Foot fetishes have been around ever since Victorian men longed for a glimpse of a pretty woman’s ankle, but American serial killer Jerome Henry Brudos took his fetish for feet to a macabre new level.
Ever since he discovered his first pair of heels at the neighborhood dump when he was five years old, those peep-toed black patent leather pumps aroused something sinister, especially after his abusive, razor-edged mother found them and burned his coveted shoes to a crisp while forcing him watched.
What began as furtive clothesline thefts of ladies panties’ and bras eventually evolved into a dark fantasyland that would require a human model to display his silky, sexy finds. Those models, of course, would never come out of their sessions alive.
It wouldn’t take long until freckled, red-headed, flabby Jerry Brudos, now a husband and father of two, would find himself unable to control his desire to turn live women into human dolls, and a pretty girl selling encyclopedias door to door would become his first murder victim. From her, after snapping numerous photographs as he dressed and undressed her, he took his first trophy, a severed left foot, amputated while his victim was still alive. After disposing of her body, he delighted in slipping that foot into shoes from his collection, until it decomposed too much to bring him pleasure.
Among true crime stories, the twisted tale of Jerry Brudos is especially terrifying, because he later laughed in interviews about the girls he strangled and raped after they were dead, and felt no remorse over taking souvenirs including crime scene photographs and several severed breasts.
While Brudos was not as prolific as some American serial killers, His story goes down as one of the most bizarre in Oregon history, and will be a satisfying read for true crime addicts who enjoy not only the underbelly of murder, but how far detectives will go to catch a killer.
Raw, Dark and Disturbing, August 15, 2016
This is yet another biopic read that’s really hard to put down. It’s an insightful and graphically detailed account of some of the most horrific serial killers. In fact, while reading yet another of Jack Rosewoods books, I just had to keep turning the pages yet again. Not necessarily because it’s all that enjoyable in any way, shape or form, to delve a little too deeply into the malefic minds of such murderous men, but because I sincerely believe that most people are fascinated in one way or another by serial killers. Perhaps it’s the human morbid fascination with death. I’m not exactly sure. However, maybe it just astounds the average person as to how depraved another individual can be.
Brudos was born on January 31, 1939 in Webster, South Dakota, and was the younger of two sons. His mother had wanted a girl and was very disappointed that she had another son instead. She would also frequently humiliate him and treat him with disdain, as well as abuse him. As a youngster, Brudos and his family would move about and live in different homes in the Pacific Northwest, before settling in Salem, Oregon.
Brudos bludgeoned and strangled four young women between 1968 and 1969. The only preliminary evidence was witness sightings of a large man dressed in women’s attire. In the garage of his Salem, Oregon home, Brudos kept trophies from his victims, specifically two pairs of amputated breasts that were used as paperweights and the left foot of a 19-year-old woman named Linda Slawson which he used to model the shoes he collected. After committing a murder, he would dress up in high heels and sexually pleasure himself. Police investigation and interviews of local university students led them to Brudos, who described the murders in detail. He had confessed to murdering Linda Slawson, Jan Whitney, Karen Sprinker and Linda Salee, and was sentenced to life in prison. This particularly disturbed individual died in prison on March 28, 2006 from liver cancer. At the time of his death, Brudos was the longest incarcerated inmate in the Oregon Department of Corrections serving a total of 37 years, from 1969 to 2006.
Even if you are a seasoned campaigner of true crime, Jerry Brudos: The True Story of The Shoe Fetish Slayer; will surely raise more than a few hairs on the back of your neck. It was a good read and the author gave a perspective to these horrific crimes that were both fascinating and intriguing. This was one of the better true crime books that I have read recently.
I would highly recommend this read to all fans of the crime genre. I’m also a big fan of Jack Rosewood so it’s another 5 Stars from me. Well done again!