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20060125: Convicted serial killer's remains are cremated IN Merrillville Serial Killer News
The cremated remains of a convicted killer were in the hands of his attorney, who would not reveal where they might be interred because he did not want photos of the spot to end up on the Internet.

Thomas Vanes said if he had not taken possession of David Maust's remains, they would have been interred by prison officials.

"I didn't think that was appropriate," he said.

Maust, 51, died Friday at a northwest Indiana hospital, a day after he was found hanging from a braided bedsheet inside a Lake County jail cell. He was serving three consecutive life sentences for the 2003 murders of three Hammond teens.

Maust's mother gave permission to have her son cremated, but Vanes would not say what he would do with the ashes.

He said he did not want to see photographs of Maust's final resting place appear on the Internet like an envelope signed by Maust and a three-page letter he wrote that were for sale on Web auction sites dedicated to murderer memorabilia.

Maust pleaded guilty last fall to killing the teens, whose bodies were found beneath freshly poured concrete in the basement of a Hammond house where he lived. He agreed to the plea in exchange for the state withdrawing all death penalty requests in the slayings.

Maust had been held in the jail since police arrested him in December 2003. He also had served time for killing teens in Illinois and Germany.
 

20060121: Serial killer dies a day after his suicide attempt Serial Killer News

The families of the children slain by convicted serial killer David Maust had steeled themselves for the reality that he would spend his life in prison.

On Friday, however, they received the news that Maust had died one day after a suicide attempt, leaving behind feelings of relief and anger.

Michael Dennis Sr. said he believes that the deaths of his 13-year-old son and two other Indiana teens drove Maust to take his own life.

"I think my son and the other boys had a hand in having him do this to himself," he said. "The demons from all the kids that he murdered tormented him and finally he took his own life."

"Jan. 31 is my birthday and this is the best present I have ever received," Dennis said.

Maust died in a hospital bed with corrections officers nearby but no family.

Lake County, Ind., Coroner David Pastrick said Maust died of asphyxiation caused by the handmade noose.

Pastrick said Maust was on life support at St. Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point. At 7:24 a.m., his heart stopped and he was pronounced dead four minutes later.

Maust, 51, admitted in court and in a rambling suicide note that he killed five teens throughout his life.

In December, he was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the 2003 murders of Nicholas James, 19; James Raganyi, 16; and Michael Dennis Jr., 13. They were found under a floor in Maust's Hammond home.

In Maust's suicide note, he apologized and wrote that killing the boys--along with the 1981 slaying of Donald Jones, 15, and the 1974 killing of James McClister, 13--showed him how little he deserved to live.

Don Smith, Raganyi's stepfather, said Maust's apology was "too little too late."

"I'm not thrilled that he's dead, but I'm happy," Smith said. "You'll always have that scar."

McClister's mother, Christena Harding, said she has been waiting more than 30 years for the news.

"I'm glad it's over," Harding said. "The Lord said, `You've been bad long enough, it's time to go somewhere else.'"

Maust's brother Jeffrey and his mother Eva Reyes were saddened by the news even though they had advocated for Maust receiving the death penalty.

Reyes, who Maust wrote hated him, was distraught.

"I never hated David," Reyes said. "I'm so sorry he killed himself."

Her son's death, she added, "made me see that I loved David more than I ever knew. "

His family trying to raise money to keep him out of a pauper's grave, Jeffrey Maust said.

"He at least deserves a name on a piece of stone," he said.

 

20060120: Jailed killer hangs self IN Serial Killer News

David Maust, who murdered 3 teens in '03, is critically hurt


Convicted serial killer David Maust, in critical condition Thursday after trying to hang himself in his Lake County, Ind., jail cell, left a note saying his mother should have killed him when he was a child.

Maust, 51, who admitted killing three teenagers in 2003 and burying their remains in the basement of his rented home, was found hanging from a braided bedsheet about 4 a.m. Thursday, said Lake County sheriff's spokesman Mike Higgins.

