Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: 1968 - 1968
Method of murder: Strangulation
A deadly fetishist, Brudos developed a fascination with women’s shoes at the age of just five. That fascination soon turned dangerous. By his teens he was stalking and attacking women, landing him in one psychiatric hospital after another. The treatment, however, did no good. By 17, Brudos was drawing up elaborate plans to dig an underground bunker to keep women as sex slaves.
Despite his difficulties, Brudos graduated high school and trained as an electrician. In 1961, he married and settled in Portland, Oregon. Around this time, that he began complaining of severe headaches and blackouts. The only thing that seemed to relieve his symptoms was prowling around at night, peeping into windows and stealing women’s footwear and undergarments.
In January 1968, 19-year-old Linda Kay Slawson was selling encyclopedias door-to-door in Brudos’ neighborhood, when she disappeared. In November of that year, Jan Susan Whitney, 23, vanished, her car later found abandoned at a rest area along Interstate 5 between Salem and Albany.
Karen Elena Sprinker, a 19-year-old honor student at Oregon State University, was killed in March 1969. Police suspected that she had been abducted from the parking lot at Meier & Frank in downtown Salem, where she was to meet her mother for lunch. A man watching Brudos description was reported near the scene.
Linda Dawn Salee, a 19-year-old secretary and part time Portland State University student, went missing from the Lloyd Center in Portland in April 1969. She’d gone to the mall to buy her boyfriend a birthday present.
After the mutilated bodies of three victims were fished from local rivers police received at tip from a Portland University student, leading them to Brudos. Inside Brudos home they found pictures of his victims as well as a severed female foot in the freezer, wearing a red pump.
Convicted on three counts of murder, Brudos was sentenced to life in prison. He died there in March 2006.