The Secret Sits

Herb Baumeister: Part 1: Who is Brian Smart?

November 10, 2022 John W. Dodson Season 2 Episode 34
Herb Baumeister: Part 1: Who is Brian Smart?
The Secret Sits
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The Secret Sits
Herb Baumeister: Part 1: Who is Brian Smart?
Nov 10, 2022 Season 2 Episode 34
John W. Dodson

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Herbert Richard Baumeister was an American businessman and suspected serial killer. A resident of the Indianapolis suburb of Westfield, Indiana, Baumeister was under investigation for murdering over a dozen men in the early 1990s, most of whom were last seen at gay bars. Police found the remains of eleven people, eight identified, on Baumeister's property.  Baumeister committed suicide after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was later linked to a series of murders of at least twelve men along Interstate 70, which occurred in the early to mid-1980s.

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#HerbBaumeister #HerbertBaumeister #SerialKiller #Indiana #LGBT #Missing #FoxHollowFarm #Police #FBI #VirgilVandagriff #SamElliott #AlanBroussard #RogerGoodlet #JeffJones #IndianaWorld #MaryWilson #CSI #I70Strangler #Psychic #Ohio 

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Herbert Richard Baumeister was an American businessman and suspected serial killer. A resident of the Indianapolis suburb of Westfield, Indiana, Baumeister was under investigation for murdering over a dozen men in the early 1990s, most of whom were last seen at gay bars. Police found the remains of eleven people, eight identified, on Baumeister's property.  Baumeister committed suicide after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was later linked to a series of murders of at least twelve men along Interstate 70, which occurred in the early to mid-1980s.

We are looking for hometown True Crime stories for future episodes.  Please send your stories to us at: TheSecretSitsPodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on our social media at:
https://drum.io/thesecretsits

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwnfvpNBYTo9BP1sVuFsfGQ

TheSecretSitsPodcast (@secretsitspod) / Twitter
https://www.instagram.com/thesecretsitspodcast/
https://www.facebook.com/TheSecretSitsPodcast
https://www.tiktok.com/@thesecretsitspodcast?lang=en

Support the show
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/TheSecretSits

#HerbBaumeister #HerbertBaumeister #SerialKiller #Indiana #LGBT #Missing #FoxHollowFarm #Police #FBI #VirgilVandagriff #SamElliott #AlanBroussard #RogerGoodlet #JeffJones #IndianaWorld #MaryWilson #CSI #I70Strangler #Psychic #Ohio 

Ambivalent Offenders: Re-Examining History’s Most Questionable Figures
We tell the stories of these figures in the grey in an engaging style & make judgements

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the Show.

[Underscore Music]

Today on The Secret Sits, I am going to start by telling you the story of one of the heroes of today’s story, this man, however; never wanted to be identified and so we are going to refer to this man as Tony Harris, are you ready? Let’s go.

[Theme Music Start]

Welcome to The Secret Sits, I’m your host John Dodson.  Join us every Thursday as we uncover the Secrets behind the world’s most fascinating true crime cases.  You can find all episodes of The Secret Sits for free on Apple Podcast, Spotify or where ever you get your podcasts.  And if you like what you are hearing, reach out to us on Instagram and Facebook @The Secret Sits Podcast or on Twitter @SecretSitsPod. Now, on with our story.

[Theme Music Play Out]

[Under Score Music]

Tony Harris grew up in Indiana in the 1980s and 90s, as a gay man, which was no easy childhood.  Tony had grown up in a world where something as simple as a wink could get you beaten up in the streets.  When you live in this type of environment and you are gay, you end up developing something that those in the LGBTQ+ community call gaydar.  You begin to identify the subtle tells that other gay people have, now this does not mean that these gay people are still closeted, oh no, but even out gay people sometimes still act differently in public, then they would, say inside of a gay bar, where they feel safe to completely be their true authentic selves.  For Tony, who was a gay man and open about his sexuality, the 501 Club, was one of his safe spaces.  And that is where our story begins today, the 501 Club, where a mix of out and proud gay men, mix with others who have slipped into the club under the cover of the dark night into this, there one place to be open and free.  But also mixed in amongst the bar’s patrons are criminals looking for an easy mark or married straight men who would be open to a gay encounter after they have downed their first 6 beers.