Maust was unconscious, and corrections officers administered CPR before Maust was taken to St. Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point.

Maust remains there in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said. Thursday was the day Maust was to be transported to prison to serve his life sentence.

In a sprawling, seven-page handwritten suicide note, the contents of which were provided by the county prosecutor's office, Maust apologized repeatedly for his crimes--he also was convicted in 1981 of killing an Elgin teen and was imprisoned for manslaughter while he served in the U.S. Army in Germany.

A postscript says he wrote the letter on Monday but waited to try killing himself because back pain made it difficult to clean out his cell first.

Since the Indiana slayings, he wrote, he knew that he should no longer be allowed to live.

"Dying is not my first choice but it is the Right Thing to do," he wrote. "Maybe with my death the families and the people can go on with their lives and not waste energy wondering why I was still alive."

He added that if his mother had killed him while he was young, he would never have committed the "bad and evil acts" later in his life.

"It's hard at times to understand why she just didn't drown me in the bathtub when she was giving me a bath," he wrote.

Maust's attorney during the Indiana murder trial, Thomas Vane, said he last saw Maust on Tuesday. At that point Maust made no indication that he was considering suicide, Vane said. However, he added, Maust had often talked about taking his own life in the past.

"He has always spoken generally about suicide," said, Vane who has known Maust for 20 years. "Absolutely nothing he said on Tuesday that indicated anything was imminent."

Maust's mother, Eva Reyes, said she had not spoken to her son since he was imprisoned in Illinois, more than six years ago.

She said she was "shocked" that he tried to commit suicide and was surprised by the contents of the note.

"I'm sorry he thought that way," she said. "He didn't have much of a father. ... I think that had a lot to do with it. But his father ... nobody should wish that on anybody.

"I don't want David to kill anybody else," she added.

Higgins said a corrections officer reported seeing Maust sleeping in his cell about 3 a.m. Thursday. At 3:50 a.m., the jail's control room called for the transfer process to get started. Five minutes later, Higgins said, someone responded that Maust had begun packing.

"We don't know if that was Maust himself or someone else," Higgins said.

It was unclear how long Maust had been hanging when he was found, Higgins said. He had not been on suicide watch or under constant supervision.

"Constantly, no. There was no reason to," Higgins said. "He's locked down all day."

Maust was convicted in October of killing Nicholas James, 19; James Raganyi, 16; and Michael Dennis, 13, in 2003. After prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty, Maust admitted to the murders and to burying the teens' bodies beneath a slab of concrete in his Hammond home.

When he committed those crimes, he was on parole from the Illinois prison system in the death of Donald Jones, 15, of Elgin. He had pleaded with prison officials not to release him, saying that he would kill again.

Lynn Smith, Ragyani's mother, said the suicide attempt didn't have much of an effect on the horrors she already had suffered.

"I don't know," Smith said. "This ... has just been a whole terrible tragedy. It's the worst thing I've ever had to deal with."

 

20051219: Maust recalls death details IL Chicago Serial Killer News
The three, missing Hammond teens killed in 2003 did not suffer, at least according to their murderer, David Maust.

They never knew what hit them.

Maust killed his 19-year-old co-worker, Nicholas James, on Friday, May 2, 2003.

"I just went after him. I don't know why, I just did. I planned to kill him three times but talked myself out of it."

"I came up behind him. I hit him in the head. I hit him with a baseball bat. Not a real bat. It was a souvenir. It had lead in it. I hit him once. After the first blow he was out of it, but he was still moving, so I hit him again. He was still moving. I hit him again and again."

"When he wasn't there (at work) Monday I missed him. I wished he'd been at work."

Later that summer, Maust met Michael Dennis, 13.

"I just wanted to take him places. Do things. Take him to ball games. I could ride bikes and go to baseball games all day long."

James Raganyi, 16, joined the pair.

"I gave them marijuana once. And yes, I gave them money. I befriended them. They should've just never been there. I'd think, 'Go home. Don't you got your own rooms?"

