Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fox Hollow Farms: Case of a Serial Killer Named Herb

Take a Google search of "Fox Hollow Farms" and you will be greeted with lots of hits about Herb Baumeister.  He was thought to have committed several murders, but has never been brought to trial because of his suicide.

Baumeister was brought up in a seemingly normal family with two parents and three siblings.  He showed some odd behaviors as a child, playing with dead animals and urinating in odd places.  When in his teen years, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but received no treatment for his condition.  His education, post high school, included a few semesters at Indiana University and Butler University, but never earning a degree.

Herb married in the early 1970s and fathered three children.  His wife urged him to get mental medical help, and his father aided in getting him committed to a psychiatric hospital.

In the 1990s, several gay men were reported missing in and around the Indianapolis region in Marion County. Some of these men were known to visit certain gay bars.  Police began to question persons who were regular customers, asking if there was ever a person of interest that could be involved in some sinister events.  A few of those questioned suggested that they look into a man who went by the name of Brian Smart.  Some said that this man had spoken about killing a gay man, and attempted to kill his friend with a pool hose.

Armed with a description of Brian Smart, police staked outside of several gay bar locations.  They waited to see if they could spot someone who looked like the man in question.  They found him approaching one of the bars after parking his car.  They took notice of his license plate number, and approached him, telling him that he seemed to fit the description of the perpetrator.  They asked to search his home property, but he refused.  Later, they visited his home while he was away, asking his wife to allow them to search the property.  She refused their request.

According to an article in People Magazine, December 23,  1996, one of the children showed Mrs. Baumeister a skull that he had found on their property.  She asked him to show her where he had found it, and there, at that very place, were several other skeletal remain.

In 1996, Herb's behavior became unbearable for his wife.  She filed for divorce, and she allowed the police to search the property when Herb was on a vacation.  Eleven bodies were found in various places on the property.  Only eight of them could be identified.  Meanwhile, Herb was off to Canada.

Herb Baumeister committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.  He left a note stating that he was disappointed in the failure of his marriage and his business, Sav A Lot Thrift Stores.

Bodies of about nine men had been found along Interstate 70 between Indiana and Ohio.  Baumeister was known to take frequent business trips between Columbus and Indianapolis.  Police believe that he was responsible for the demise of these persons.

Since the story made such news, several broadcast channels have aired programs and movies depicting the case.  A documentary film, The Haunting of Fox Hollow Farm, brings forth the possibility of hauntings at the former home of Herb Baumeister.

The Travel Channel program, Ghost Adventures, explored the property.  They heard tales of Herb luring his victims from the gay bars to his home at Fox Hollow Farm and ending with their strangulation and other erotic torture which ended in their deaths.

Mrs. Baumeister and her children moved from Fox Hollow Farm back to Indianapolis where she wanted to rekindle the happier memories of her life and share those with her family.