Convicted murderer Charles Schmid brags about his crimes

Convicted murderer Charles Schmid brags about his crimes


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Fifteen-year-old Alleen Rowe is killed by Charles Schmid in the desert outside Tucson, Arizona. Earlier in the night, Schmid allegedly had said to his friends, “I want to kill a girl! I want to do it tonight. I think I can get away with it!” Schmid went on to kill three other teenage girls before being caught by police.

Constantly trying to compensate for his short stature, Charles Schmid wore oversized cowboy boots stuffed with rags to boost up his natural 5-foot, 3-inch stance. He was also a well-known pathological liar, telling girls that he had terminal diseases and that he had connections to the mafia. To his friends, he constantly bragged about his sexual exploits.

When Schmid was 22, he enlisted John Saunders and Mary French to assist in killing Alleen Rowe. They lured the girl out to the desert where Schmid raped her and then smashed her head with a rock before they each took turns digging a shallow grave in which to bury her. Providing alibis for each other, the threesome allowed police to write off Rowe’s disappearance as a runaway case. Most of Tuscon’s teen community had already heard rumors that Schmid, Saunders, and French were responsible, but no one came forward.

The following year, 17-year-old Gretchen Fritz, who had been secretly dating Schmid, disappeared, along with her younger sister Wendy. Schmid, who had killed the sisters in the desert, couldn’t resist telling someone, so he enlisted Richard Bruns’ help in burying the bodies.

Schmid went on to kill two other teenaged girls. He later bragged about killing four people, but if there was a fourth, it was a teenaged boy that he killed before he met Rowe. Bruns soon began to fear that Schmid would kill his own girlfriend, and he therefore told the police about the Fritz murders about three months later.

The subsequent trial gained national attention as an example of the depravity of young people in the 1960s. Schmid was convicted and sentenced to death, but he survived because the Supreme Court invalidated most death sentences in 1972. Later that year, he escaped from state prison, only to be caught a few days later. He died in 1975.


Top 10 Stupid Mistakes That Ended A Serial Killer’s Career – 2020

Stupid mistakes happen to us all. Generally, we walk away from them with a small life lesson, maybe some bumps and bruises, or wishing we would&rsquove just ordered the cheeseburger. We live low-stakes lives. But, with a high-stakes life, like if you happen to be a serial killer, a stupid blunder could destroy your entire career. Let&rsquos look at the top 10 stupidest things that ended a serial killer&rsquos career.


Charles Schmid childhood

Charles Howard "Smitty" Schmid, Jr. was an illegitimate child adopted by Charles and Katharine Schmid. He had a difficult relationship with his adoptive father Charles, whom Katharine Schmid later divorced. When the adopted boy tried to hook up with his biological mother, she angrily told him never to come back.

Despite doing poorly at school, he was an accomplished athlete, he excelled at gymnastics and even led his high school to a State Championship. Just before his graduation Schmid stole tools from the school’s machine shop and was suspended. He never returned to school.

When he turned 23, he began living on his own. On his parents’ property with a new car and motorcycle. He even received an allowance, which he mainly spent on parties and picking up girls. He was able to sing and play a guitar. His peers admired him.

Charles Schmid at high school


9 James &ldquoWhitey&rdquo Bulger


Boston&rsquos most notorious crime boss and murderer James &ldquoWhitey&rdquo Bulger was killed behind bars on October 30th, 2018. Whitey had many enemies as he was a known informant for the F.B.I. He was serving a sentence for his involvement in 11 murders when he was transferred from the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma to Hazelton, West Virginia. Less than 12 hours after the transfer, Whitey was killed.

Whitey was 89-years-old and wheelchair-bound when his two attackers wheeled him into a blind spot on the surveillance cameras and beat him to death with a padlock stuffed inside a sock. The beating was so severe it displaced his eyeballs and prison officials said he was &ldquounrecognizable&rdquo. One of the main suspects behind the murder was former Mafia hitman Fotios &ldquoFreddy&rdquo Geas who was serving a life sentence for the slaying of the Genovese crime family boss in 2003.

