June 8, 1949|
|Died||September 29, 1974(aged 25)|
|Cause of death||suicide|
|Number of victims||4|
|Span of killings||1967–1974|
David G. Meirhofer (June 8, 1949 – September 29, 1974) was an American serial killer who committed four murders in rural Montana between 1967 and 1974 — three of them children. At the time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was developing a new method of tracking killers called offender profiling, and Meirhofer was the first serial killer to be caught using the technique. Offender profiling is a method used to learn clues about the characteristics of an unknown killer from evidence at the scene of the crime.[dead link]
Among Meirhofer's victims was seven-year-old Susan Jaeger, who was taken from her tent at night during a family camping trip. He left no ransom request and no physical evidence. However, the offender profiling technique, which was first used in this case, was employed about a year after the kidnapping. The technique led investigators to suspect that the kidnapper was a young, white male who killed for sexual gratification and may have kept body parts of victims as "souvenirs". Further, they believed that the killer may have been arrested for other crimes.
Meirhofer was 23 years old at the time and suspected in another murder. He denied the charges. Meirhofer placed a telephone call to Marietta Jaeger, the mother of Susan Jaeger, exactly a year after the kidnapping, and she obtained enough information to help the FBI track him down.
Meirhofer had killed Suzie Jaeger, two boys, and a woman. In September 1974, he confessed to having kidnapped the woman, Sandra Dykman Smallegan, in her sleep during February of that same year. Smallegan had once dated Meirhofer, but had ended the relationship.
- Bernard L. Poelman, age 13, on March 19, 1967, in Gallatin County, Montana.
- Sullivan, Ted. October 12, 2005. Personal Items Belonging to 1974 Murder Victim Found in Manhattan (Mont). Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- David G. Meirhofer at findagrave.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- Wilson, Colin. (2007) Serial Killer Investigations, at scribd.com, Summersdale Publishers Ltd., p.32 Retrieved 2011-12-14.
- Garrido Genoves, Vincente. 2007. El perfil Criminologico como un tecnico forense (in Spanish). University of Valencia. Retrieved on June 30, 2007.[dead link]
- The History Channel Classroom Study Guides: Meirhofer Retrieved on June 28, 2007.[dead link]
- Ramsland, Katherine. "Criminal Profiling: Part 1: History and Method, Chpt 5: The BSU". CourtTV Crime Library (2007). TBS, Inc. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- Forgiving.org. 2005. An account of the experience of Marietta Jaeger, the mother of Susan Jaeger. Retrieved on June 30, 2007.[dead link]
- Montana State Death Index 1960-1969 – P at rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- Montana State Death Index 1960-1969 – R at rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- Kidnapping Suspect is Arrested" Farmington (MI) Observer & Eccentric, September 30, 1974. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- Associated Press, October 2, 1974. "Transcript of Confession Portrays a 'Mindless Monster'", The Argus-Press, Owosso, Michigan. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- Montana State Death Index 1970-1979 – S at rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- Huff, David. September 23, 2008. "Her Name was Siobhan" TrueCrimeReport.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.