Civil Discourse Now

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Herb Baumeister: how did he develop and how did he get away? On Today's Show, some questions.

   from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today we shall stream "live" from the former estate of the late alleged serial killer Herb Baumeister. Guest panelists will include Detective Cary Mulligan and intuitive researcher Marilene Isaacs. You may call 317.489.9219 with questions.

   I will preface the questions I have about the case to say "serial killers," or however one wants to label that category of murderers of more than one person in separate incidents with similar aspects as to victims and/or modus operandi.  These people develop. There are some traits at which law enforcement officials have looked. There is the "trifecta"---the three traits many of these killers share. The torture and killing, in their youths, of small animals. Early experiments with arson. Tendency to wet one's bed at an age significantly later than typical in a child's development. Another aspect, in regard to males who kill on this scale, mentioned is lack of attachment to a father figure. Charles Manson's mother was a prostitute. The men in her life were transient. Ted Bundy was raised without a father. The absence of a father is not the requisite element. Fathers need to bond with their sons.  Outright cruelty would appear to qualify as a catalyst in this category.

   If we can recognize certain patterns to the development of these people, perhaps we can address those elements in some way or ways.

   So here are my questions, in no intended order:

   1) Police were allowed on the Baumeister property by his wife. Human bones were found a short distance from the back of the house. Police had the statement of an individual that Baumeister had made inculpatory statements and had tried to induce erotic asphyxiation on the individual. Officials then drove to Lake Wawasee to grab Baumeister's son, who was with Baumeister at Baumeister's mother's condo.  As those officers drove north on U.S. 31, why did they not call the prosecutor and ask for an arrest warrant. If they did not have probable cause for murder, there would seem to have been PC for improper disposal of a human body. That would have enabled them to place him under arrest for a felony. That might have prevented his flight to Canada, where he died, allegedly as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

   2) What sense does it make that Baumeister's father, an affluent anesthesiologist, would commit his son, by then married and in his 20s, to a state-run psychiatric hospital---LaRue D. Carter---on 10th Street? There were reports of patient abuse there. The facility originally was built to treat children with psychiatric problems. Adults eventually were admitted as patients. Baumeister was kept there a month and released with a diagnosis of compulsive disorder. Otherwise he was deemed to fine, according to news reports after his death. In order to have someone committed, a family member and a physician would have had to sign an affidavit the person posed a threat to himself or others. According to one news report, Baumeister only had been married six months. In an A & E interview, his widow said she was aware Baumeister had been committed to a mental institution for a short time. She was "aware"? If this was within six months of marriage---Baumeister was described as a "newlywed"---I would think the word "aware" is a bit of an understatement. If a parent sought to commit someone's new spouse, I would think that someone would raise all kinds of hell and the experience would cause trauma years later. Also, if an affluent parent were to commit her or his child, would that person not want an upscale facility with the best of care, probably out-of-state? From comments I have read and from having lived, in 1986-87, in an IUPUI dorm only a block or so away from Larue Carter, I would think the commitment more an act of cruelty than an act of care or love.

   3) What was the deal with finances? Baumeister started "Sav-A-Lot," a thrift store---i.e., a used clothing and other items store---in conjunction with a charity from a loan for $350,000 he received from his mother. Baumeister had only recently, before that, been charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft and left employment at the BMV. How would a 501(C)(3) charity come to trust a person, in those circumstances, to run a store in conjunction with its charity?

   4) They bought 18.5 acres in Hamilton County with a huge four bedroom home that had an indoor swimming pool---with what? I find it difficult to believe Baumeister made very much money from a privatized version of a Goodwill store. Also, that part of Hamilton County is portrayed as "remote" in 1996. The land prices were going up, however.

   5) Was someone complicit with him? There were video cameras placed in the ductwork. Those cameras were vintage 1991 or thereabouts. They would have been larger than the cameras we have today. I have read nothing about Baumeister's abilities with technology. If a person was not present during the murders, the person at least would have helped set up the video.

   This was a horrible experience for the young men who died and for their families. It would appear the main culprit got away. We need to prevent such personalities from developing. Dan Hall's "The Haunting of Fox Hollow Farm" is interesting. I highly recommend it.  

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