As Tony took stock of who was in the bar this evening, he saw a poster on the wall, a poster that he, himself had begged the establishment to post on their wall.  It was a missing persons poster and the face featured was that of Tony’s friend Roger Goodlet.  Roger had been a regular around the gay bar scene in Indianapolis, Indiana until he had suddenly disappeared.  Tony had reported Roger missing to the local police, but because Roger was a gay adult man, who frequented gay establishments and was known to party, police showed little to no interest in his disappearance.  After about a month of ineptitude from the police department, Roger’s family hired their own private investigator to help with the case.  They had also paid to have the missing person fliers produced.  Tony, knowing who his friend was and knowing the places his friend frequented decided to plaster Roger’s missing person posters all over the gay night club scene.  

As Tony looked at the poster from a distance, he also noticed a man across the bar, he immediately assumed that this was one of the frequent straight men who came to the bar, always wanting to attempt their first homosexual experience, knowing in their own minds that it was far from their first time.  The man was acting sort of funny, he acted almost as if he had no control over his motor functions, he slouched down onto a bar stool, but his body looked like it was made of silly putty, Tony was not sure what this guy was on, but it definitely was not coke, the number one choice drug at this time.  As the man was at the bar he just sat there staring at the wall.

A gay bar can, surprisingly be a difficult place to get a drink.  Most gay bars hire hot bartenders and the patrons of the bar are desperately seeking the attention of the bartenders, and not just for drinks, so getting a sliver of the bartender’s attention to actually get a drink can be challenging.  But the man Tony was observing did not seem to be interested in catching the bartender’s attention at all, he just kept staring at the wall.  Tony watched the strange man, he knew that he had seen this man before, around town and around the gay bar scene, but the man was like boring wall paper, just sitting in the background, not even adding interest to the room.  Tony felt a sense of uneasiness around this man and yet, he was also drawn to him at the same time.  The uneasiness in his stomach, however; did not stop his feet from moving his body closer and closer to this mysterious man.  As Tony stealthy inched closer to the man, he suddenly saw and realized what the man had been staring at, because just across the bar from the man, plastered to the mirror backsplash was the missing poster for Roger Goodlet.

The man staired at the black and white photo with intent.  As Tony moved even closer, he could see the man’s tong as it quickly flicked out of his mouth, wetting his bow-shaped lips.  With that serpent like movement, Tony was startled from his daze of wonder and he suddenly felt that this man, standing right in front of him, had been the man who had taken his missing friend.  The look on the man’s face morphed into a look of hunger while staring at the photo and this made Tony think that this man may have even murdered his dear friend.  Tony was not sure where these feelings were coming from, but he was sure that they were real.  He stood close to the man who could not look away from the poster, and then he began to relax.  Tony realized that he was in one of his safe spaces, this was his comfy place where there was nothing to be afraid of, and what was he going to do, go to the police and report his feelings, they are law enforcement, not feelings enforcement.  Anyway, maybe this weird guy was perfectly normal and Tony was just working himself up about his missing friend.  There was, after all, nothing to say that Roger hadn’t just ran off the Vegas for a week without telling anyone. 

But Tony knew that if he walked away from this man right now, he would spend the rest of his life questioning if what he had felt in his gut, had been correct.  In that moment he decided to take this interaction as far as he could go.  The man turned toward Tony, they were now close enough that they were almost face to face and Tony took in all of the details of the man’s face, suddenly as the man turned to face Tony, it was as if a shadow left his face and the man changed from a sinister snake of a man into Mike Brady.  The man smiled at Tony and shot his hand out for a handshake, “Hey there.  Brian Smart, nice to meet you.”  The man stated.  As the words slipped past his lips, Tony saw the slightest quiver in the corner of the man’s mouth, deception, and Brian Smart was the worst fake name Tony could think of anyway.  Tony shook the man’s hand, but before he could let go, Brian’s hand snaked its way up Tony’s arm until he was holding on to Tony’s wrist, the man said, “What is a pretty young thing like you doing in a place like this?”  Tony took this time to study the man’s face, he was not too bad to look at and hey, maybe he was wrong about who or what this guy may be.  In this moment, Tony decided to go along with what was happening, either he would end up having a good time with this guy, or he would find out that this man is an evil snake who possibly harmed his good friend.  But Tony felt prepared for either situation and if the man was the latter of these possibilities, at least he was already prepared and he would not be taken off guard.  Tony looked at Brian and offered to buy him a drink.

