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Harvey Glatman
Background information
Birth name: Harvey Murray Glatman
Also known as: The Glamour Girl Slayer
The Lonely-Hearts Killer
Born: December 10, 1927
The Bronx, New York City
Died: September 18, 1959
Cause of death: Gas chamber
Conviction: Kidnapping
Sentence: Death
Number of victims: 3 or 4
Span of killings: August 1, 1957 – July 13, 1958
Country: USA
State(s): California
Date apprehended: October 31, 1958

Harvey Murray Glatman (December 10, 1927 – September 18, 1959) was an American serial killer active during the late 1950s. He was known in the media as "The Lonely Hearts Killer".[1]


Early life

Born in the Bronx to a Jewish family and raised in Colorado, Glatman exhibited antisocial behavior and sadomasochistic sexual tendencies from an early age.[2] He was an amateurish burglar and sex offender as a teenager, breaking into women's apartments, where he tied them up, molested them and took pictures as souvenirs. He was caught in one such act in 1945 and charged with attempted burglary. Less than a month later, while still out on bail awaiting trial, he kidnapped another woman and molested her before letting her go. She went to the police, and Glatman went to prison for eight months.

Once out of prison, Glatman moved to Albany, New York, where he was eventually arrested in 1946 for a series of muggings. He served time at the New York State Reception Center at Elmira NY and then in the Sing Sing Correctional Facility, where prison psychiatrists diagnosed him as a psychopath. He was nevertheless a model prisoner and was paroled in 1951. He returned to Denver in 1951 and lived there until 1957. He worked as a TV repairman and also hired young women to pose for him in bondage situations. He claimed that his photos would be published on the covers of detective magazines, but none ever were.


Glatman moved to Los Angeles, California in 1957 and started trolling around modeling agencies looking for potential victims. He would contact them with offers of work for pulp fiction magazines, take them back to his apartment, tie them up and sexually assault them, taking pictures all the while. He would then strangle them and dump the bodies in the desert.

Supposedly the killing of the victims did nothing for Glatman, he just needed to stop them from turning him in.

Glatman is also a suspect in the slaying of "Boulder Jane Doe", a victim whose corpse was discovered by hikers near Boulder, Colorado in 1954.[1] Her identity remained a mystery for 55 years. In October 2009, the Sheriff’s Office was notified by Dr. Terry Melton, of Mitotyping Technologies in State College, Pennsylvania, that her lab had made a match between "Jane Doe's" DNA profile and that of a woman who thought the unidentified murder victim might be her long-lost sister.[3] The positive identification of "Boulder Jane Doe" was an 18 year old woman from Phoenix, Arizona, named Dorothy Gay Howard.[4][5][6]

Glatman was in Colorado at the time and was driving a 1951 Dodge Coronet. The body had damage that was consistent of being hit with the same car.

Arrest and death

Glatman was arrested in 1958, caught in the act of kidnapping what would have been his fourth murder victim. He willingly confessed to the other three murders and eventually led the police to a toolbox containing pictures of the victims which he had taken. He was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder and executed in the gas chamber of San Quentin State Prison on September 18, 1959.


Parts of Glatman's career were fictionalized by Jack Webb in a 1966 TV-movie called Dragnet (often referred to as Dragnet 1966 to distinguish it from the 1954 theatrical release of that name). It convinced TV executives to relaunch Dragnet as a TV series in 1967 for a four year run. Dragnet 1966, however, was not aired until 1969. It is notable for dialogue based on Glatman's own statements to police, including this:

Criminal: "The reason I killed those girls was 'cause they asked me to. (pause) They did; all of them."

Officer: "They asked you to."

Criminal: "Sure. They said they'd rather be dead than be with me."

Capt. Pierce Brooks, LAPD, who helped trick Glatman into revealing where his toolbox was, served as a technical advisor for the film.

See also


External links

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