The teens spent the night on July 19.

"It was the only night they stayed. When I woke up and they were OK, I felt pretty good I didn't hurt them."

But the two came back, possibly for the booze Maust freely offered.

On September 10, they went to Maust's home. They drank beer. Michael preferred Jack Daniels and cranberry juice, Maust remembered.

Both passed out on the couch, never to awaken.

"James and Michael I killed hours apart...They didn't feel nothing."

"The night I killed James I hesitated a long time. I'd get up to do it, then sit back down."

Maust said he strangled James with a rope. He wrapped his body in plastic because he knew he'd be putting him in a damp grave.

Five days earlier he broke up the cellar floor next to the raised concrete slab in which he'd entombed his co-worker.

"When I dug up the floor, water seeped in."

After killing James, he turned to Michael.

"I was thinking of killing him all day, but also of scenarios not to do it."

His compulsion to murder won out.

"For a lot of reasons. Abandonment. Him leaving. (I kept thinking) he shouldn't be here. Things go back to my mother -- what she taught me. Punishing myself by taking something precious to me that I liked by killing this boy."

Other reasons seemed less ethereal.

"One, his friend was gone. Another part was I didn't want to do it at all, but I didn't know how to get out of it."

And, Maust was concerned about Michael's health.

"He was in terrible trouble. If he survived that night he wouldn't have been right. He had dark blood coming out of his nose. He was having seizures and was posturing" (a specific pattern of involuntary muscle contractions).

So he strangled Michael with the same rope. And prepared his body for burial as he did James'.

Maust remembered a time before he killed the pair when they were at his apartment.

"One day I was going to go up and tell them what happens to runaways -- to scare them into going home. But a lady came over to give me some tomatoes, and I forgot all about the talk."

And why those three?

"Chance -- It could've been any kid. Some young people I lived with I didn't hurt at all."

 

20051219: Serial killer talks one day after being sentenced to three times life IN Serial Killer News

David Edward Maust can remember dates, names and details with clarity, but he couldn’t answer the one question that remains — why he killed five young people.

“I think the answer is you got to put my whole life together, look at the sequence of events,” Maust, 51, said in an interview Saturday at the Lake County Jail.

Maust spoke during the interview about his childhood and family, how he killed his victims, and what the future may hold for him — even after he dies.

The murders of three Hammond teens, for which Lake Superior Court Judge Clarence Murray on Friday sentenced Maust to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, were explained in detail by Maust.

There was nothing particular about Nicholas James, 19, that led him to kill him May 2, 2003, by hitting him in the head with a baseball bat in the kitchen of his apartment. “I had planned to kill him two or three other times but talked myself out of it,” Maust said. “When he wasn’t there the Monday after I killed him, I missed him.” Maust and James worked at the same trophy shop in Dolton, Ill.

James’ body was coated with paint, encased in concrete in the basement of the home Maust rented in Hammond and unearthed by police seven months later.

The same is true for James Raganyi, 16, who Maust strangled Sept. 10, 2003, and 13-year-old Michael Dennis, who was strangled Sept. 11, 2003, about three hours after Raganyi was murdered.

Maust met Dennis at the Pulaski Pool in Hammond. “I hesitated for a long time before I went through with that,” he said of the murders.

The two teens had spent the night on July 19, Maust said. “When I woke up the next morning I felt pretty good about myself that I didn’t stab them,” he said.

Maust, who has been held in a cell by himself at the Lake County Jail since his arrest in December 2003, denied luring the teens to his home but did talk about feeling lonely.

“I needed someone to hang out with,” said Maust, who enjoyed playing baseball and riding bikes. “Even a month before having those two coming around I would tell myself, 'Man, I’m going to get in trouble.’ Not one time did I invite them to my house,” said Maust, who spoke with reporters for more than 90 minutes in a multi-purpose room at the jail.

Handcuffed, shackled and in standard blue Lake County Jail scrubs, Maust recalled digging a hole in the basement four or five days before he killed Raganyi in his Ash Avenue apartment.

