Glennon Engleman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Glennon Engleman
Glennon Edward Engleman.png
1980 mugshot of Engleman
Glennon Edward Engleman

(1927-02-06)February 6, 1927
St. Louis, Missouri, US
DiedMarch 3, 1999(1999-03-03) (aged 72)
Jefferson City, Missouri
NationalityUnited States
EducationDDS, Washington Univ. School of Dental Medicine (1954)
MotiveMonetary gain
Criminal charge5 counts capital murder
  • 3 life sentences (1985)
  • 2 life sentences no chance of parole for 50 years (1999)[1]
  • Barbara Jean Boyle
  • Robert Handy
CommentsSuspect in murder cases prior to 1976
  • Peter J. Halm Jr. (1976)
  • Arthur & Vernita Gusewell (1977)
  • Ronald Gusewell (1979)
  • Sophie Marie Barrera (1980)
Span of crimes
State(s)Missouri, Illinois
  • Rifle
  • sledgehammer
  • explosives
Date apprehended
February 24, 1980

Glennon Edward Engleman (February 6, 1927 – March 3, 1999) was an American hitman. Engleman, a United States Army veteran and a St. Louis dentist, planned and carried out at least seven murders for monetary gain over the course of 30 years. He was already serving two life sentences in a Missouri state prison when he pleaded guilty to the murder of a man and his wealthy parents in a separate contract killing that occurred in Illinois. Engleman was a sociopath, once stating that his talent was to kill without remorse, and he enjoyed planning and carrying out killings and disposing of the remains in order that it would net him financial rewards. His first known killing occurred in collaboration with his ex-wife. His ex-wife Ruth married another man, raised his life insurance and then Engleman killed him, both sharing the benefits. Later he would repeat these tactics for other murders.

Engleman would use his financial worth, sex and charm to manipulate women he was close to, ex-wives, lovers and his dental assistant, in helping him formulate and execute elaborate murder schemes. This led to one of his lovers, Barbara Boyle, being convicted as an accomplice and serving less than half of a 50-year sentence. Another accomplice, Robert Handy, was also convicted and served time in prison. Methods used to kill his victims included shooting, bludgeoning with a sledgehammer and explosives. The exact number of his victims is unknown.

Author Susan Crane Bakos 1988 book Appointment for Murder dedicates all 286 pages to Engleman's murder cases. The cases against him were re-enacted in a rare, two-part episode of the crime documentary series "The FBI Files".

Early life[edit]

Engleman was born the youngest of four children, his father was a member of the United States Air Force. He was raised in the middle class and lived in a nice home that his parents owned. Academically he was an above average student in school, but he didn't excel in any specific subject.[2]

He graduated in dentistry at Washington University in St. Louis, in 1954.[3] He had been admitted under the GI Bill, having previously served in the US Army Air Corps.

Known victims[edit]

1958: Engleman is suspected of the death of James Stanley Bullock, 27, a clerk for Union Electric Company of Missouri and part-time student.[4] Shot near the St. Louis Art Museum. Edna Ruth Bullock (née Ball) and James Bullock were married on June 28, 1958, they had been married for five and half months on the date he was murdered. Edna Ruth Bullock was Engleman's ex-wife prior to her marriage with James Bullock, she collected $64,000 ($555,000 in 2018) from James Bullock's life insurance.[5][6]

1963: Engleman is suspected in the murder of Eric Frey, a business associate of Engleman at Pacific Drag Strip, in which Frey and the Engleman were partners. Engleman struck him with a rock, pushed him down a well, and used dynamite to blow him up afterwards. He then divided the insurance proceeds with Frey's widow.[7][4]

1976: Peter J. Halm. Shot in Pacific, Missouri. His wife, Carmen Miranda Halm, a former dental assistant trainee who had worked for Engleman and known him since childhood, ordered the hit to collect a $60,000 ($271,600 in 2018) policy of life insurance on Halm.[4][8]