Tony spent his evening chatting up the man, deceitfully named Brian Smart, he allowed the man to buy him an endless supply of drinks from the bar, drinks that Tony nursed all while playing up his level of intoxication.  Tony raucously laughed at everything Brian said, Tony was a consummate actor in this moment; and as the night wore on, Brian asked Tony of he wanted to accompany him home.  Tony had gotten to the point of inebriation where, he was intoxicated, but he was also still cognizant of what was happening around him, so he told Brian, yes, he would go home with him.  The thump-a-thump-a of the club was difficult to have a conversation over anyway, so off the pair went.

Tony was not attracted to this man, in fact he found him somewhat repulsive, especially when he considered what this man may have done to his friend.  Tony continued to act more intoxicated than he truly was, he wanted to secretly keep his wits about him so he could memorize and then recount every detail of the night to the police, if he survived the night at all.  The two men got into Brian’s car and Brian immediately began to caress Tony’s body, his lips traced Tony’s skin and Tony fained excitement and yearning in an attempt to mask his thundering heart in his chest, the truth was that Tony was scared to death.  

Because Brian was driving, he had to keep his attention on the road, Tony used this time to memorize Brian’s face, but there was nothing there to memorize, this man was just nondescript, there was nothing that stood out, nothing that you could describe outside of what every other person looks like.  Tony could tell that Brian had money, after all he had purchased all of the drinks that evening, he had a nice car and he was wearing expensive, but, ill-fitting cloths.  When the first awkward moment of silence happened in the car, Tony broke the silence, “So where are we headed?  You don’t seem like a local boy.”  

Brain smiled at the question and he had a quick answer, “I’m from Ohio as a matter of fact, just in town for a couple of months to get a house fixed up for the new residents.” 

Tony responded “I was sure I would have spotted a cutie like you if you had been around before.”

Brian’s smile was lit up by the oncoming headlights, “Well, I’ve been around a few times before so I guess you didn’t spot me.”

The conversation turned to more mundane things and Tony asked Brian, “So that is what you do then? You fix up houses?”  Brian began to tilt his head from side to side, attempting to work a kink out of his neck and he said, “No, I don’t fix up houses for a living.  I’m just doing it as a favor for some friends.  They couldn’t be here to get the place pretty for the new people so I offered to do it for them.”

Tony realized that they had left Indianapolis far behind and they were now traveling out into what he called rich people territory, “So where is this amazing house then?” Tony asked, masking the nervous quiver in his voice.

“You’ll see soon enough.” Brian said, “Might have to pick your jaw up off the floor when you do.  It is gorgeous.  Well, it was gorgeous even before I got my hands on it, but I don’t like to blow my own trumpet. Toot toot.”  To this Tony could only feign a small grin.  Tony asked Brian, “So what do you do with yourself?”  Brian replied, “You’ll find out soon enough about that too.”  Tony forced himself to continue to flirt with the man as they continued to drive into the distant dark night.

Finally, Brian slowed down and made a turn into a driveway, there was a stone wall and Tony could barely make out a horizontal wooden sign, it read, something, something Farm.  Well, that was almost useless, the only word Tony was sure of was Farm and they were in Farm country.  As the car ambled up the driveway a giant Tudor style mansion came into view.  There were no lights and the house was backlit, making it seem more ominous than an ordinary house, this looked more like a house from a horror movie.  Perhaps Brian felt his companion’s uneasiness at the sight of the house and he said to Tony, “Sorry it’s a bit spooky.  There’s no power in the main house yet.  Don’t worry though, the pool is heated and there are lights down there.”

Tony fought his trepidation and said, “A swimming pool too. Wow.”  Brian pulled his car into the garage, there were three cars crammed into the garage and Tony thought, that is a lot of cars for an empty house.  They entered the home through the garage door, and it certainly seemed like no one lived here, in the darkened house, Tony could see boxes of things stacked all over the house and all of the furniture was covered in sheets, hiding anything that may want to pop out and scare you, to Tony it was as if he had stepped directly into a scary movie.