A close friend of the Bulger family said, &ldquoI hate to be morbid, but knowing the way of person he was, it&rsquos probably a long time coming, seeing that he was responsible for so many other families and people&rsquos misery over the years. There&rsquos an old saying, &lsquoWhat goes around comes around.’&rdquo


Vicious ‘Pied Piper’ butchered in prison in 󈨏

It was 30 years ago that a small man with a large ego was “shanked” in the Arizona State Prison at Florence – stabbed with makeshift prison knives nearly two dozen times in the head and chest and left in a puddle of blood.

Two fellow inmates administered the ultimate attitude adjustment, and when Charles H. Schmid Jr. died 10 days later at a Maricopa County hospital, his days as the so-called “Pied Piper of Tucson” were at an inglorious end.

His adoptive parents declined to claim his body, and prison officials buried him in the prison cemetery.

Schmid had gained national notoriety in the 1960s, including feature stories in Life and Time magazines, for the brutal murders of three young Tucson girls.

This was an era before mass murders and serial killers had become disquietingly common phenomena, and Tucson was horrified.

Schmid was born July 8, 1942, to an unwed mother, adopted as a dayold infant by Charles and Katharine Schmid, who owned and operated a nursing home in Tucson.

Growing up, the younger Schmid proved an indifferent student at Tucson High School, though he excelled at gymnastics. He had a muscular frame but stood only 5 feet 4.

He had a generous allowance (said to amount to $300 a month), a car and motorcycle, factors that – coupled with a handsome countenance and devil-may-care attitude – enhanced his appeal to a steady stream of adoring young girls, hence his sobriquet of “Pied Piper.”

While still in his teens, he had his own small house on his parents’ property where he drank and partied frequently with friends, his activities largely unmonitored. He dropped out of school during his senior year and like to “cruise” Speedway Boulevard.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, then a Tucson Police Department detective who investigated the Schmid case, said Schmid tried to make up for his diminutive stature by packing his oversize cowboy boots with rags and flattened beer cans, adding about 3 inches to his height.

Schmid was an Elvis Presley admirer, dyed his reddish-brown hair black, and wore it heavily greased and slicked back. Investigators were surprised to learn he wore makeup to darken his skin, added a “beauty mark” on his cheek and wore a heavy layer of lip balm. At the time of his arrest, he had a bandage on his nose, which he said he had broken.

Whatever it took, acquaintances said, Schmid liked to attract attention to himself, fostering an image of someone willing to take chances.

He told his 18-year-old friend John Saunders in 1964 that he “wanted to kill someone” to see how it felt and to see if he could get away with it, and he selected Alleen Rowe, a 15-year-old Palo Verde High School student, as the victim.

He asked one of his girlfriends, Mary Rae French, another Palo Verde student, to arrange a date between Rowe and Saunders. Rowe declined French’s invitation and several follow-up calls from Schmid, but finally agreed when they came to her house after her mother had gone to work for the evening.

That was May 31, 1964. Rowe was never seen alive again.

Saunders later would testify that he and Schmid, accompanied by French, took her to a desert area near what now is the intersection of East Golf Links and South Harrison roads. There, the men bashed her skull in with rocks and buried her in a shallow grave.

Schmid’s ego prompted him to boast of their crime to various friends, including a new girlfriend, Gretchen Fritz, daughter of a Tucson heart surgeon, whom he met about five months after the Rowe slaying.

That relationship soured, but Fritz refused to let it drop, allegedly holding a diary Schmid said she had stolen from him as leverage. He told friends he had written details of the killing of a 16-year-old youth in California in it.

Dupnik said no such diary ever was found, and he expressed doubts that it existed.

After Saunders left Tucson to join the Navy, Schmid befriended Richie Bruns, a 17-year-old “graduate” of the youth correctional facility at Fort Grant. Schmid shared details of the Rowe killing with him and vowed that he would “get” Fritz.