The hole filled with water. He wrapped both Raganyi and Dennis in plastic and concealed them under more concrete.

He decided to kill Dennis “because his friend was gone. The other part was I really didn’t want to do it at all. There was really no way out of it. At one point during the day they were in the apartment and I was sitting on the porch. They’d run away. I had the thought to tell them what happens to runaways,” he said.

But a neighbor came over with some tomatoes for him and Maust said he forgot all about the talk he’d planned to give them about the dangers of running away from home.

That evening, he gave the teens Jack Daniels, enough to make them pass out so they wouldn’t feel anything. Michael Dennis drank his with cranberry juice.

“Michael was in terrible trouble,” Maust said, describing the boy bleeding from the nose, having seizures and posturing. Maust said he thought Dennis might have brain damage because of the alcohol consumption. He said he only gave them marijuana once.

Dennis was passed out on the couch. “I was thinking about it (killing him) all day long,” Maust said, recalling his feelings of abandonment and how the teens shouldn’t have been there in the first place. “Things my mom taught — it’s a form of punishment for me, taking things away from me,” he said. “She hated me and it was because of my dad.”

An unstable family life

Maust said there have been many inaccuracies printed about him, like the story that he threw a rock into the air and hit a bird when he was 8 years old. “If I could have done that my mother wouldn’t have put me in the mental hospital. She would have put me in the circus,” Maust said.

Maust said he never sexually assaulted his victims and has never had sexual intercourse. Maust also denied his father sexually abused him. “My dad was the total opposite. He just left. The last time I saw my dad was Christmas Day 1964. At least if he had been molesting me it would be something.”

After his parents split, Maust said his mother sent him to his father to raise, but his father sent him back home the next day. “She told me then, 'One way or the other I’m going to get rid of you. You’re going to run away.’ She’d used it as an excuse.”

Maust’s mother dropped him off at age 9 at the Chicago State Hospital, a mental institution where Maust said he received no education and was held with mentally retarded and mentally ill boys. There was no touching or affection there, Maust said. “I played all day long. I went roller skating. I rode bikes, went sledding.

“I didn’t want to be there in the first place. I wanted to be with my mother,” he said. “The rage started when I was in the children’s home,” he said, referring to Uhlich Children’s Home in Chicago. Maust was transferred back to Chicago State Hospital in 1970, but ran away and never returned to the facility. His mother shipped him off to live with an uncle in Georgia, then encouraged him to enlist in the Army in 1972.

“When I killed Jimmy McClister, I took all my frustration out on him,” Maust said, adding that he’d actually identified other teens he planned to kill but instead “went after” McClister.

Maust was court-martialed by the Army in 1974 for the involuntary manslaughter of McClister in Germany and sentenced to three years.

He also served 17 years of a 35-year sentence for the 1981 stabbing and drowning death of 15-year-old Donald Jones near Elgin, Ill.

Before his release in 1999, Maust sought permission from Illinois Department of Correction authorities to be classified as a sexually violent offender and to live in the Sheridan Correctional Center. No one responded to his request. He was released and eventually moved to Oak Park, Ill.

His future in prison

Maust said he knows he should never be free in society again and the death penalty, which prosecutors initially sought, would have been justice. In court he has shown little emotion and opted to remain silent at his sentencing hearing Friday.

“It wasn’t my place to speak in court yesterday. It was the parents’. If I was one of them I wouldn’t have wanted to hear what I had to say after two years of keeping quiet,” he said.

One of Maust’s defense attorneys, Thomas Vanes, read a prayer Maust wrote anonymously that seeks comfort for the mothers of his three latest victims. “I have much pain, sorrow and grief in my heart, but it will never compare to what these mothers are going through and how they feel in their hearts each moment of the day,” he wrote.

Maust said he is a religious man. “I know God is really mad with me. I know he is really upset.”

Does he believe he’s going to heaven?