Brian grabbed Tony’s wrist and led him down a spiral staircase, the bottom of the staircase was washed with a blue, almost ghostly looking light.  As the two men entered the room which contained the home’s indoor pool, Tony looked around the room in horror.  The room was eerily quiet, the pool taking up almost the entire room, lights from the pool cast light into the room, light that had a gentle sway to it, the way light moves as it comes from beneath the depths of water.  But what shocked Tony the most were the people, at least that was what Tony thought.  But they were not real people, what Tony saw surrounding the pool were dozens of mannequins, standing in different poses, in different groups, posed all around the pool, the murky glow of the light from the pool, lighting them enough to be seen, but not enough to be completely identifiable.  Brian had not let go of Tony wrist and he must have felt his pulse either skip a beat, or speed up rapidly because he turned to Tony and said, “Oh don’t mind these guys, they keep me company when I am working down here.  It gets lonely up here in this big house, all alone.”  This did little to calm Tony’s nerves, but he chocked down his fear and he simply replied, “Good thing that you’ve found me then?”

Brian smiled at his latest catch, his teeth widened like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland and he began to unbutton Tony’s shirt.  Tony knew that things were going too fast, and he began to think of what to do next.  Brian sensed his uneasiness and he offered Tony another drink, Tony told him no thank you, he had, had enough to drink at the bar.  The shadow began to return to Brian’s face, the shadow that had clung to him as he stared deeply at the missing person’s poster at the bar. Tony immediately noticed and he pipped up, “Don’t let me stop you though.  This is still a party.”  The shadow receded once again and Brian unexpectedly let out a small laugh, almost a giggle and he said, “Alright, let me just freshen up a bit.  Don’t go wandering now.”  And with that Brian walked away and out of sight.

The instant that Brian disappeared from sight, Tony began his sleuthing, he quickly made his way around the room looking for any signs that his friend had been to this house.  Tony found a small bar which had been set up in the room, here hidden amongst the bottles of liquor, Tony found some drugs, he was glad he had refused the drink offered by Brian.  Tony suddenly could hear the sound of footsteps coming back down the spiral staircase, he rushed to the side of the pool, just as Brian’s feet came into sight.  When Brian reentered the pool room, Tony immediately recognized the signs of someone on coke, Brain’s previously maniacal smile had now turned into one of a crazed person and he had the trade mark twitches of someone on coke to go along with it.  Brian, twitching and smiling asked Tony, “What do you say, pal, you want to take a swim?”  

Tony did not want to go for a swim, but this did present the perfect opportunity for Tony to be out of arms reach of this strange man, at least just for a few moments.  Tony slipped out of his cloths and he slid his naked body into the pool.  Tony figured that Brian would also get into the pool, after all there was now a naked man swimming in his pool, a man, he had brought home from a gay bar.  But when Tony looked up from the water, he watched as Brain walked to the bar to mix himself a cocktail.  Brian then removed his clothing, but he still did not get into the water, instead he just stood by the pool, in all his glory, sipping on his drink, while Tony began to swim laps in the pool.

Overall, this was a stalling tactic for Tony, he had to figure out what to do next.  If Brian was a stone-cold killer, he would need all of his strength to fight the man off, but he was slowly tiring his body by swimming laps back and forth.  Conversely, Tony thought, if Brian was just a normal, but creepy guy, he also might need his energy if he had to go to bed with this man, though most of his energy in this situation would be devoted to imagining that he was with anyone other than Brian Smart.  As Tony approached the side of the pool, the decision was made for him and Brian reached out his hand to help pluck Tony from the water.  Brian guided Tony to a lounge chair next to the pool and pushed him down into the chair.  The shadow began to reappear on Brian’s face and he leaned down to Tony and he said to him in a rough whisper, “I learned this really neat trick.  If you choke someone while you are having sex it feels really good.  You get this rush.”  He then reached just below the chair Tony was sitting on, almost paralyzed with fear, and he produced a short length of a rubber hose.  “You should see their faces when you do it.  Their lips go blue.  That is how you know you are doing it right.”

Tony did not even have time to respond to Brian before Brian had wrapped the hose around Tony’s neck, squeezing it tight.  Brian reached down and began to manually stimulate Tony with his rough and shaking hand.  Brian stared into Tony’s eyes as they began to darken, Tony’s lips began to turn blue as he sneered at Brian and he thought to himself, this is how Roger died.

