What goes on in the mind of a serial killer? Who better to ask this question than Sondra London, a controversial true crime author? She had both a romantic and business relationship with the murderer and the suspected serial killer, Gerard John Schaefer, albeit at different times of her life.
She narrated her story of meeting, falling in love, breaking up, and eventually collaborating on a couple of books with Schaefer. And if one serial killer was not enough, Sondra London later became another one’s fiancée, a man named Danny Rolling.
Young Love, Sweet Love
The author met Schaefer at a high school dance in 1964, a stunner at 18, polite and articulate. Not to be discouraged by not getting the young lady’s number initially, he determinedly looked for her using a phone book.
London’s parents and aunts liked him a lot and approved of him. They spent many a summer day together until, as young love usually goes, they went on their separate ways. Years later, London was appalled to see the news regarding Schaefer. How can somebody she loved and knew so intimately commit those heinous crimes?
Looks Can Be Deceiving
Thoughts ran inside London’s head. She was too young to see the signs that Schaefer was living a double life. Looking back, she realized that her former flame was prone to fits of rage, violence, and perverse sexual tendencies. She recounted how he hit his father with a golf club.
Schaefer had also told her shocking stories of sadistic sex with a previous girlfriend and murderous intentions towards a neighbor. Schaefer confessed to a teacher his desire to kill a young female teacher. He was referred to the school counselor, who later admitted that he regretted not being able to help the troubled youth.
A Sadistic Serial Killer
Gerard John Schaefer was one of the most prolific serial killers in American history, with a confirmed body count of two women and suspected murders of up to 30 others. As a teenager, he exhibited troubling behavior, including setting fire to a church and killing neighborhood pets. In 1964, he was arrested for trying to kidnap two teenage girls, but he was only sentenced to probation.
Schaefer then moved to Florida and began working as a sheriff’s deputy. In this position, he began to prey on young women, luring them into his car with the promise of help or rescuing them. His victims were often tortured and raped before being killed, and their bodies were often left in degrading positions. In 1972, Schaefer’s terror reign ended when two teenage girls escaped from his car and alerted the authorities.
A Brutal End to His Life
Through Schaefer’s written works, we can see a glimpse of his fractured brain. London put it well when she said his perception of reality was profoundly distorted. He told others a wicked lie while creating multiple levels of self-deception.
In 1995, it was Schaefer’s turn to be the victim of a brutal murder. He was stabbed 40 times in his prison cell with fellow inmate Vincent Faustino Rivera convicted for the crime. The exact reason for his stabbing is a mystery, but some would say it was true justice finally served.