“I think he’s going to let me come home. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior,” he said. “When I do pray, I make sure no one sees me.”

Maust has requested that he serve his life terms in segregation but he said he will be OK if he doesn’t get his wish.

“I got plans that I made two years ago. I won’t divulge those plans,” he said, acknowledging he’s attempted suicide and used to cut himself on his stomach, arms and legs when he was alone at home.

During one suicide attempt, Maust said he stabbed himself in the stomach with a pencil on June 2, 1984. “I thought it was a rush. I walked around with that pencil — a brand new No. 2 — in my stomach. But it started getting infected.” After a few days, he went to the infirmary and said he convinced medical personnel he accidentally fell on the pencil.

Six months later, he did the same thing again, only this time he hit his aorta. “I knew I did something,” he said.

 

20051218: Interview with a serial killer IL Chicago Serial Killer News
David Maust insists he's killed only five people.

James McClister, 13, in 1974, while Maust was in the Army and stationed in Germany.

Donald Jones, 15, of Chicago, in 1981.

Nicholas James, 19, in Hammond, in May 2003.

James Raganyi, 16, and Michael Dennis, 13, in Hammond, in September 2003.

Those whispering about more bodies in Oak Park, Ill., where he lived for two years after being released for Jones' murder, are free to "tear up the floor" of the house, Maust said.

"There's no other victims," he said Saturday from the Lake County Jail. "The two years in Oak Park, I didn't hurt anyone."

Later, while talking about meeting Michael Dennis at a Hammond pool, Maust said: "I just wanted to hang out. If I knew he was 13, I wouldn't have hanged with him. I'd already killed a 13-year-old."

During an almost two-hour-long interview the day after being sentenced to three consecutive life sentences for killing the Hammond teens, Maust talked about murder, remorse, family, his past and his future.

Maust, who's caused five mothers to cry for their sons, said he often cries for his own mother -- even though she sent him to Chicago State Hospital when he was 9 to live among mentally ill children.

But almost in the same breath, he said, "I dumped her in 1976."

Nothing his mother said about him throwing rocks at his sister, setting fire to his brother or trying to drown him is true, Maust said.

"She used it to get me locked up because she didn't like me."

Days after his parents divorced in 1963, she took Maust to stay with his father, who promptly returned him the next day.

"She told me, 'I'm going to get rid of you one way or the other, so you might as well run away.' She used running away as an excuse to get me locked up. She admitted that last year in her interview with the Hammond police. She said, 'He never ran away. I was hoping he would, but he never did.'"

He described the mental hospital as "a child's paradise. All I did was play all day."

"I had no social skills. No education. No nothing. I left the mental hospital when I was 13. I was damaged then," he said. "I shouldn't have been allowed to leave the mental hospital. I shouldn't have been there in the first place. Being lonely is what destroyed me."

In Maust's logic, he killed because he "wanted something that was taken" from him.

"My family was taken away," he said.

But he knows his thoughts are skewed.

"I don't think like others. I don't process information as other people do. I understand more or less why I did what I did. Because of the way my mother treated me over the years."

Maust said his younger brother, Jeffrey, who's appeared on television touting a book, "just wants to be introduced to a million dollars.

"He wants paid," Maust said. "He don't know me."

Jeffrey Maust told people David Maust "picked a bird right out of the sky with a rock," David Maust said.

"If I could do that, (my mother) wouldn't have put me in a mental hospital," he said. "She would have put me in a circus to make money out of me."

Maust said he's never had sex with anyone -- especially not those he hurt over the years or those he murdered.

"There was no sexual molestation -- none of them. Ask those that survived."

He did say he was raped three times in a Texas prison.

"I didn't do it to others because I didn't want no one to do that to me. I wanted affection from them, not sex."

While in the boys home, where he lived after being released from the mental hospital, he and other boys played a game in which they caused one another to pass out.

"We were playing a game called knock out. All the boys played it. We just wanted to touch another boy. ... We just wanted affection -- to be touched. There was no one there to do it. Besides no education, there was no touching. They couldn't tell you they loved you, give you a hug. Nothing."