On the evening of Aug. 16, 1965, Fritz, 17, and her 13-year-old sister, Wendy, left home to go to a drive-in. They didn’t return.

Though police initially considered them runaways, later testimony revealed that they had been killed at Schmid’s house and that he had taken the bodies to the North Side, where he left them lying in a remote desert area.

Bruns moved to Ohio to live with a grandmother but, apparently fearing Schmid would kill again, called police to tell them what he knew about the Rowe murder and what he suspected about the Fritz disappearances.

Based on Bruns’ information, police arrested Schmid and Saunders. Dupnik recalled that Saunders appeared remorseful, confessed to his crimes and tried to help investigators find Rowe’s grave. He was unable to find it. Schmid, after his conviction, led police to Rowe’s remains.

Dupnik said he interrogated Schmid after his arrest. “He said a lot of things, very, very bizarre – some true, some not. In my opinion, he was schizophrenic.” Schmid remained arrogant and uncooperative throughout, he recalled, and refused to take a polygraph test.

Saunders was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the Rowe slaying. In Schmid’s case, the jury took only 30 minutes to find the 23-year-old guilty, and on March 25, 1966, he was sentenced to die for the Fritz murders. The sentence eventually was commuted to life in prison.

Later, he was convicted in the Rowe slaying and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison.

He tried to escape from prison by concealing himself inside a hollow gymnastics exercise “horse” in October 1972 but failed. His second escape attempt proved successful two months later, but after three days he was recaptured in Tucson’s railyard.

In 1974, he officially changed his name to Paul David Ashley. On March 20, 1975, he was stabbed, and he died of his injuries March 30.

Records are not kept on visitors to the prison cemetery, but Bart Graves, prison spokesman, said the chaplain who has dealt with cemetery visitors during the past nine years has not seen a single visitor to Schmid’s-Ashley’s grave.

The “Pied Piper” has become a grisly historical footnote.

Paul L. Allen can be reached at 573-4588 and [email protected] For more history coverage, go to www.tucsoncitizen.com/history.

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.


April 1: 2007: Franklin Gallimore Jr and Grace Thorpe were shot to death at Grace’s home, 1310 Post Ave, Elmont, NY 11003 by their son Franklin III because he was angry that they were evicting him. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Upcoming or Current Court Appearances
Feb. 5: Robert Smothers and Samantha Johnson prelim for the murder of Jeremy Lind.

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Alcatraz closes its doors

Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco‘s Bay closes down and transfers its last prisoners. At its peak period of use in 1950s, “The Rock,” or “America’s Devil Island,” housed over 200 inmates at the maximum-security facility. Alcatraz remains an icon of American prisons for its harsh conditions and record for being inescapable.

The twelve-acre rocky island, one and a half miles from San Francisco, featured the most advanced security of the time. Some of the first metal detectors were used at Alcatraz. Strict rules were enforced against the unfortunate inmates who had to do time at Alcatraz. Nearly complete silence was mandated at all times.

Alcatraz was first explored by Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775, who called it Isla de los Alcatraces (Pelicans) because of all the birds that lived there. It was sold in 1849 to the U.S. government. The first lighthouse in California was on Alcatraz. It became a Civil War fort and then a military prison in 1907.

The end of its prison days did not end the Alcatraz saga. In March 1964, a group of Sioux claimed that the island belonged to them due to a 100-year-old treaty. Their claims were ignored until November 1969 when a group of eighty-nine Native Americans representing the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied the island. They stayed there until 1971 when AIM was finally forced off the island by federal authorities.

The following year, Alcatraz was added to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It is now open for tourism.


6 Most Evil Serial Killers Brutally Murdered in Prison

Studies had shown that prison can be a violent place, filled with potentially dangerous offenders living together in often overcrowded cellblocks. Believe it or not, serial killers are not the ones who have the most power behind bars. In at least 6 cases, even the evilest killers became victims of violence, leading to their brutal deaths.