1977: Arthur and Vernita Gusewelle at their farmhouse near Edwardsville, Illinois. Arthur was shot; Vernita bashed to death. Engleman then murdered their son Ronald Gusewelle in East St. Louis, Illinois 17 months later so his widow Barbara Gusewelle Boyle could claim the millions in life insurance she had taken out on her husband, the sole heir to his parents' oil business.[9] Boyle collected approximately $340,000 ($1.46M in 2018) following her husband's murder.[10] Boyle was convicted in her husband's murder but was acquitted of killing his parents. She was subsequently sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder of her husband.[1][11] She was released from the Dwight Correctional Center on October 10, 2009.[4][12] Robert Handy, the accomplice, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit the three Gusewelle killings and was sentenced to 14 years and served his time in prison. Engleman confessed to the three killings while in prison.[13]

1980: Sophie Marie Barrera, owner of South St Louis Dental Laboratory. Killed in car bomb explosion. Engleman owed her over $14,000 ($45,860 in 2018). [14] On 25 September 1980, a jury in federal court found Engleman guilty in the murder of Barrera.[15] Engleman was accused of her murder to authorities by her son, Frederick Barrera.[16]

Family and death[edit]

Engleman was married twice, first to Edna Ruth and then to Ruth Jolley, with whom he had a son, David Engleman. His first marriage Edna Ruth was when they both planned and decided on their method of killing. Edna Ruth Ball married another man, raised his new husband's life insurance, Engleman killed him and they both shared the profits. Edna Ruth was never prosecuted due to lack of evidence.

In March 1999, Engleman, 72, was pronounced dead in the infirmary of the Jefferson City Correctional Center, where he had a history of treatment for diabetes. A spokesman for the center said his death had been anticipated.[17][18]

In media[edit]


  • Appointment for Murder - Story of the Killing Dentist (1989), by: Susan Crain Bakos, summary ISBN 074740464X, 9780747404644.[19][20]
  • Medical Murderers - They Were Healers Turned Killers ... (1992), by: Rose G. Mandelsberg, ISBN 1558175822, 9781558175822. The writing features twenty-five killers, including Engleman, his picture is one of the four images on the cover of the book.[21][22]
  • Medical Monsters Nurses and Doctors Who Kill (2016), by Robert Keller, summary. Engleman is one of twenty medical serial killers covered in the book's 162 pages.[23][24]
  • Blood Money The Method of Madness of Assassins (2017). by Dr. Scott Bonn, summary.[25]


  • Corbin Bernsen played the part of Engleman in Beyond Suspicion, a 1993 TV movie loosely based on the Susan Crane Bakos book Appointment for Murder.[1][26]
  • Engleman's killings inspired the basis for the 1996 film, The Dentist.[27]
  • The story was told in a special two part episode "Deadly Dentist" (2005) on the series The FBI Files.[28][29]
  • The story was told in the episode "Concealed Abscess" on the Investigation Discovery series Deadly Dentists, season 1 episode 3 which aired December 8, 2017.[30][31]