Maust asked to be put in isolation while in prison. He said if he's put in the general population, his days are numbered.

"I believe they'll try to kill me. I think that's what should happen. I deserve what I have coming."

He isn't above hastening his own death, hinting at suicide: "I got plans I made two years ago -- a promise I made to myself."

"One year from now, I won't be around," he said.

And even though Maust knows God is "really mad" at him, he expects to be in heaven some day.

"He's really upset, but I believe he's going to let me come home because Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior."

 

20051217: Serial killer sentenced to 3 life terms IL Chicago Serial Killer News
As she wept outside a Lake County courtroom Friday, Lynn Smith said good mothers warn their children to stay away from bad men.

Smith did that, but she still thinks about what more she could have done to save her boy. She just can't fully understand the evil man who enticed 16-year-old James Raganyi to a Hammond apartment, strangled him and entombed his corpse in concrete in September 2003.

David Edward Maust said it this way through his lawyer as Lake County (Ind.) Judge Clarence D. Murray sentenced the serial killer to three life terms Friday for the slayings of Raganyi and two others:

"I was the most evil person who ever lived on the Earth. To save taxpayers money, I should have been destroyed years ago."

Relatives of Maust's victims now mostly hope he slowly rots behind bars.

"Some would argue that's the worst death penalty of all," the judge told Maust before he was led away.

Admitted killing 5 people

Maust's pale face, with its deep-set dark eyes and thin lips, revealed nothing. From time to time, he leaned over to whisper to one of his attorneys. Maust was otherwise silent throughout the sentencing hearing.

Maust -- who has admitted killing five people since 1971 and was once referred to as a "Gacey type" by authorities in an apparent reference to serial killer John Wayne Gacy -- pleaded guilty last month to the 2003 slayings of Nick James, 19; Michael Dennis, 13; and Raganyi.

All three were found buried in the basement of Maust's Hammond apartment. In exchange for his guilty pleas, Maust was spared the death penalty.

In court Friday, Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter said Maust clearly knew what he was doing when he lured the victims to his apartment. But Carter also said Maust's parents and some of his siblings should share the blame for creating a "monster."

'I just could not stop'

"They all created, in part, what we have today," Carter told Murray.

At a young age, Maust was tossed into a "snake pit" of a mental institution in Chicago, Thomas Vanes, Maust's attorney, said in court. "It was a catch basin for throw-away children," Vanes said.

Maust hasn't spoken to his father in 40 years, or his mother in 20 years, Vanes said later.

As Maust wrote in a prison diary in 1983, from an early age he was consumed with self-loathing and an insatiable urge to hurt people, including choking a boy in a children's home in the late '60s.

"I knew what I was doing, but I just could not stop," Maust wrote.

Maust's mother, Eva Reyes, has said she believes her "little evil child" developed a lust for assaulting and stabbing boys because, as a child, he was molested by a close relative. She has also said she believes Maust suffered permanent head injuries from the forceps used to deliver him.

Vanes told Murray that Maust doesn't want to use his childhood as an excuse for killing.

"As a child, I was not planning on growing up to hurt people and I never wanted to be labeled a serial killer," Maust said in a recent jailhouse statement read by Vanes. ". . . I'm the only one to blame and the only one responsible."

Vanes said Maust chose not to speak at his sentencing because he felt the focus should be on the victims' families.

Pleaded to be locked up for life

Maust enlisted in the Army and killed a teenager in 1971 while serving overseas.

He was sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. He was later convicted of the 1981 murder of Chicago teen Donald Jones.

When it came time for his release from prison in 1999, he asked the state to classify him as a sexually violent prisoner who should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

His request was denied.

In court, an irate Carter said Illinois "totally ignored" Maust and his plea to be locked up.

Smith, Raganyi's mother, also spoke in court, conspicuously avoiding Maust's stare.

"He should have never been let out in the first place to hurt anybody," she said.

