Gary Michael Heidnik: Biography of this serial killer

Gary Michael Heidnik, known as “the baby sower” he was an American murderer and rapist known for his terrible forms of abuse and sexual abuse of the women he abducted in the 1980s.

Below we will see a biography of Gary Michael Heidnik, And as he committed, he committed his heinous crimes.

    Biography of Gary Michael Heidnik

    The life of this sexual criminal is that of a psychopath, who rather than enjoying the murder, preferred to revel in the suffering of his victims, feeding on his fear and anxiety. Let’s look at his personal life, how his childhood was raw and probably influenced him as an adult to do what he did.


    Gary Michael Heidnik was born November 22, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio, Being the son of Michael and Ellen Heidnik, who later had another son, Terry. Gary Heidnik did not have an easy childhood. His parents divorced in 1946, when he was only three years old. Gary and his brother were cared for by their mother for four years, but then moved into the home of their father, who had remarried.

    In the paternal house in which Heidnik, as he will later assure, he was physically and emotionally abused by his father. The cause was that little Gary was wetting the bed and his father, to correct the problem and at the same time feeling pleasure by psychologically destroying his rod, humiliating him by forcing him to hang the urinated sheets on his bedroom window, so the neighbors would know what had happened.

    College wasn’t a good place for Heidnik either. Despite good grades, he was not good at dealing with others, and he avoided making eye contact with his peers, as he was the object of their taunts. As a child he had suffered an accident that had twisted his head, and children, out of cruelty, constantly remembered him through comparisons.

    But despite his cranial deformity, his brain was intact, at least as far as cognitive abilities were concerned. His intelligence was not below average, quite the contrary. His IQ was 148, which means he was technically good.

    military life

    On the recommendation of his father, Gary Heidnik, 14 he enlisted at the Staunton Military Academy in the state of Virginia, where he remained for two years, And left it before graduating in the same. He would later return to public education, to enlist again in a military institution, in this case the United States Army at the age of 17, serving for his country for 13 months.

    He showed good training skills and his sergeant described him as an excellent military student. After this military training, Heidnik asked for a place for various specialized posts, but he was rejected. after, he managed to be transferred to San Antonio, Texas, where he would receive military medical training.

    However, he did not stay in the state of Texas for long, being transferred overseas, to West Germany, to the US Army’s 46th Mobile Surgical Hospital in the city of Landstuhl.

    In August 1962, Heidnik began to experience severe discomfort: nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, and headaches. The hospital neurologist diagnosed Gary Heidnik with gastroenteritis, but in addition detect typical symptoms of a mental disorder, with which he was prescribed trifluoperazine (antipsychotic).

    In October of that year, he would be transferred to the Military Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he would be diagnosed: schizoid personality disorder. For this reason, he was removed from his post in the United States Army with honors.

      Return to the United States

      And being diagnosed with the so-called schizoid personality disorder and ceasing to be in the US military, Heidnik would study at the University of Pennsylvania, even if it only lasted a semester. He worked as a psychiatric nurse in the veterans administration of a hospital in Coatesville, Pa., But he ended up being fired because of his bad behavior with patients.

      From August 1962 until his arrest in March 1987, Heidnik went from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, because he had attempted suicide up to 13 times. Suicidal tendencies were something that came from her family, as her mother Ellen, who had been diagnosed with bone cancer and was an alcoholic, ended her life by drinking mercury dichloride, a highly toxic compound. His brother Gary also attempted suicide on several occasions.

      In October 1971, Gary Heidnik he joined the United Church of GodAnd in 1975, he opened an account for the church, where he deposited $ 1,500. Over time, by investing in the stock market, Heidnik managed to raise a total of $ 500,000 for the church, and by the mid-1980s the United Church of God would be prosperous and wealthy.

