Harvey Glatman was a bizarre monster. Before he took the lives of his victims, he would take pictures of them, which is why he is also remembered as The Glamour Girl Slayer.
The media also called him The Lonely Hearts Killer.
The serial killer targeted young and aspiring starlets, and he would take "glamour" shots of them before he raped and killed them. Taking the girl to the desert before committing these atrocious crimes was also part of his twisted killing ritual.
The Beginnings Of The Glamour Girl Slayer
Harvey Glatman was born in 1927 in New York City. Glatman showed signs of sadomasochistic tendencies from a young age, and his parents noticed this trait in their son.
When he was just a child of 3, he would tie a string to his penis and tag on it for sexual pleasure. After his mother consulted an expert about it, she was told that he would outgrow the behavior.
At the age of 4, he would tie a rope around his neck and throw the free end over the rafters and yank on it with one hand as he masturbated with the other.
This behavior continued, and when he was 11 years old, his parents found him with a swollen neck and rope burns. After his father saw him masturbating around this time, he told him the act could result in acne.
He grew up in Denver, Colorado, during the 1930s, after his family moved there. According to his mother, he was incredibly "girl shy."
Glatman's hobbies included photography and assaulting women. He also snatched purses and did burglaries.
When Harvey Glatman was just 12, his mom found him choking himself with a noose for sexual pleasure. He later confessed that it seemed like he always had a piece of rope in his hands when he was a child.
The Beginning Of His Arrests
When he was just 17 years old, he was jailed for eight months, and he was in and out of prison from then on.
He later revealed that he found the rope to be quite fascinating, and that is undoubtedly true because Harvey Glatman was put under arrest when he was just 18 for tying up and molesting a classmate at gunpoint.
Long after that, he went on assaulting women and getting arrested. He would tie women up and fondle them but would not rape or kill them.
However, even at this time, he was discovered to have a psychopathic personality. Experts claimed that "sexually perverted impulses" were the foundation of his criminality.
In 1957, Glatman relocated to Los Angeles, and he took up a job as a television repairman. However, his crime rate also increased.
It was also while here that he started to build his reputation as the Glamour Girl Slayer.
Judy Ann Dull, The Glamour Girl Slayer's First Victim
Glatman typically posed as a photographer, but after luring his victims, The Glamour Girl Slayer would quickly become a murderous monster.
He started with Judy Ann Dull, a 19-year-old model. At the time, she was in a custody battle with her ex-husband over their daughter.
Therefore, she quickly jumped at the chance to make some cash when Glatman offered her $50 to pose for a cover.
With his small frame and spectacles, none of her friends were suspicious when The Glamour Girl Slayer picked up the girl. However, as soon as they got to his apartment, Harvey Glatman raped her repeatedly at gunpoint.
That is how he lost his virginity at the age of 29.
From there, he drove off with her to the Mojave Desert and strangled her to death. He kept doing this to several women.
He later confessed to the police that he would make the women kneel down and tie them up with a five-foot rope around their ankles before looping it on their necks. After that, he would pull on the rope until the women died.
Shirley Ann Bridgeford, The Second Victim Of Harvey Glatman
The Glamour Girl Slayer's next victim was Shirley Ann Bridgeford, a 24-year-old divorced woman and model. He met her under the false name George Williams through lonely hearts.
When he went to pick up Shirley, he did it under the pretext that he would take her to the dance.
However, being The Glamour Girl Slayer, he had another plan for her as he ultimately took her to his place. While there, he tied her up, took photos of her, raped her, and then took her to the desert and killed her.
After killing the woman, he did not bury her body. Instead, he left it so that animals and the harsh desert conditions would destroy it.
Ruth Mercedo, The Glamour Girl Slayer's Third Victim
The Glamour Girl Killer found his next victim, Ruth Mercado, through a modeling agency. The 24-year-old went to the photoshoot, but she felt too sick to proceed and went back to her house.
However, the serial killer was not about to let her sickness get in his way.
The Glamour Girl Slayer went to her house and forced his way in. He raped the girl repeatedly at gunpoint throughout the night.
When morning came, he made Mercado get into his car. From there, he drove off with her to the desert and murdered her as he had done with his other victims.
Harvey Glatman would later say that he liked her and told her they were going to the desert to take more pictures. In fact, The Glamour Girl Slayer did take many photos of Mercado and made an effort to avoid killing her but could not find a solution.
In the end, he decided to end her life, but not before taking a picture of her. Apparently, he spent a lot of time with her in the desert before he finally killed her.
Lorraine Vigil, The One That Got Away
Glatman settled on his next victim, a 28-year-old woman known as Lorraine Vigil. Like a couple of his previous victims, she was involved with modeling and was registered with a modeling agency.
Harvey Glatman lied to her that he wanted a model for a true detective magazine. Glatman told her she would take her to Hollywood.
She did not find anything wrong with Glatman until he drove in the opposite direction. Her most significant source of concern was that he was driving at a very high speed.
He also did not answer the questions she was asking. Glatman did not even look at her.
Then, out of nowhere, he stopped his car, saying that the car had a flat tire. After the vehicle stopped, he pulled a gun on her and attempted to tie her up.
"Do as you're told and you won't get hurt."
Unlike his other victims, Lorraine tried to fight back. She grabbed the muzzle of the gun and tried to pry it from Glatman's hands.
He tried to talk her into letting go and promised he would not kill her, but she was not falling for it. So, they started to fight over the gun, and it accidentally discharged a bullet that grazed her thigh.
She then bit his hand, got possession of the gun, and held it on him until the police arrived. It is possible passing motorists saw what was happening and called the authorities to the scene.
It is also possible that the gun went off drew a lot of attention, and a patrolman close by responded.
The Arrest Of The Glamour Girl Slayer
When the police arrested Glatman, they charged him with assault. However, he quickly revealed he had committed three murders and even gave up a toolbox with hundreds of pictures of women Glatman had molested, including photos of the women he had killed.
The police found the photos as well as the personal belongings of the three dead women.
He did not hide anything about his crimes, and he pled guilty to the charges against him. The killer also argued that he did not like to kill, but he had to do it to keep the women from reporting him to the police.
Glatman asked to be given the death penalty, and he even opposed the automatic appeal that all death penalty cases in California receive.
On September 18, 1959, his wish came true at San Quentin State Prison when he was killed in the gas chamber. He was 32 when he died.
The Glamour Girl Slayer In The Media
Glatman was featured in a movie, Dragnet, in 1966. The film inspired a series by the same name in 1967.
His killings were also briefly discussed in My Dark Places, a memoir by James Ellroy's, further growing the popularity of the Glamour Girl Slayer.