Outside the courtroom, Smith said she couldn't look at Maust because, "He gives me the willies."

"I hope those boys haunt him for the rest of his life," she said.

MAUST IN HIS OWN WORDS

The following are jailhouse writings of convicted serial killer David Maust, according to his attorney:

"They were good, nonviolent, innocent young people who did not deserve to die. None of them did nothing wrong. They had nothing I wanted except for them to be my friend, and they took nothing from me. But I still killed them for no reason, and I'm sorry."

"I cannot blame the places where I was raised, my fall as a 4-year-old, my environment, my genes or my parents. God wants me to accept responsibility for my choices and actions."

"I know how to accept my punishment and how to punish myself."

"As a child, I was not planning on growing up to hurt people, and I never wanted to be labeled a serial killer. As everyone already knows, I did all the murders by myself."

 

20051207: Police: No probe set for killer's home IN Oak Park Serial Killer News

Oak Park police Monday said they don't plan to reopen an investigation into what lies below the floor of a Kenilworth Avenue garden apartment where an Indiana serial killer once lived, but welcomed Hammond police to conduct their own investigation.

A Chicago Sun-Times investigation is prompting Indiana authorities to question whether Oak Park police conducted an adequate search of the apartment, in a 10-unit building at 425 S. Kenilworth, home between January 2001 and October 2003 to admitted serial killer David Maust.

"We're not reopening the investigation, barring any new information," Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley said Monday. "Right now we're satisfied with our investigation. We would be happy to assist Hammond police or the Lake County (Ind.) prosecutor."

Oak Park police searched the apartment in December 2003. At that time village Police Deputy Chief Robert Scianna, then a police commander, told Oak Leaves that investigators found no evidence of foul play in the apartment.

Scianna said Monday said he stands behind the comments he made two years ago.

"We did a thorough and complete investigation," he said. "We haven't heard from Indiana at all. It's unfortunate and unprofessional of them that they did not communicate with us directly, however, I still extend myself to the Indiana authorities. If they have new information we'd be happy to assist them."

Maust faces sentencing to life in prison Dec. 16 after pleading guilty to the 2003 murders of three teenage males found under the concrete floor of his Hammond home. He had lived in the Oak Park apartment before moving to Hammond in late 2002 or early 2003, authorities said.

The Sun-Times has learned:

* Maust poured a new concrete floor and tiled the apartment in the months before he moved to Indiana, according to two neighbors -- one of whom was quoted in a village police report.

* One neighbor smelled foul odors lingering outside Maust's apartment.

* A trail of blood started at Maust's door and ended at a broken window in the building's front door after two unidentified teenagers visited him.

* A young man filed a report with Oak Park police in 2001 saying Maust tried to kill him in the apartment, striking him with a pipe on the back of the head after a night of drinking -- similar to the way Maust killed his first Hammond victim.

* Although Maust denies he killed anyone else, Indiana authorities suspect he may have other victims.

Lake County (Ind.) Prosecutor Bernard Carter said "it's alarming to me" to learn Oak Park did not go beyond a visual search.

"It surprises me they were not more detailed in their investigation," Carter said. "I would think they'd want to do more. When we did ours, we used all that technology, and I wouldn't be comfortable until that's done in Oak Park."

Hammond Police investigators said they would like to hear from anyone in the Chicago area or northwest Indiana with teenage boys missing since Maust was released from prison in 1999. They'd also like to know about anyone who hired Maust to build porches or other minor construction jobs in the Oak Park area.

Scianna told the Sun-Times he was with detectives who toured Maust's apartment and he left believing there was no need to bring in dogs or search equipment.

"We searched from ceiling to floor," Scianna said. "We looked at everything. Nobody dug up anything in the apartment, but we did search the common areas, the laundry room and storage lockers looking for fresh cement. We didn't find anything."

As a convicted child killer, Maust was released from prison in 1999 even though he asked to remain behind bars. Neighbors in Oak Park said Maust entertained teenage boys at his apartment.

