|Real World Bio|
|Birth Date||November 23, 1943|
|Place of Birth||Eastlake, Ohio|
|Date of Death||July 6, 1999 (age 55)|
|Place of Death||SCI Rockview, Pennsylvania|
|Job||U.S. Army (discharged)|
|Pathology|| Unclassified Killer|
|Modus Operandi|| Rape|
|No. of Victims|| 2 killed|
4 other abducted
Gary Michael Heidnik was a serial rapist and murderer who abducted, tortured, and raped six African-American women, keeping them captive in his basement in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Born on November 22, 1943, his father filed for divorce because of his mother's alcoholism. Gary and his brother, Terry, went to live with their father, who remarried. Gary and Terry both hated their stepmother, but their father always sided with her when it came to conflicts. Heidnik's father punished him severely for his bed-wetting by hanging the soiled sheets by his bedroom window for everyone to see. He even dangled him out the window, shaking him by the ankles. While still a child, Heidnik fell from a tree, smashing his skull. He suffered a misshapen cranium, which is believed to have caused behavioral aberration. His schoolmates called him "football head" because of it as well. At age 17, Heidnik enlisted in the army by encouragement from his father. However, he was honorably discharged a year after, getting a full disability pension and being diagnosed with "schizoid personality disorder."
Heidnik made his first of many suicide attempts after his mother committed suicide in 1970. These attempts resulted in frequent hospitalizations. After incorporating the United Church of the Ministers of God, Heidnik founded the "Church of Heidnik" as Brother Heidnik. Receiving $1,500 investment in a Merrill Lynch account, the church made at least half a million dollars. Eventually, Heidnik was charged with aggravated assault, then multiple charges of the abduction and rape of his mentally disabled "girlfriend". While the aggravated assault charges were dropped, Heidnik served the abduction/rape charges in a mental hospital rather than a prison. He was released in April 1983. In 1985, Heidnik married a mail-order bride, Betty Disto, from the Philippines. The marriage was short-lived after various domestic abuse and infidelity issues occurred. Disto shortly found out that Heidnik had affairs with three other women. He had also forced his wife to watch while he had sex with other women. Unbeknownst to Heidnik, until his ex-wife demanded child support, Disto had given birth to his son, Jesse John Disto, after the divorce. Heidnik also had a daughter with Anjeanette Davidson, who was named Maxine Davidson.
Abductions, Capture and ExecutionEdit
Heidnik began his series of abductions and rapes in 1986. On November 25, 1986, Heidnik picked up Josefina Rivera, an African-American prostitute, in a Cadillac Coupe de Ville, then took her to his house. After having sex with her, he choked her into she was unconscious. He then chained her up in his basement, gluing clamps around her ankles, then connected them to a length of chain and secured that to a pipe. Heidnik then dug a pit in the basement floor, and Rivera was put into the pit, which was covered by a weighted board if she tried to escape or "misbehave". On December 3, 1986, Heidnik abducted the mentally-disabled Sandra Lindsay. In the past, Heidnik had gotten Lindsay pregnant, but she had an abortion, which angered him. Heidnik fed the two women irregularly, kept them half-naked and raped them repeatedly. On December 23, Heidnik brought 19-year-old Lisa Thomas to his home. He drugged her wine and put her in the basement with the other women. A week later, on January 2, 1987, Heidnik abducted Deborah Dudley, aged 22. Dudley fought Heidnik whenever she could and was beaten and put in the pit more than the others. After Dudley's abduction, Heidnik further humiliated the four women by forcing them to have sex with each other and made them eat dog food. On January 18, he abducted Jacquelyn Askins, aged 17. On February 7, Heidnik became angry with Lindsay for unknown reasons. He "punished" her by hanging her by one of her wrists from a roof bream for two days. She developed a high fever and died the next morning. Heidnik took her body upstairs and dismembered her with a power saw. He put her head into a cooking pot and cut flesh from wherever he could. Some of it he fed to his two dogs, and the rest he fed to his captives. A couple of days later, neighbors complained of a terrible smell. Police knocked on Heidnik's door, who explained that he had burnt his food. The police believed this and left.
After that, Heidnik bribed his captives into telling on one another. His first captive, Rivera, told him that the others had planned to attack him and escape. He made them deaf by driving screwdrivers through their eardrums. Heidnik started to apply electric shock to all of his captives except Rivera, who started to help him torture the others. She also had other "privileges" after apparently becoming his favorite, including being occasionally allowed upstairs to watch a movie or be raped in a more comfortable environment. Deborah Dudley died while being tortured with electric shock. Heidnik and Rivera disposed of her body and abducted Agnes Adams to replace Dudley. On March 24, 1987, Rivera asked Heidnik's permission to be allowed to visit her family. Possibly assuming she had fallen to Stockholm syndrome, therefore believing she would not run to the authorities and would return, he allowed it. Rivera went home to tell her boyfriend what had happened and called 911, and Heidnik was arrested. For his defense, Heidnik first made the unlikely claim that the woman he abducted had been in his basement when he moved into the house. When he tried to claim that he was legally insane, it was rebutted by the fact that he had earned half a million dollars at the stock market. Heidnik was convicted in court of two counts of first-degree murder, five of kidnapping, six of rape, four of aggravated assault, and one count of involuntary deviant sexual intercourse. He consequently made many suicide attempts in prison. On July 6, 1999, Heidnik was executed by lethal injection. He declined to make a final statement.
Heidnik usually abducted his captives by bringing them to his house, and proceeded to either drug them or attack them. He also tortured his captives in many ways, including rape, electric shock, and hanging by their wrists (as in the case of Linday's death).
- Unspecified date in 1976: Unnamed tenant (assaulted)
- Unspecified date in 1978: Alberta Davidson (abducted from a mental hospital, raped and sodomized; was rescued)
- November 25: Josefina Rivera, 25
- December 3: Sandra Lindsay, 24 (died on February 1987 due to starvation, excessive torture and a fever)
- December 23: Lisa Thomas, 19
- January 2: Deborah Dudley, 23 (fatally electrocuted on March 19, 1987)
- January 18: Jacqueline Askins, 17
- March 23: Agnes Adams, 24
On Criminal MindsEdit
Heidnik was mentioned in the episodes Aftermath and Cradle to Grave, where his intentions to get his victims pregnant were compared to the episode's unsubs, William Lee and Robert Reimann, respectively.
- Wikipedia's article of Heidnik
- Criminal Minds: Sociopaths, Serial Killers & Other Deviants by Moseh Dunn