      First abuses against women

      Gary Michael Heidnik meet your wife through a marriage agency, With whom you would contact your future spouse by mail. Her name was Betty Disto, a Filipino citizen who arrived in the United States in September 1985 and on October 3 of the same year, she married Heidnik in Maryland.

      But the marriage didn’t last long, as Betty had the traumatic experience of meeting her husband with three women in bed. Throughout the brief marriage, Heidnik forced his wife to watch him sleep with other women. It gave him great satisfaction to hurt his wife’s feelings and sexually abuse her..

      Luckily for Betty Disto, the Filipino community in Philadelphia managed to get rid of such a catastrophic, grueling and abusive marriage in January 1986. But despite the bad relationship, Betty got pregnant with Heidnik, giving birth to a son, named Jesse. John Disto. Heidnik found out he was a father when his ex-wife sued him to pay him a pension for her son.

      But it wouldn’t be Gary’s only child, obtained as a result of sexual abuse. He would later have another with Gail Lincow, whom he would call Gary Jr. The child was taken to foster care shortly after birth. He would then have a third child with another woman, in this case Anjeanette Davidson, an illiterate and intellectually disabled woman. The daughter of this relationship would be Maxine Davidson, born March 16, 1978 and also taken to a foster family.

      Shortly after the birth of Maxine, Heidnik he was arrested for kidnapping and rape of Anjeanette’s sister, Alberta, who had lived in a developmental facility in Penn Township.

        first crimes

        But if Gary Michael Heidnik is known for anything, better known as the “baby sower”, it is because of his long criminal life, which dates back to the 1970s. In 1976, Heidnik would commit one of his first crimes, nothing serious compared to what would come next. He assaulted the tenant of a house he had offered to rent, shooting him in the face, With a weapon which he did not have a license.

        But it would be two years later that he would be taken to prison for the first time, but not the last. In 1978, Heidnik removed his then-girlfriend’s sister, Anjeanette Davidson, from an institution for the mentally handicapped. Gary Michael Heidnik did not do this as a good detail for his beloved. Heidnik felt a great predilection for women with intellectual disabilities and dark skin, preferably African American.

        The sister, from Alberta, was ushered into a warehouse in the basement of Heidnik and locked up here. Once the police learned of the fact, Alberta was whisked away from there and taken to the mental institution, where she would undergo a physical examination to see if she had been, and indeed had, been abused. Heidnik had raped and sodomized her, in addition to transmitting her gonorrhea to her.

        That is why Heidnik was arrested and charged with kidnapping, rape, deprivation of liberty and taking advantage of a disabled person, And spent three years in psychiatric institutions with state supervision.

        He started his career as a serial rapist

        In 1986, after being abandoned by his ex-wife Betty Disto, Heidnik would be arrested again and charged with assault, in addition to intimate partner rape and devious sexual conduct. But that would only be the start of his serial killer career. Between 1986 and 1987 he committed his chain of consecutive murders and rapes.

        On November 25, 1986, Heidnik kidnapped a woman named Josefina Rivera, and in January of the following year, four women were allegedly unlucky enough to fall into the hands of Gary Michael Heidnik. Keep them in a pit in your basement north of Philadelphia. All of the abducted women were black and were raped, beaten and tortured.

        It is not known whether he did it because he wanted to enjoy the experience of taking someone’s life or out of sheer recklessness, like someone who forgets to water the plants, or if it was truly a mistake, but one of the women, Sandra Lindsay, died of starvation, torture and not being treated for severe fevers she suffered while in detention.

        Faced with this, Heidnik chose to dismember the corpse, but had issues with his arms and legs, so he put them in the freezer, keeping them labeled “dog food.” He baked the ribs in the oven and boiled Sandra Lindsay’s head in a pot like who boils potatoes. Neighbors complained about the bad smell and called the police, ignoring the atrocities in the house.

