Human Monsters: Harvey Glatman, The Glamour Girl Killer

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“The reason I killed those girls was because they asked me to…They said they would rather be dead than be with me.”

Those are the chilling words of Harvey Glatman, a sadomasochist who murdered at least three women. Glatman lived in Colorado and showed a deviant mind at an early age. He was caught when he was 12 by his mother in the bathroom of their home with a rope around his neck. He expressed that choking himself gave him sexual pleasure, showing a keen interest in autoerotic asphyxiation. The family doctor simply wrote it off as a phase, something he would “grow out of.” 

Later while he was still in high school he bound and molested a classmate who was later able to identify him to police. After a short stint in the local jail, his family posted bond but it was too late for Harvey, once he’d gotten a taste of sexual abuse he couldn’t stop. Shortly after his release, he did the same thing to another woman in Boulder which earned him a longer prison sentence. After which he moved to New York with his mother, maybe she thought a change of location would help but that was not to be.

While in New York Harvey spent time in Sing Sing prison for a string of robberies and sexual assaults. All in all, he spent around 4 years behind bars before returning back home to Colorado. Now it isn’t clear if he committed many crimes in the few years after his return but it has been highly speculated that he may have been responsible for a young woman’s murder during this time, her identity has only recently been discovered and Harvey’s involvement in her death has never been proven. Regardless it was during this time Harvey began to develop his method of luring in victims by pretending to be a photographer.

Much like Harry Powers, Harvey Glatman prayed upon women he would later kill using charm and lies. When he moved to Las Angeles in 1957 he began to proposition women into coming back to his apartment for photoshoots. He was able to convince them that they would end up as one of those bound girls on crime focused pulp fiction covers. Once tied up and at his mercy, Harvey would abuse and photograph them before strangling them. By the time he was arrested on October 27th, 1958 he had killed 3 women: Judy Dull, Ruth Mercado and Shirley Bridgeford. Police also found dozens upon dozens of photographs of terrified women in various bondage setups.

For the crimes, the media coined the name “The Glamour Girl Killer”. No one is for sure the exact number of his victims, like many serial killers before him Harvey Glatman took the exact number with him when he was put to death in 1958 at San Quentin, he was 31.

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0 thoughts on “Human Monsters: Harvey Glatman, The Glamour Girl Killer

  1. An interesting piece. I didn’t know much about Glatman before reading this. If I killed girls because they said ‘they would rather be dead than be with me,’ there would be a lot of dead girls.

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