|Birth name:||David Meirhofer|
|Cause of death:||Suicide|
|Number of victims:||four confirmed|
|Span of killings:||1966–1974|
David Meirhofer (June 8, 1949 – September 1974) was an American serial killer who committed four murders in rural Montana between 1966 and 1974. At the time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was developing a new method of tracking killers called offender profiling, and Meirhofer was the first serial killer to be caught using the technique. Offender profiling is a method used to learn clues about the characteristics of an unknown killer from evidence at the scene of the crime.
Among his victims was seven-year-old Susan Jaeger, who was taken from her tent at night during a family camping trip. The kidnapper left no ransom request and no physical evidence. However, the psychological profiling technique, which was first used in this case, was employed about a year after the kidnapping. The technique led investigators to suspect that the kidnapper was a young, white male who killed for sexual gratification and may have kept body parts of victims as "souvenirs". Further, they believed that the killer may have been arrested for other crimes. Meirhofer was 23 years old at the time and already suspected in another murder. He denied the charges. Meirhofter placed a telephone call to Marietta Jaeger, the mother of Susan Jaeger, exactly a year after the kidnapping, and she obtained enough information to help the FBI track him down. .
Meirhofer had killed Suzie Jaeger, two boys, and a woman. In September 1974, he confessed to having kidnapped the woman, Sandra Dykman Smallegan, in her sleep during February of that same year. Smallegan had once dated Meirhofer but had ended the relationship.