Tony had no strength left, he could not fight back against his would-be killer, the only thing he could do was to stop moving and play dead.  And that is what he did, Tony went limp, he stopped moving at all and despite this, Brian continued to squeeze the hose around his neck and he continued to work on his manhood.  Just when Tony thought it was all over, Brian loosened the hose around his neck and he said, “Tony, Tony, are you dead” Tony forced his heavy eyelids to open, he took a painful gulp of air and he could already feel the bruises sprouting up all around his neck.  Tony looked up at Brian’s face, the shadow was still there, but as soon as Brian realized that Tony was still alive, the shadow, once again slipped away. Brian spoke excitedly, “Jesus Christ.  You scared the shit out of me.  You know people have died doing that?  There have been accidents.”

As Tony struggled to inhale and he seethed back at Brian “Was that what happened to Roger Goodlet?  An accident?  How many more accidents have you had?”  Whatever reaction Tony had expected from this accusatory statement toward Brian, he did not receive, because at this point Brian melted back into his awe shucks act and said, “You’ve had too much to drink.  Why don’t we sleep it off and try again later.”

Brian then spun around and attempted to sit in the chair that was still being used by Tony, Tony quickly slipped out of the chair just as Brian landed in it, he almost immediately began snoring.  Whatever Brian had taken earlier must have kicked in hard.  Tony clumsily made his way back to his pile of cloths on the edge of the pool and he got himself dressed.  He quietly made his way back to the spiral staircase and he climbed the stairs in a blind panic.  As Tony reached the top of the stairs, he staggered around in the darkness of the desolate mansion, he could not tell where he was going as he made his way through room after room of the dark house.  Tony spotted a set of big bay windows, this was clearly the living room, he stopped here to catch his breath.  Through the window Tony could see the long driveway, a shimmering path that led to freedom and away from this nightmare.  But then Tony stopped to think and he gave himself a good whack in the face, he was still alive.  He slapped himself one more time for good measure, why had he come to this house, in the middle of now where?  He had come to find out about his friend Roger.  Remembering that Brian was passed out down stairs in a drug induced sleep, he had the entire house to himself, he could look anywhere he wanted for any proof he could find.

Tony spent the next hour or so searching the dimly lit house.  What he soon discovered was that this was no empty house, underneath the dust sheeting covering the furniture, Tony found a well lived in house, the rooms were lived in, there were women’s cloths in the closet and children’s toys in the smaller bedrooms, but there was nothing significant for Tony to find, no red herring, no proof.  Tony slowly and quietly made his way back down the staircase to the pool room, the light still bouncing around the room from the water.  Brian was still passed out in the chair, naked, with his arms and legs sprawled out wildly in all directions.  There had to be something, if he could only find an ID, with this psycho’s real name, at least that would be something he could take to police.  As Tony turned his back to Brian, he began to look for a wallet in his pants, he could feel the weight within the garment, but before he could obtain this valuable clue, he heard Brian hiss from behind him, “Are you robbing me, Tony?”

Tony froze and before he turned back to the monster who had been sleeping in the chair, he fixed his face and plastered it with a fake smile, “I thought you were going to sleep forever.  Come on, take me back into town.  I’ve got to work tomorrow.”

Tony tossed the pants to Brian, who caught them with the reflexes of a cat and certainly not someone who was still incapacitated by drugs.  Brian said, “Sure thing, man.  Hey listen, you are a really good sport.  You really know how to play around.  We should make this a regular thing.  What do you say?”

Tony wanted to scream and run and never see this man again, but he turned and said, “Sure.  That would be great.  But seriously, can we get going?”  Brian drove Tony back to town; they took the same blue Buick with Ohio plates that they had arrived in.  The two cracked jokes the entire drive and both acted as if everything was fine and normal.  As he dropped Tony off, Brian told him to meet him at the 501 club again the next week and with that, Brian sped off, going so fast that Tony could not make out his license plate.  Tony climbed into his car, sat in the driver’s seat and tried to gather his thoughts.