        However, on the way to Heidnik’s home, far from exploring the house and trying to find out where the smell was coming from, the police were satisfied with Heidnik’s explanation: “I was roasting, I fell asleep. and I got burnt “

        It is believed that Heidnik took the meat from Lindsay and mixed it with dog food, then gave it to the other girls.. However, Heidnik’s defense attorney, Chuck Peruto, in trials to be held some time later, said no evidence was found for these allegations.

        Heidnik felt a predilection for electric shocks. At one point, he forced three of his prey to be together in a pit, chained and with threads around his body. Heidnik ordered Josefina Rivera and another woman to fill the water hole, forcing Rivera to apply electricity to the chains of the woman in them.

        The girl, who was abducted a week after Lisa Thomas on January 2, 1987, would eventually die, and Gary Michael Heidnik placed Dudley’s body in Pine Barrens, New Jersey.

        Recklessness and arrest

        On January 18, 1987, Heidnik kidnapped Jacqueline Askins to replace the recently deceased Deborah, the youngest of his six victims, at just 18 years old. When Askins was questioned in 2018, celebrating the 30th anniversary of his kidnapping, she indicated that Heidnik he gagged his victims with American duct tape and pricked their ears with a screwdriver.

        On March 23, 1987, Heidnik and his accomplice in the force, Rivera, kidnapped Agnes Adams. The next day, Rivera managed to convince her captor to let her go temporarily to see her family. Surprisingly, Heidnik believed her and “released” her, but Rivera was no fool. In fact, it took him a while to camel his captor to have him manipulated and free himself and his other cell mates.

        Heidnik took her to a gas station and waited for her here. She walked away and managed to call 911. Police, believing that the woman must be chained by the metallic sound heard through the phone, went to the gas station and arrested Heidnik. Then they returned home, discovering the formidable scene: three women in the basement, one released in the street and two corpses, one in the refrigerator and another buried.

        Heidnik’s best friend Cyril “Tony” Brown has also been arrested, Although he was released after paying $ 50,000 bail and testifying against Heidnik. Brown confessed to witnessing Sandra Lindsay’s death and how Heidnik dismembered her. Shortly after his arrest, Gary Michael Heidnik attempted to end his life by hanging himself in his cell, without success.


        Gary Michael Heidnik he tried to make the jury believe that the women in his basement were already there when he moved into this house. During the trial, Heidnik was defended by Charles Peruto, who attempted to prove his client was legally insane, unaware of what he was doing.

        This defense thesis was rejected by the prosecution, headed by Charles F. Gallagher III. Among the evidence was the fact that, being in the United Church of God, he came close to a total of $ 550,000 in the bank by betting, which a demented person would hardly get.

        He was also used as a witness by his tax advisor, Robert Kirkpatrick, who had previously advised him on economic matters. Kirkpatrick said his former client was cunning, aware of his financial decisions.

        Following all of this, Gary Michael Heidnik he was sentenced to two counts of first degree murder on July 1, 1988 and sentenced to death., Be imprisoned in the Pittsburgh State Correctional Center. In January of the following year, he attempted suicide with an overdose of thorazine (chlorpromazine), without success.

        Gary Michael Heidnik was executed on July 6, 1999 at the Rockview Correctional Facility, Pennsylvania. His body was cremated. Heidnik was the last person to be executed in the state of Pennsylvania.

        Psychological profile of this criminal

        Although in his youth he was diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder, over time he began to think about the possibility that Gary Michael Heidnik faked his symptoms to compensate for it., And thus earn money without working.

        However, given the turn of his crimes, it becomes difficult to believe that he did not have a mental disorder that caused him to behave in such inhuman ways with his victims. Despite depression, multiple suicide attempts, tics and manias, the psychologists and psychiatrists who interviewed him during his trial were unable to link these symptoms to his twisted mind and his ability to harm others. .

        Bibliographical references:

        • Mendoza Lluna, M. (2010). Serial Assassins: Criminal Mind Profiles. Norma Publishing Group. p. 138.

        Leave a Comment