  1. ^ a b c HORRELL, STEVE (26 June 2002). "Boyle hopes to be released from jail". The Edwardsville Intelligencer. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  2. ^ Ph.D, RJ Parker (2017). Blood Money: The Method and Madness of Assassins. Rj Parker Publishing, Inc. pp. 136–137. ISBN 9781987902341. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  3. ^ "WU School of Dental Medicine Alumni List". St. Louis, Missouri: Bernard Becker Medical Library. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Schmidt, Sanford J. (17 October 2009). "Boyle released from prison". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  5. ^ BRYANT, TIM; UHLENBROCK, TOM (1 September 1984). "WEEKEND SHOWCASE;NEWLN:Murdering dentist called Dr. Engleman and Mr. Hyde". UPI. ST. Louis: United Press International, Inc. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  6. ^ "General American Life Insurance Company v. Cole, 195 F. Supp. 867 (E.D. Mo. 1961)". Justia Law. Missouri. 31 May 1961. Retrieved 26 April 2018. Defendant Edna Ruth Bullock remarried on December 26, 1959, and is now Edna Ruth Cole...
  7. ^ McKendry, David Ian (19 April 2017). "Was the Movie THE DENTIST Based on an Actual Series of Murders?". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  8. ^ SUTFIN, HEATHER (20 April 2017). "The Serial Killing Dentist". Sword and Scale. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Former Dentist Pleads Guilty To Three Slayings". EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. Associated Press. 20 June 1985. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Weekly World News | Greedy widow given 50 years in slammer". Weekly World News. 9 July 1985. p. 26. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  11. ^ "PEOPLE v. BOYLE | 161 Ill. App.3d 1054 (1987) |". Leagle. 30 September 1987. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Wife who killed husband out of prison – Daily Herald". Paddock Publications, Inc. Associated Pess. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Wife who killed husband out of prison -- Daily Herald". EDWARDSVILLE: Paddock Publications, Inc. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  14. ^ "FindACase™ | 06/14/82 STATE MISSOURI v. GLENNON E. ENGLEMAN". STATE OF MISSOURI. 14 June 1982. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  15. ^ Merkel, Jim (22 September 2009). "THIS WEEK IN SOUTH SIDE HISTORY: Southside dentist left trail of murder victims". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  16. ^ "FBI Files | Deadly Dentist". Find and Watch. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  17. ^ "The Nevada Daily Mail | Murder-for-hire plotter dies in prison". Associated Press. Jefferson City, Mo.: The Nevada Daily Mail. 4 March 1999. p. 2. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  18. ^ BOVSUN, MARA (8 August 2015). "Killer Driller: St. Louis dentist used his sexual power to get women to aid him in his murder schemes, netting him huge fortune". NY Daily News. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  19. ^ " Customer Reviews: Appointment for Murder: Story of the Killing Dentist". Sphere (1989). Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  20. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Appointment with Murder by Susan Crain Bakos, Author Putnam Publishing Group $18.95 (286p) ISBN 978-0-399-13341-1". Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  21. ^ "MEDICAL MURDERERS - They were healers turned killers feeding on the fear of their helpless victims - Mandelsberg (Rose G.) by:". TEXT. 1992. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  22. ^ Mandelsberg, Rose G. (1992). "Medical Murderers: From the Files of True Detective Magazine". Kensington Publishing Corporation. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  23. ^ Robert Keller (June 2016). Medical Monsters: Nurses and Doctors Who Kill. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1534799249. Retrieved 26 April 2018. Glennon Engleman :a rather unconventional dentist who moonlighted as a hitman and murder-for-profit killer.
  24. ^ Noble, Barnes & (18 August 2016). "Medical Monsters". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  25. ^ Ph.D, RJ Parker (25 June 2017). "Blood Money: The Method and Madness of Assassins". Rj Parker Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  26. ^ "Beyond Suspicion". World News. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  27. ^ Shorey, Eric (17 October 2018). "The True Crime Story Behind Cult Horror Favorite 'The Dentist'". Oxygen Official Site. Retrieved 5 December 2018. Who is Dr. Glennon Engleman, the vicious murderer who served as inspiration for the 1996 film "The Dentist?"
  28. ^ "The F.B.I. Files | Deadly Dentist (TV Episode 2005)". Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  29. ^ "Deadly Dentist – Escape". Escape. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  30. ^ Holleman, Joe (6 December 2017). "South Side's 'deadly dentist' to be featured on cable series". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 24 April 2018. "Deadly Dentists," a series on the Investigation Discovery Channel, will focus on the South Side dentist who was convicted of several murders and suspected in a handful more over more than 20 years.
  31. ^ ""Deadly Dentists" Concealed Abscess (TV Episode 2017)". Retrieved 20 December 2017.

External links[edit]