Robert Berdella

Like many serial killers, the neighbors of Robert Berdella didn’t think anything of him. He didn’t seem bad. He was kinda quiet but was a member of the Crime Watch group for the neighborhood. Berdella claimed to have turned his home into a halfway house for those troubled youngmen that were in the area. Little did they know what horrors were taking place in that home.

The begining of the end started on April 2nd in 1988 when a neighbor heard a pounding on his front door. When he opened it he was confronted by a young man who was naked except for a dog collar around his neck. The young mans name was Chris Bryson and he had been held captive at Berdella’s house for several days.  Naturally the neighbor called the police.

What Chris Bryson told the police was terrifying. He claimed that he’d been picked up by Berdella a few days before. When they got to Berdella’s house, he was lead upstairs where he was knocked out by a blow to the back of the head. When he finally came to he was naked and tied to a bed. Over the next four days he was tortured in various ways. He was sexually assulated by various objects, shocked with wires and his eyes were poked with Q-Tips that had been soaked in chemicals.

Right away Robert Berdella was arrested on charges on 1st degree assualt, forced sodomy and other charges. Police obtained a search warrent for the home where they found various items related to voodoo. Amid the mess they found photographs as well. They found around 200 pictures of young men being tortured and raped. Along with the pictures they found a journal that had every digusting detail related to the crimes.

They still hadn’t found any proof of murder. The house was filled with skulls but they weren’t sure if they were the real deal or just display items. After forensic testing they discovered that one of the skulls belonged to a young man who had died within the past 2 years. Another skull was found in the backyard and that too belonged to a murder victim. Berdella was then charged with 1st degree murder.

In court he plead guilty and offered a full confession. Between the years of 1984 and 1987 he claimed to have tortured and killed six young men that he had held captive. He injected them with animal tranquilizers in order to turn them into, in his word, “playtoys.” When his victims finally died he’d dismember them in the bathtub, place them into garbage bags and simply place them on the curb to be picked up by the trash trucks.

He was sentenced to life in prison but after serving only 4 years he died of a heart attack.


~ by B on January 8, 2007.

11 Responses to “Robert Berdella”

  1. Yow…what state was this in?

  2. The wonderful state of Missouri!

  3. Wow…Mr. Fab were you afraid you’d get caught in relation to the facts of this case? 🙂

    That’s one scary man. Amazing who can live just next door and you have NO idea what they are up to. I think Mr. Fab is one of those strange characters (not a killer but I’m sure he kills some stuff).

  4. I am surprised he didn’t get caught sooner if he was just throwing human remains out with the trash. Incredible!

  5. I havent forgotten about you. had some computer problems over the last short while. just got a new laptop and will have something for you shortly 🙂

  6. I’m happy that he got caught. He sounds like some old, creepy, Gay guy.

  7. I lived around the corner from him, I was 10 years old when he was arrested in 1988. I remember when the news broke, and he got arrested, it was unbelievable that a serial killer could be living that close to you.

  8. I was a dental student at the University of Missouri Kansas City at the time Berdella was murdering his victims. My apartment was at Armour and Gilliam about half a mile from Berdella’s house on Charlotte.

    After He was caught and the skulls were found. I was assigned to assist the school’s forensic dentist, Dr. Ron Gier, with taking Photographs, measurements and full mouth radiographs on Berdella’s victims. (I had no Idea who they were or were associated with at the time.)

    It was grisly business. The skulls weren’t skulls like you see in an anatomy book. They had both been burried in Berdella’s back yard for sometime. (The one in better condition was dug up by Berdella and kept in his bedroom.) They were decomposed with remnants of muscle, flesh and hair and part of the cervical vertebrae attached. Berdella had attempted to remove the teeth from the skulls leaving some roots. We were able to reconstruct some of the dentition like a jigsaw puzzle as Berdella had kept the teeth of his victims in a jar in his bedroom.

    Dr. Gier was able to confirm identify the skulls as belonging to Larry Pearson, and Robert Sheldon by comparing them to their in vivo dental records. I believe this was crucial evidence in eliciting Berdella’s confession.

    As if the Berdella case wasn’t bad enough, There was another serial killer operating in my neighborhood when I lived in Kansas City. Lorenzo Gilyard, the Gillham Park killer, was the most prolific serial killer in Kansas City history. During that time he was busy raping and strangling prostitutes in parks near my apartment. But that’s another story.

  9. jrgdds : i am really interested by all your informations. i am a french forensic odontologist, and i am actually writing a book about forensic odontology and serial killers.
    the book is nearly finished.
    i would like to talk about berdella’s case : could you please contact me??

  10. i think i can’t leave may mail address? but i will follow …
    you can also contact be with the french dental forensic association website : i am the dr philippe brousseau : the association is the AFIO

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