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Serial Killer Index Short List
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Serial Killer Index
serial killers by name [k] amazon
  KRIST Gary Steven 1945 USA ... ... ... 4+
1959 1964 AS CA UT
 : ... ... ... ...
Gary Krist launched his criminal career at age fourteen, with the theft of a boat. A year later he stole a car, and at sixteen he was committed to the Utah State Industrial School, at Ogden, for a year. Krist entered confinement on June 2, 1961, but soon escaped; he was recaptured in Idaho on July 29, 1961. At age eighteen, he was sentenced to the state vocational school at Tracy, California, on conviction for two auto thefts in the vicinity of Oakland. Released on December 4, 1964, he was next arrested on January 6, 1966, after stealing two cars from a sales lot in San Mateo, California. Convicted of auto theft on May 20, 1966, he drew a term of six months to five years in state prison. Krist escaped from custody on November 11, 1966, and was still at large two years later, when he graduated to the big time. On December 17, 1968, 20-year-old Barbara Jane Mackle, a student at Emory College in Atlanta, was spending the night with her mother in a suburban motel. Recovering from influenza, Barbara had left her dormitory in consideration of her roommates, and her mother had flown in from Florida to nurse her through the illness. While the treatment might have seemed extravagant, it fit the Mackle lifestyle; Barbara's father was a millionaire land developer and personal friend of President-elect Richard Nixon. The women weren't expecting visitors that morning, in the pre-dawn hours, when Krist and female accomplice Ruth Eisemann-Schier forced their way into the room at gunpoint. Barbara's mother, bound and chloroformed, was left behind; the ailing girl was driven twenty miles northeast of town and buried in a box that had been fitted with an air pump, food and water, and a battery-powered lamp. Their dirty work complete, the kidnappers drove back to Florida, waiting for the news to break. A ransom note, buried in the Mackles' front yard at Coral Gables, Florida, demanded $500,000 ransom in old $20 bills. The family followed orders, running a specified ad in a Miami newspaper on December 18, waiting nervously for instructions on the ransom's delivery. The drop was arranged for December 19, on a causeway leading to uninhabited Fair Isle, in Biscayne Bay. Losing his way in the darkness, Robert Mackle arrived an hour late at the drop point, but Krist confirmed the pay-off via telephone, circling back to pick up the suitcase. He barely had the bag in hand, when a policeman on routine patrol mistook Krist for a burglar, giving chase. The kidnapper escaped on foot, but clues from his abandoned vehicle identified both suspects for the FBI. At half-past midnight on December 20, a phone call to the Bureau's office in Atlanta gave directions to the site where Barbara Mackle had been buried. Exhumed after 83 hours, she was found alive and well. Arrest warrants for Gary Krist and Ruth Eisemann-Schier were issued the same day, and their names were simultaneously added to the "Ten Most Wanted" list. In flight, Krist had used some of the ransom money to purchase a boat, planning to escape by water. A Coast Guard helicopter spoiled his plan, trailing him until Krist abandoned his craft on Hog Island, in Charleston Harbor. Captured by Sheriff Richard McLeod on December 22, the fugitive was held in lieu of $500,000 bail. On January 3, Krist and his accomplice were indicted on state charges of kidnapping with ransom, a capital crime in Georgia. In custody, awaiting trial, Krist startled jailers with confessions to a string of previously unsolved murders. According to the prisoner, his first victim was a 65-year-old hermit, with whom Krist had a homosexual relationship at age fourteen, while living in Pelican, Alaska. He had killed the man, Krist said, by tripping him while they were walking on a bridge across a deep ravine. Investigators verified a case, identical to Krist's description, that had previously been described as death by accident. At nineteen, Krist asserted, he had killed a girl near San Diego, strangling and beating her to death, concealing her body under a pile of rocks. Local officers confirmed the discovery of Helen Crow's body on October 3, 1964, with a coroner's estimate of death occurring six to eight weeks earlier. At that time, Krist was under lock and key at Tracy, California; his knowledge of the graphic details in the case remains a mystery. A third homicide, reported by Krist, was committed in 1961, shortly after his escape from confinement in Utah. According to Gary's confession, he picked up a homosexual, described as a "sissy," and later killed his victim in a violent fit of rage. The body had been dumped near Wendover, Utah, where local officers confirmed discovery of a skeleton on July 27, 1967. The coroner's vague estimate of death, some three to five years earlier, roughly corresponds with Krist's period of freedom from custody. Despite allusions to a fourth murder, Krist refrained from offering any details. Convicted of kidnapping on May 26, 1969, he was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment in Georgia. At this writing, there are no plans to prosecute murder charges in Utah or Alaska.
Copyright 1995-2005 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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