He also partied with teens in Indiana: Maust has admitted to befriending and killing James Raganyi, 16; Michael Dennis, 13, and Nick James, 19, and burying their bodies under the Hammond apartment building where he lived.

Maust was troubled since he was a child.

Maust's brother Jeffrey said David tried to kill him when they were growing up in Chicago. Jeffrey Maust also said his brother was sexually abused by a family member.

David Maust enlisted in the Army and killed a teenager in 1971 while serving overseas. He was sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

Discharged from the military, he was convicted of the 1981 murder of Chicago teenager Donald Jones. When it came time for his release from prison in 1999, he asked the state to classify him as a sexually violent prisoner who should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

"Prison is where I belong," he wrote.

His request was denied.

In the months before Maust moved to Hammond, he renovated his Oak Park apartment -- including tearing up the floor, neighbors said.

Among those neighbors was Michael Shields, who said Maust often kept to himself. He worked as a building caretaker with keys to all of the apartments. He vacuumed the hallway carpet on Sundays and once replaced a refrigerator for Shields.

Although they didn't socialize, Shields noticed changes to Maust's apartment -- first the addition of a wall and then floor work, which he remembers immigrant workers helping Maust complete.

"They broke up the floor," Shields said. "Then he [Maust] put tile down."

Soon afterward, Maust moved to Hammond, Shields said.

Once news of the Hammond killings broke in December 2003, Shields called Oak Park Police and told them of his observations. Shields said the person who took his call "was very cavalier" and told him to call Hammond with the information.

An Oak Park Police report obtained by the Sun-Times shows the department did respond to a call from another neighbor, Anthony Taglia, who reported seeing Maust "pouring a new concrete floor" in early 2003.

Officers interviewed a janitor who could not recall concrete work being done to the basement floor in or around Maust's apartment. The janitor told police that hot water heating coils run through the basement floor. Officers reported that the basement floor tile appeared "old and undisturbed."

Shields said he saw other things that -- in hindsight -- make him suspicious of Maust's activities in the apartment, including spotting blood on the stairs leading from Maust's apartment and a foul odor lingering outside the garden apartments. Shields, who has since moved to a house in Oak Park, said he reported his observations to Hammond Police.

Maust's Indiana defense attorney, Thomas Vanes, said Maust "was pretty adamant about" there being no other homicide victims in Hammond. "And there's been no indication of any homicides anywhere else, either," he said.

Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller is less certain that all of Maust's victims have been identified.

"He'd been out of prison two years before these bodies were discovered," Miller said. "Any reasonable person could figure out that he probably didn't wait two years before killing again. I believe there might be more out there."

 

20050721: Brother Of Alleged Serial Killer Apologizes IN Hammond Serial Killer News
The brother of alleged serial killer David Maust, made a painful trip to the scene of the brutal crimes Thursday in northwest Indiana. He wanted to pay his respects and apologize to the victims' families.

The make-shift memorial in front of a Hammond home has faded, but the memories of the crimes that occurred inside have brought the alleged killer's brother all the way from Kansas City.

"I just want to say I'm sorry for what my brother had done to your families. I know what he's done, he's changed your families, and they'll never be the same, and I don't know what else to say but I'm sorry," said Jeffrey Maust.

Jeffrey Maust’s brother, David, is accused of killing three teens and then burying them in the basement of this home in Hammond back in December 2003.

Today Jeffrey Maust placed fresh wreaths at the scene of the crime. He also described growing up with his brother.

"When I was a very little boy, he set my bed on fire with me in it, so... I'm shaking, but yeah he set my bed on fire with me it. And when I was 5 years old, he tried to drown me in the Humboldt Park lake," Jeffrey Maust said.

Neighbors are still reluctant to discuss the crime on camera, but one onlooker summed up the general opinion of what should happen to the infamous house.

"Tear it down... and God will bless them," she said.

David Maust has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is scheduled for trial later this year.
 


Copyright 1995-2006 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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