After taking a few minutes just sitting in his car, Tony decided to go directly to the police station to report what had taken place.  But as Tony recounted the events of his evening at the police station, the police told him that his story was outlandish and then they told him that if he did not leave, they would arrest him, at this point the police believed that Tony was high on drugs, there was no way his story could be true.  Tony was in shock that the police did not believe him, why had they not believed him? Just because he was gay, or because the assault involved homosexual sex practices so they would simply rather just, not be involved maybe?  Tony left the station, but he did not give up, instead Tony headed to the local FBI offices, but after recounting his story again for the FBI, they also told Tony to be on his way, how dare he come to their office and waste their time with his outlandishly made-up stories.  Tony, would not give up and next he made his way to the office of a private investigator, to ask for help.

[Music Change]

Virgil Vandagriff was a former Marion County Sheriff’s Detective who now owned his own private investigator’s office and Virgil’s office specialized in missing person cases.  Virgil had been involved in some of Indiana’s most infamous cases including the 1978 Burger Chef murders, which remain unsolved to this day.  Virgil had not just been some average detective, he had been a veteran of the major crimes’ unit, until he retired and opened his own PI business.  While on the force Virgil was somewhat of a loose cannon, but not in a bad way, in fact, his approach to cases made him pretty popular in the local police force.  Virgil had shockingly white hair, and grey eyebrows and a bushy grey moustache to go along with it, Sam Elliott would absolutely play Virgil Vandagriff in a movie about his storied life.

In 1994, the mother of Alan Broussard came to Virgil’s office to ask for his assistance in finding her missing son.  She had last seen her son as he left to go to a local gay bar, but he had never returned home.  

During this time, it was policy in Indianapolis that a person could not be reported missing until 24 hours had gone by, and that seems pretty quick, but not so fast; after 24 hours had elapsed, you then had to wait 30 more days for a detective to search for the missing person, before they would be actually reported to the missing persons bureau.  Having to wait 30 days to have someone reported as missing was crazy and because of all the red tape around the process, missing people in Indianapolis were rarely found by the police.  Because of this, the police around the city would hand out Virgil’s business cards to the family and friends of missing persons, his agency did not have to wade through all of the red tape that the police had to, this is what made missing person’s cases the mainstay of Virgil’s business.

After Alan Broussard’s mother had showed up in his office, Virgil was not immediately concerned for Alan’s wellbeing, Alan was a man in his physical prime, he was a gay man and he was known to have bouts of heavy drinking.  At first, Virgil thought that Alan would show up and explain that he had gone somewhere like Las Vegas for a week of raucous partying.  But this did not prove to be true and Alan never came home.  

Virgil was not well versed in the local gay culture or bar scene, but that did not stop him from his investigations.  This was the part of town he needed to be in, if he were to figure out what was had happened to Alan Broussard.  So, Virgil hit the streets, or bars as it were, he walked with an air of confidence, but he lacked the haughty judgment seen in many of the local police officers when they had to patrol this same area.  Virgil walked amongst the drag queens, twinks and leather daddies without raising an eyebrow.  This laidback acceptance and attitude from Virgil made the gay community trust Virgil more than they did the local police.  While investigating, Virgil created a web of contacts that stretched across all of the notable gay bars and clubs around Indiana.  He posted missing person’s fliers in every bar and nightclub he went to.  While inside one bar, Virgil noticed a gay magazine titled, Indiana World, this was a local gay lifestyle rag that was printed on plain paper, as Virgil perused the paper, he turned to the back page and there he saw a story about a local gay man named Jeff Jones, who had disappeared the prior summer.  This story made something in Virgil’s mind click and he asked a friend from the missing person’s bureau to look up Jones’ file.  When the photo of Jeff Jones came up, alarm bells began to ring in Virgil’s mind, because Jeff Jones looked extremely similar to Alan Broussard. 

Virgil returned to his office to find his secretary, Connie, in the mist of comforting an older woman.  Connie explained that this woman was the mother of one Mr. Roger Goodlet, another young gay man who had just disappeared.  The story was very similar to Alan Broussard, Roger sometimes drank too much and he was way too trusting in people.  Virgil decided to go to his contacts at the Indianapolis police with what he had put together thus far, because to him, it seemed as if the city had a new serial killer targeting local gay men.  But even his old buddies on the police force were not interested in what Virgil had put together so far, some gay guys were missing, so what, good riddance, some of the officers even thought.

