Herb Baumeister: The Truth About The Suspected Serial Killer

Herbert Richard Baumeister was suspected of killing at least 11 men in the '80s and '90s. The property the suspected serial killer owned, Fox Hollow Farms, where remains were found buried, became the subject of many documentaries, crime shows, and paranormal shows. Crime and paranormal buffs have most likely heard stories about the property and the horrors its walls witnessed.

Baumeister allegedly lured his victims by visiting bars and inviting gay men to spend the night with him. Purportedly, he would then travel back to his home where he would kill his victim, as reported by In Magazine. Although Baumeister was married and had children, his alleged crimes happened at a time in his life when his marriage was supposedly in shambles. There were times when his wife Julie and their three children would leave the property for days, leaving Herb to do as he pleased. While Baumeister never outright came out as a homosexual, according to Julie, they only had intercourse a maximum of six times in their 25-year marriage.

Herb Baumeister was reportedly diagnosed as a schizophrenic

Herb Baumeister was born in 1947 to Herbert and Elizabeth Baumeister. He was the eldest among four children. His father worked as an anesthesiologist while his mother stayed at home. He had a normal upbringing but showed signs of odd behavior when he reached adolescence. According to Talk Murder with Me, Herb had a fascination with dead animals and even brought one to school. He showed destructive behavior, failed classes, and even reportedly urinated on a teacher's desk. One of his friends from school remembered Herb wondering "what it would be like to taste human urine" (via Radford).

Disturbed by his child's behavior, Herb's father supposedly took him for a psychological evaluation. Records showed that he was diagnosed with the mental illness schizophrenia in his adolescent years. According to the Mayo Clinic, people suffering from schizophrenia have a distorted image of reality. It is common for them to have delusions and hallucinations as well as disorganized behavior. Schizophrenics require lifelong treatment to manage symptoms, but there were no records saying whether Herb received the treatment that he purportedly needed.

Baumeister carried his erratic behavior to adulthood

Herb Baumeister attended Indiana University and all throughout his college years, he brought with him his strange behavior, which led him to be an outsider among his peers. He dropped out after just one semester, but was coaxed by his father to continue his education. So he did. And again, he dropped out just before finishing the semester. His father committed him to a mental institution for two months shortly after, but the reasons for his stay were never disclosed, as reported by ThoughtCo.

Baumeister's father got him his first job at the "Indianapolis Star" where he started at an entry-level position as a copy boy. Again, he was treated as an outcast and didn't receive the praise that he wanted. He left his job there and was soon employed at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. There, he was said to be bossy toward his co-workers and would lash out at them without provocation. Despite his behavior, he was able to get work done and was promoted to program director. However, he soon found himself out of work after it was discovered that he urinated on a letter that was to be sent to the Indiana governor. Later on, it was found out that he was likely responsible for an earlier incident where urine was found on his manager's table (via UPC Podcast).

He owned a successful thrift store

After losing his job at the BMV, Herb Baumeister went through a series of odd jobs to support him and his wife Julie. One of his jobs was at a thrift shop and that gave him an idea to open up his own. With a $4,000 loan from his mother, Herb and Julie opened Sav-A-Lot. According to Wicked We, the store offered household items as well as second-hand clothing. The business was put up in cooperation with the Children's Bureau of Indianapolis, which received a percentage of sales.

The business thrived, with low-income families on a strict budget being most of its customers. Sav-A-Lot brought in $50,000 in its first year of operation, and that pushed the couple to open a second store. It was their success with the thrift store that helped the couple purchase Fox Hollow Farms, an estate with 18 acres of woods and an 11,000-square-foot Tudor-style mansion (via NY Daily News). Little did Julie know that the property would be the last resting place of some of Herb's alleged victims.

Herb Baumeister appeared in a short TV interview

It seems that Herb Baumeister brought his childhood fascination for dead animals into his adulthood. In the early '90s, local news station WISH-TV interviewed Herb regarding a dead raccoon that was left on the road and was painted over with a yellow roadside line marker. Baumeister reportedly took photographs, which is why the local news contacted him.

Available on YouTube, the footage, which lasts about a minute, shows Herb explaining his dead raccoon photographs. In the video, Baumeister looked respectable, donning a suit and tie and smiling for the camera. He said that he was with his son when he spotted the raccoon and told him that the spray gun was going to hit it. He said that he took photos as he had a Polaroid camera with him at that time, and he even showed his disappointment that the raccoon wasn't removed before the road was painted. The interviewer likely didn't know about Herb Baumeister's potentially disturbing past.

He was never brought to trial

In 1994, the mother of a missing person, Alan Broussard, contacted private investigator Virgil Vandagriff to help locate her son. The last time Alan's mother saw him was before he left to go to a gay bar. After a week, Vandagriff received another call from a different mother, asking for help to find a missing son as well. Like Alan, the second mother said that her son disappeared after visiting a gay bar, as reported by ThoughtCo.

It's too much of a coincidence that both men disappeared after visiting a gay bar, and to add to that, Vandagriff noticed that the two cases had similarities. The missing men had similar features, were almost the same age, and shared the same lifestyle. Through a thorough investigation, the authorities were able to connect missing persons' cases to Herb Baumeister, who allegedly went by the name Brian Smart to hide his identity.

A search of Fox Hollow Farms revealed human bones, and some were identified as the missing men. With a warrant out for Herb's arrest, he fled the state and went to Ontario, Canada, where his remains were found. As ThoughtCo reported, Herb shot himself, but not before writing a suicide note. However, the note didn't provide details regarding the case; Herb only talked about the decline of his marriage and the failure of his business.