other half of the key. Personally i thought that was an amazing idea for keeping your privacing and the first time i have ever heard of such an act. In my personal opinion of taking woman and wanted to make a baby factory i believe it was because of his broken family life as a child he wanted to be able to take care of a family maybe treat them better then he was treated and make some kind of difference for himself … but that maybe going out on a limb. I’m not trying to protect or reason with him but he did not murder for fun or a retardation of his mind but instead a punishment of not obeying. As far as the canablism goes i cant say what he could have thought i dont see how the human body could look good to eat unless your starving or maybe get a sexual pleasure out of eating or raping dead bodies. Another interesting fact that contributes to his knowing what he was doin was the screw driver in the ears. He reasoned if they couldn’t hear him coming down the stairs they wouldn’t scream and if they didn’t know he was home or not they would stay quiet. It was not just for sick fun. Finally he also inspired buffalo bill with the pit in the basement he on the other hand i do not know much about at this time..

    In responce to some comment i do not believe he was the lowest form of life infact im sure he was much smarter then either you or I.. only difffernce he had major problems…

  13. Gary had the ability to make half a million on the stock market and lie to the police when neighbours complained about the stench of him cooking dead bodies.

    Anyone who has seen a psychotic person knows they are not even able to maintain a full-time job never mind amass a fortune.

    He choose mental slow black women as they would not be missed or believed if they escaped. As socieity values the opinions of white males above that of anyone else. His victims were the bottom of society, so he also pre-meditated his target group well.

    If he was psychotic he would have picked at random (Anyone), however he made a concerted effort to target the lowest in soceity that no-one gave a crap about.

    *On the whole the man was highly intelligent, successful and pre-mediated everything he did. This is totally opposite to a psychotic individual.

    Gary like most serial killers was a narcissitic personality disorder, psychopathic disorder and a arrogant meglomaniac. These are the traits of most successful male white business men , which he was. They are not forms of psychosis

    The only difference is that they dont kidnap, kill and eat people.

    He did what he did because he could get away with it and his victims were black scum in society’s eyes, they were as disposable as kleenex. He was an advantage killer.

  14. Many women and especially black women have appalling lives, but dont end up as serial killers or rapists or molesters. Their lives are far worst than the typical white male serial killer, but they ironically end up victims not perpetrators. I am sure all of Heidnik victims had more social depravation, poorer incomes, more physical, sexual, mental and racial abuse if people bothered to scrutinise. His background is irrelevant, who he is very relevant though.

  15. “He was born with an IQ”

    Your are not born with a specific IQ, if that was the case then every child born in slums and the third world is born with an IQ of a retard in fact it’s very likely than some of your ancestors had such IQs. It did not mean they were born with it!

  16. he is a pretty interesting person but also sick in the head I don’t think that just b/c him having schzoid personailty changes had anything to do with this. he was a very disturbed man and I think after readinf this everyone will learn that.but anyways when was this page lsat updated? I am doing a project on this man and I need to know this.kay?

  17. Did he not realize that you don’t need to kidnap, rape, imprison his victims. A men can easily knock up 10 women w/o making it a crime.

  18. The story isn’t complete it doesn’t tell you that Heidnik was a product of LSD experiments in the Army no one gets a 100% disability from the Army that has all of their body parts. I wonder how many other Gary Heidnik’s are out there. All of those Anti Death Penalty advocates are all phonies there was not one person out there protesting when he was executed I know I am from Philadelphia.

  19. im writing a paper about heinik for my 11th grade english class ur site was helpful!! thaniks

  20. Back in 1986 I was parked in front of Gary Heidnik’s house, on Marshall Street in Philadelphia, waiting for my friend so we could go to work and I saw Gary open his door and look out at me, I was hoping he did not come up to me and say anything, just because of the way he was looking. Little did I know he would be on the news soon after for his crimes. I am glad I was not approached by him. There is one photo online that always reminds me of when I saw him.


  21. I get sick to my stomach just reading about this person. I often question the existance of some creatures on earth, and wonder why God placed them here. I have always been taught that there is a purpose for every living creature. I now have to question, what was the purpose for Gary Heidlik’s existance?

  22. Where are the kids?

  23. Gary Heidnick, worked for me for about three years.we spent many
    hours sitting in lintons resauramts talking about just about
    everything,I never had a clue he was a murderer,he acted just
    like everyone else and that is whts scarry.

  24. The part about Josepha running to her boyfriend’s house is totally incorect! I just watched “Escaped” on the ID network, and Josephina herself gave her story. She gained his trust over a period of weeks–even pretended to help him dispose of Debra’s body, whom he had killed by placing her into the “hole” which he had filled with water and then electocuting her. (He then put Debra’s body inside a plastic garbage bag and into the freezer.)
    Josephina went along with him knowing that somehow she was going to get herself and the other remaining girls out of there safely. She finally “agreed” to help him pick up another prostitute, but only if he would give her something in return. She claimed she wanted to see her family. After they did pick up another girl, who also wound up shackled in the cellar, he took Josephina to a gas station where he said he would be waiting for her after she saw her family. When she had walked beyond sight of the car, she began looking for police. She finally spotted a telephone booth and dialed 911.
    When police arrived, she had a hell of a time convincing them of her story. Only after one of the cops pulled up her pants leg and saw evidence that she had been shackled did they take her back to where Gary Heidnik was waiting for her return.
    She said after she ID’d him for the police, the look he gave her was like “I should have never picked you up in the first place.”

  25. wow…….this may be the most sadistic one i have heard of ….

  26. Women who take a child away from their father should be severly punished and possibly assigned a death penalty

  27. What? – c’mon Range, a lot of fathers don’t deserve their children, and vice versa!

  28. I used to work in the mental health system, and knew one of the women who escaped from his house of horrors. I also came accross stories that Heidnik knew Ira Einhorn I am wondering if anybody knows if that story is true?

  29. I remember reading Heidnik’s story when I was in high school, in the eightees. He prided himself on a move that he called the Heidnik Maneuver.

  30. this motherfucker should be tortured beaten shocked and all the other shit he did to these innocent women fuck giving him the death penalty thats too quick for him to die make his ass suffer

  31. this mutherfucker was rich and real smart he knew what he was doing he has a high i q so how could he be insane its common sense

  32. my mom used to live on 6th and tioga street, right around the corner from which this event had taken place.

  33. Where do you get the movie ‘blind faith’ about Gary Heidnik?

  34. where can I buy the movie ‘blind faith’ about gary heidnik?

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