But Virgil was not one to give up and he found one ally in the Indianapolis police department, Detective Mary Wilson.  Mary had worked in the sex crimes division where she specialized in abnormal psychology.  This specialty was put to good use tracking down rapists and other sexually motivated crimes, but Mary now worked in the missing person’s department, she had to give herself a break from the brutality of her work in the sex crimes division and she also had a personal goal to help stem the flow of unsolved missing persons cases around the city.

Mary had worked the cases of 12 young boys and men who had been murdered between Indiana and Ohio between June of 1980 and October of 1991, she connected the dots and theorized that one perpetrator had been behind all of these killings.  Once again, because the victims in these cases were all gay men, Mary received little to no support from her fellow officers during her investigation.  Virgil told Mary that he would assist her in her investigation pro bono and the two began working the case of the missing gay men together.  Virgil and Mary continued to canvass the local gay scene and they began to pick up some leads.  They discovered that Roger Goodlet had been in a bar named Our Place the night that he went missing, one acquaintance of Rogers told the pair that he had seen Roger get into a light blue car with Ohio plates.  The Ohio plates made Mary believe that her hypothesis was correct and these missing men were connected to the 12 deceased men she had already been investigating, this was the case known to the public as “The I-70 Strangler”.  

But this tidbit of information was all that Mary and Virgil could dig up and the case went cold once again, that is until a good friend of Roger Goodlet showed up at Virgil’s office with a crazy story that he desperately needed someone to believe.  Tony entered the private investigator’s office and he once again recounted the story about the crazy man with his terrifying house filled with mannequins.  Virgil sat and intently listened to every detail of Tony’s story, after Tony had finished recounting the events of the evening, Virgil took Tony to meet with detective Mary Wilson.  Within the same hour, Detective Wilson began driving Tony around in her car, they explored most of the well to do neighborhoods that lay just outside of the city.  They looked at dozens of properties that had names ending in Farm, but none of these properties seemed familiar to Tony.  The daylight made everything look different.

Detective Wilson made the decision to have plainclothes patrolmen stakeout every know gay establishment in town and she gave Tony one clear and simple directive, spread the word around town and if he or any of his friends could obtain the plate number from this mysterious man’s car, she would arrest the man, and put an end to his reign of terror.

The following Wednesday was the day Tony had agreed to see Brian again, no one had seen Brian around town, thus far and the police department quickly pulled all of the plain clothed officers from the local gay bars, they did not want to waist their work force and they did not want to be noticed lingering outside of the establishments Detective Wilson had stationed them around.  Virgil assigned one of his PIs to stakeout the 501 Club on Wednesday evening, the investigator stayed at the club all night watching for Brian or the blue Buick, but as morning broke, the investigator left empty handed.  Brian had stood Tony up.

As the case, once again grew cold, Detective Mary Wilson was moved on to other cases, the police force stopped providing her with the resources to continue pursuing the case.  Virgil Vandagriff; however, was not about to give up and he continued the search for this serial killer, spending money out of his own pockets if he had to, he knew he had to catch this guy and he knew that he may be the only person willing and capable of doing so.  Virgil was not just an old-fashioned detective, he used all of the latest technology and techniques in his pursuit of justice.

Virgil’s secretary, Connie, who had been so sweet and supportive to Tony when he first appeared in the office, soon became good friends with him.  Tony continued to make regular visits to the PI office over the following year.  Tony expressed to Connie that he was very frustrated with himself, due to his inability to remember the location of Brian Smart’s house.  Then Connie had the bright idea to hook Tony up with a psychic located in Ohio, her name was Wanda.  Wanda listened to the interview tapes of Tony recounting his experience to Virgil and she had some visions based on these tapes.  When Wanda was finally able to speak with Tony, she gave him a dire warning, speaking to Tony over the phone, the woman said to him, “You must never go back to that house, Tony.  I see a man handcuffed to a bed.  Tied up and spread-eagled.  I see pictures being taken while he is being strangled.  His tongue is swollen and purple and hanging out of his mouth.  And the eyes, oh the eyes.  Tony, you must never go back.  This is a hell house.”

Join us next week, on The Secret Sits as we continue our story, and find out if they are ever able to locate, Brian Smart.  We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows.