Harvey Glatman "The Glamour Girl Slayer" Tied Up, Photographed, Raped & Murdered His Victims

Harvey Glatman became known as the "Glamour Girl Slayer", he would sexually assault his victims and take disturbing photographs of them, before taking them out into the desert and strangling them.

Harvey Glatman would lure his victims by posing as a photographer
Harvey Glatman would lure his victims by posing as a photographer

In the late 1950s, a psychotic serial killer prayed on young aspiring women on the Hollywood scene, he would take disturbing "glamour" photographs of his victims before he sexually assaulted and murdered them. These horrifying murders were the work of Harvey Glatman, a man who would later be dubbed "The Glamour Girl Slayer."

From a very young age, Harvey Glatman expressed particular sadomasochistic sexual tendencies. He grew up in Denver, Colorado in the 1930s and 40s, and his parents soon became aware of their son's unusual inclinations.

When he was just 12-years-old, the mother of Harvey Glatman found him choking himself with a noose for sexual gratification. Glatman later said to police officers:

“It seems like I always had a piece of rope in my hands when I was a kid, I guess I was just kind of fascinated by rope.”

When Harvey Glatman was still in high school, 18-years-old, he was arrested after he tied up one of his classmates whilst holding a gun to her head before sexually assaulting her. He went on continually sexually assaulting and robbing women for years, for which he was frequently arrested and served several short spells in prison.

It was in 1957 when Harvey Glatman's crimes escalated after he moved to Los Angeles and started working as a television repairman.

He would approach women posing as a photographer, and then carry out his horrendous fantasies.

The Murders Of Harvey Glatman

The first victim of Harvey Glatman was a 19-year-old model by the name of Judy Ann Dull. She was engaged in an expensive custody battle with her ex-husband over their 14-month-old daughter, so when a charming man "Johnny Glinn" called her and offered her $50 to pose for the cover of a pulp novel, she quickly accepted the opportunity to earn some much-needed money.

A photo taken of Judy Dull by Harvey Glatman shortly before he murdered her
Modeling Photo (left) and a photo taken of Judy Dull by Harvey Glatman shortly before he murdered her

When Harvey Glatman turned up to pick up Judy Dull, none of her friends or roommates felt any sense of danger from the small, weak-looking man.

Once he got Judy Dull to his apartment he pointed a gun at her and raped her repeatedly, this act was how he lost his virginity at the age of 29.

Once he had finished with his vicious sexual assault, he drove Judy to a secluded location in the Mojave Desert and strangled her to death. It was this same location that Harvey Glatman would continue to take his female victims, he would tie them up, sexually assault them, and once he was done with them, he would kill them.

Harvey Glatman told police:

“I would make them kneel down. With every one it was the same, with the gun on them I would tie this 5-foot piece of rope around their ankles. Then I would loop it up it up around their neck. Then I would stand there and keep pulling until they quit struggling.”

24-year-old Shirley Ann Bridgeford, a divorcee, and model was the next victim of Harvey Glatman, she met the murderer through a lonely heart's ad whilst he was using the false name "George Williams." Glatman picked up Ms Bridgeford under the pretense of taking her to a dance.

They never went to a dance, instead, Harvey Glatman took her to his apartment, tied her up, photographed her, and then raped her. He then drove her out to the desert and murdered her. He left her body out in the open in the desert.

This photo was taken by Harvey Glatman shortly before he brutally murdered Shirley Ann Bridgeford
This photo was taken by Harvey Glatman shortly before he brutally murdered Shirley Ann Bridgeford

Harvey Glatman found his next victim in the same way he had found Judy Dull, through a modeling agency. When the killer arrived at the home of 24-year-old Ruth Mercado for a photoshoot, he found that she was feeling too ill to proceed.

Glatman was undeterred by the fact she was unwell and returned to her house just a few hours later. This time, he let himself in and repeatedly raped her at gunpoint throughout the night. In the morning he forced Ruth Mercado to walk out to his car, he then drove back out to the desert and killed her, in much the same way as his other victims.

“She was one I really liked. So I told her we were going out to a deserted spot where we wouldn’t be bothered while I took more pictures, we drove out to the Escondido district and spent most of the day out on the desert.” “I took a lot more pictures and tried and tried to figure out how to keep from killing her. But I couldn’t come up with any answer.” - Harvey Glatman speaking to police.

This photo taken by Harvey Glatman shows Ruth Mercado bound and gagged in the desert before he killed her
This photo taken by Harvey Glatman shows Ruth Mercado bound and gagged in the desert before he killed her

Glatman attempted to continue with his same modus operandi of rape and murder, but he came unstuck when he chose the wrong victim: 28-year-old Lorraine Vigil.

Vigil had recently registered with a modeling agency when Harvey Glatman contacted her to propose an offer of a photo shoot. She jumped into his car without concern, until she noticed he was driving in the opposite direction to Hollywood.

Vigil later said, "I did not become alarmed, however, until we entered the Santa Ana Freeway and he began driving at a tremendous speed. He wouldn’t answer my questions or even look at me,”

Lorraine Vigil, the woman who escaped Harvey Glatman
Lorraine Vigil, the woman who escaped Harvey Glatman

Glatman then told Vigil that the car had a flat tyre and proceeded to pull over to the side of the road, as soon as the car was stopped, Glatman pulled out his gun and attempted to tie up the 28-year-old model.

Vigil managed to grab the muzzle of the gun and attempted to wrestle it from Glatman. He tried to persuade her that if she just let go he would not harm her, but she was wise to this. They continued to fight over the gun, and Glatman accidentally pulled the trigger, firing a bullet through Lorraine Vigil's skirt, grazing her thigh.

Vigil then bit Harvey Glatman's hand and managed to get control of the gun, pointing it straight at him. She heroically managed to hold him there until the police arrived, who were alerted by a passing motorist.

When authorities arrested Glatman, he willingly admitted to the three murders. He eventually took police to a "toolbox" that contained hundreds of pictures of different women that he had molested over the years, as well as the three murder victims.

He went on to speak openly about his horrifying crimes to authorities. When he was sent to trial for the crimes he pleaded guilty and even requested the death penalty, he even went as far as trying to stop the automatic appeal that is given to all death penalty cases in California.

On September 18, 1959, Harvey Glatman was killed in the gas chamber at San Quentin State Prison, bringing his perverted and murderous crime spree to an end.

Now you have read about the harrowing crimes of Harvey Glatman, take a look at the shocking story of Erin Caffey, the 16-year-old who planned the murder of her family.


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