The infamous autopsy photo of Lee Roy Martin. The killer supposedly died with a smile on his face.

Lee Roy Martin

Lee Roy Martin, responsible for at least 4 murders of young girls, is known for his communications with the Gaffney Ledger editor Bill Gibbons in which he gave Gibbons a list of names and locations of the women he had killed.

Martin, also known as the Gaffney Strangler, was found stabbed to death by another prison inmate, Kenneth Rumsey on May 31, 1972. Rumsey later took his own life in prison.

Charles Schmid at the preliminary hearings before the trial.

Charles Schmid

Known for the brutal murders of three young Tucson girls and his boastful ego, Charles Schmid had received the ultimate prison attitude adjustment.

After being sentenced to death and failing a few attempts to escape from prison, “The Pied Piper of Tucson” finally executed his prison break in 1965. On November 11, Schmid escaped from prison with a fellow triple murderer, Raymond Hudgens. Following their escape, the fugitives took four people hostage on a ranch in Arizona and within days, were finally recaptured and returned to prison.

On March 10, 1975, Schmid was stabbed 47 times by two fellow prisoners during a prison brawl.

The mugshot of Thor Nis Christiansen.

Thor Nis Christiansen

In 1980, a Danish-American serial killer Thor Nis Christiansen was sentenced to life in prison for killing 4 women (three of which had a similar appearance) between November 20, 1976, and April 18, 1979.

Christiansen had been captured after his fifth intended victim, Lydia Preston, escaped with a bullet in her head. On July 11, 1979, Preston accidentally met Christiansen in the Bottom Line Bar in Hollywood and reported him to police, who promptly arrested him. After the arrest, Santa Barbara County investigators realized they had investigated Christiansen as a suspect in 1977.

On March 30, 1981, Christiansen was found dead in the exercise yard at Folsom State Prison with a single stab wound in his chest. To this day, his killer is still unidentified, although psychiatrists had warned that Christiansen would be in danger in prison, due to the sexual nature of his murders, and his youthful, blond appearance.

Albert DeSalvo

After being sentenced to life in prison in 1967 and escaping a mental hospital in February that year, Albert DeSalvo, the self-admitted Boston Strangler, was transferred to the Walpole maximum security prison.

On November 25, 1973, DeSalvo was found stabbed to death in the prison infirmary. Robert Wilson, who was associated with the Winter Hill Gang, was tried for DeSalvo’s murder but the trial ended in a hung jury – and no one was ever convicted of his murder. Walpole inmates continue to say nothing about the crime and it today remains unsolved.

Léopold Dion

Leopold Dion, the infamous Canadian sex offender and serial killer, sexually abused 21 boys, killing at least four, within a period of two months in 1963. The “Monster of Pont-Rouge” lured his victims posing as a photographer and was arrested the day after his last murder.

On 17 November 1972, Dion was stabbed to death by a fellow inmate named Normand “Lawrence d’Arabie” Champagne, who was later found not guilty of this crime by reason of insanity.

Jeffrey Dahmer in court. (CORBIS)

Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the most infamous American serial killers and sex offenders, responsible for 17 murders, has the longest record of life-threatening attacks in prison.

After being transferred from a solitary confinement, where he had been placed due to concerns for his physical safety, to a less secure unit, Dahmer was attacked twice.

In July 1994, an inmate attempted to slash Dahmer’s throat with a razor blade while the Milwaukee Cannibal was returning to his cell from a church service in the prison chapel. Dahmer escaped the incident with superficial wounds.

Four months later, while doing janitorial work in the prison gym, Dahmer and another inmate, Jesse Anderson, was severely beaten by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver with a broomstick handle. Dahmer died of severe head trauma while on his way to the hospital in an ambulance. Anderson died two days later.


