Monday, September 15, 2014

Lonely Hearts Killer Harvey Glatman was Executed (September 18, 1959)

On this week (September 15-21) in crime history – Bombing of the 16th Avenue Baptist Church in Bombing kills four children (September 15, 1963); Gunman kills 12 in shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. (September 16, 2013); Lonely Hearts Killer Harvey Glatman was executed (September 18, 1959); Patty Hearst was captured (September 18, 1975); Unabombers manifesto was published by the New York Times and Washington Post (September 19, 1995); Benedict Arnold commits treason (September 21, 1780). 

Highlighted Crime of the Week –

Serial killer Harvey Glatman was executed in a California gas chamber on September 18, 1959 for murdering three young women in Los Angeles. Resisting all appeals to save his life, Glatman even wrote to the appeals board to say, "I only want to die." As a young child, Glatman developed an obsession with rope. When his parents noticed that he was strangling himself on occasion, they took him to a doctor who told them that it was just a phase and that he would grow out of it. As a teenager, he threatened a girl with a toy gun in Colorado. Skipping bail, he made his way to New York, where he later spent two years and eight months in prison on robbery charges.

Following his release, Glatman moved back to Colorado and then to Los Angeles, where he began working as a television repairman. During this same time he took up photography as a hobby. On August 1, 1957, with the pretense of a freelance modeling assignment, Glatman lured 19-year-old Judy Ann Dull to his apartment, where he raped her and then took photos of her, bound and gagged. He then drove her out to the desert east of Los Angeles and strangled her to death. By the time Dull's body was found, there were no clues linking the crime to Glatman. Back in Los Angeles, Glatman posted the pictures of Dull on his walls and became further obsessed with rape and murder. His next victim was Shirley Ann Bridgeford, whom he also strangled to death in the desert. In July 1958, Glatman struck again, following the same twisted procedure. But in October, his luck ran out. Lorraine Vigil, who answered one of Glatman's modeling ads, was driving with him to his studio when she noticed that he was heading out of the city. She began to struggle with Glatman, who pulled out a pistol and attempted to tie her hands. After being shot through the hip, Vigil was able to wrestle the gun away from him. In the ensuing struggle, they both tumbled out of the car just as a police officer drove past. Glatman was arrested and confessed to the three murders, seeming to delight in recounting his sadistic crimes. His trial lasted a mere three days before he was sentenced to death.

Michael Thomas Barry is a columnist for and is the author of numerous books that includes the award winning Murder and Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California, 1849-1949. Visit Michael’s website for more information. The book can be ordered from Amazon through the following link

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