1964 A killer who can’t keep his mouth shut

Fifteen-year-old Alleen Rowe is killed by Charles Schmid in the desert outside Tucson, Arizona. Earlier in the night, Schmid allegedly had said to his friends, “I want to kill a girl! I want to do it tonight. I think I can get away with it!” Schmid went on to kill three other teenage girls before being caught by police.

Constantly trying to compensate for his short stature, Charles Schmid wore oversized cowboy boots stuffed with rags to boost up his natural 5-foot, 3-inch stance. He was also a well-known pathological liar, telling girls that he had terminal diseases and that he had connections to the mafia. To his friends, he constantly bragged about his sexual exploits.

When Schmid was 22, he enlisted John Saunders and Mary French to assist in killing Alleen Rowe. They lured the girl out to the desert where Schmid raped her and then smashed her head with a rock before they each took turns digging a shallow grave in which to bury her. Providing alibis for each other, the threesome allowed police to write off Rowe’s disappearance as a runaway case. Most of Tuscon’s teen community had already heard rumors that Schmid, Saunders, and French were responsible, but no one came forward.


Pied Piper of Tucson: Twisted 1960s killings by Charles Howard Schmid, Jr.

Charles Howard Schmid, Jr., was a little pipsqueak of a guy, standing just about 5'3" tall.

To compensate, he bragged non-stop and wore freaky makeup and oversized cowboy boots, which he stuffed with socks, rags, and crushed tin cans to add inches.

When all that failed to pump up his ego, he killed girls.

In the early 1960s, Schmid, the adopted son of a nursing home owner, was a fixture on a sleazy strip in Tucson, Arizona, known as the Speedway. He was a sight to see.

Concealing Schmid's naturally handsome face was a bizarre mask of his own design - dark tan pancake makeup, white lipstick, and hair dyed jet-black. He topped it off with a beauty mark on his cheek made of putty and axle grease.

He told wild tales of sexual conquests. "I can manifest my neurotical emotions, emancipate an epicureal instinct, and elaborate on my heterosexual tendencies," was one of his frequent rants.

Although out of high school for years, Schmid had never bothered to get a job. He lived on handouts from his parents, who paid the rent on his cottage and covered living expenses.

Despite his creepiness, ladies loved Smitty, as he was known. His power over women would later prompt newsman Don Moser, who wrote a book on the case, to give him the sobriquet the "Pied Piper of Tucson." He was never without a fawning female. In the spring of 1964, that female was Mary French, a dumpy 17-year-old.

On May 31, during a beer binge with his gal and another buddy, John Saunders, Smitty blurted out: "I want to kill a girl."

French was eager to help him lure the victim, Alleen Rowe, 15, a high-school sophomore. That night, French persuaded the girl to sneak out of the house after her mother, a night nurse, left for work. French said they were going to a party.

Instead, Schmid, Saunders and French drove Rowe into the desert, where the men raped her, and then cracked her skull with a rock. She had been wearing curlers in her hair when she slipped out of her room. French dug a hole and buried the curlers, while the men buried her corpse.

Soon after the disappearance, detectives quizzed Schmid, who said he knew Rowe and had planned to take her to a party that night, but insisted she was gone when he arrived. French backed him up.

As time passed, Saunders joined the Navy, and Schmid got a new buddy, Richie Bruns, an oddball straight out of reform school. Schmid told his new friend all about the killing.

Schmid also found a new squeeze, Gretchen Fritz, 16, the naughty daughter of a wealthy Tucson heart doctor. Blond and slender, Fritz was a troublemaker in her private school, where she scared her teachers. Wild parties, drinking, and stealing were among her favorite pastimes.

The relationship soon soured, but Schmid kept seeing the loud, headstrong girl. He had blabbed to Fritz about Rowe, and he was worried that if they split, she'd tell.

On August 16, 1965, Fritz told her parents she was taking her 13-year-old sister, Wendy, to an Elvis Presley movie. They never returned.

It seemed as if the girls, like Rowe, had just vanished, and may have run away, until Schmid's big mouth gave police a break.

As he had with the earlier killing, Schmid blabbed to Bruns about murdering the Fritz sisters. This time he asked Bruns for help burying the bodies, which he had left rotting in the desert.

Bruns kept the secret, until he became infatuated with a girl, and started having nightmares that she was next on Schmid's list. By October 1965, his anxiety reached fever pitch he spewed out the story and led police to the graves. He also told of Schmid's boasts about the Rowe murder.

Police rounded up French and Saunders, who confessed about the Rowe killing and agreed to testify against their former friend. French was sentenced to five years, and Saunders got life.

At his trial for the Fritz murders, which started on February 15, 1966, Schmid appeared to be average, clean-cut even. Gone were the mole, the makeup and the bizarre attire. The wholesome veneer, however, did little to sway the jury. After two hours they found him guilty and worthy of the death penalty.

A significant weakness in the Rowe case was the absence of a body. Saunders and French had led police to the spot in the desert where they had buried Rowe, but, while they could find the curlers, they could not find her grave.


The Pied Piper of Tucson kills his first victim - 1964

O n May 31, 1964, fifteen-year-old Alleen Rowe is killed by Charles Schmid in the desert outside Tucson, Arizona. Earlier in the night, Schmid allegedly had said to his friends, "I want to kill a girl! I want to do it tonight. I think I can get away with it!" Schmid dubbed “The Pied Piper of Tucson” went on to kill three other teenage girls before being caught by police.

Constantly trying to compensate for his short stature, Charles Schmid wore oversized cowboy boots stuffed with rags to boost up his natural 5-foot, 3-inch stance. He was also a well-known pathological liar, telling girls that he had terminal diseases and that he had connections to the mafia. To his friends, he constantly bragged about his sexual exploits. On May 31st Schmid decided to murder Alleen Rowe, a high school student living with her divorced mother. Schmid's girlfriend Mary French had convinced Rowe to go out with Schmid's friend John Saunders, but Schmid had intended all along to murder Rowe, in order to know what it felt like to kill someone. Schmid and his friends took Rowe to the desert, where Schmid and Saunders murdered her and the three buried her body.

One of Schmid's many girlfriends was Gretchen Fritz, daughter of a prominent Tucson heart surgeon and community leader. Schmid confided to Gretchen that he had murdered Alleen Rowe. There were also rumors that Fritz knew of an earlier, unsubstantiated murder that Schmid supposedly committed. When Schmid decided to break up with Fritz, she threatened to use the information against him. Schmid strangled Gretchen Fritz and her sister Wendy on August 16, 1965. Schmid then confided to his friend Richard Bruns that he murdered the sisters and showed Bruns the bodies, which had been buried haphazardly in the desert. Bruns became increasingly afraid that Schmid was going to murder his girlfriend. Ultimately, Bruns went to police and told them everything he knew about the murders. Schmid was arrested and his trial gained national attention as an example of the depravity of young people in the 1960s. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. When the state of Arizona temporarily abolished the death penalty in 1971, his sentence was commuted to 50 years in prison. In the following years, Schmid made a few failed escape attempts, finally succeeding on November 11, 1965 with another triple murderer, Raymond Hudgens. They held four hostages on a ranch near Tempe, AZ for a time, then separated, and were finally recaptured and returned to prison. On March 10, 1975, Schmid was stabbed 47 times by two fellow prisoners and died 20 days later.

Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link:

Justice on Fire

On the night of November 29, 1988, near the impoverished Marlborough neighborhood in south Kansas City, an explosion at a construction site killed six of the city’s firefighters. It was a clear case of arson, and five people from Marlborough were duly convicted of the crime. But for veteran crime writer and crusading editor J. Patrick O’Connor, the facts—or a lack of them—didn’t add up. Justice on Fire is OConnor’s detailed account of the terrible explosion that led to the firefighters’ deaths and the terrible injustice that followed. Also available from Amazon


Watch the video: Μεγάλα Εγκλήματα: Ο δολοφόνος BTK