The Story Of John Joubert: Boy Scout Turned Serial Killer Who Became Known As The Woodford Slasher

Updated: Jun 10

Dubbed by the media as the Woodford Slasher, John Joseph Joubert IV was only 16-years old when he stabbed a 6-year-old girl with a pencil - this was before he went on to kill at least three young boys.

John Joubert became known as the Woodford Slasher for his brutal murders
John Joubert became known as the Woodford Slasher for his brutal murders

John Joubert had a somewhat troubled upbringing, once even witnessing his father trying to strangle his mother. After the divorce and turbulent relationship of his parents, Joubert was constantly moving schools and homes, always the new kid, and always the outcast, yet inside he was desperate for attention. He became intent on spending the rest of his life dedicated to inflicting pain on others.



Joubert spent time in the Boy Scouts, but this was also accompanied by low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority. It didn't take long before his mind was being filled with thoughts of sexual assaults and hurting those weaker than him, even leading him to start stabbing defenceless children - this would soon escalate into cold-blooded murder.


The Murders Committed By John Joubert


Born John Joseph Joubert IV on July 2, 1963, In Lawrence, Massachusetts, the young man would go on to have an intelligent mind but was controlled by rage and the trauma from his childhood. Joubert moved to Portland, Maine, with his mother when he was six years old following the divorce of his parents. Boasting an impressive IQ of 123, John Joubert spent most of his time fantasising about murder and became infatuated with the idea of cannibalism.


The disturbed youngster used to have vivid thoughts about choking his babysitter to death and then eating her flesh. When he wasn't fantasising over death and murder, he worked as a local paperboy, as well as being a member of the Boy Scouts. John Joubert was just 16 years old when he stabbed a 6-year-old girl with a pencil, confessing to feeling a type of sexual gratification from the attack on the innocent child, an attack that he repeated on others throughout the Portland area.


After appearing to get away with his early violent actions, John Joubert committed his first murder on August 22, 1982. He snatched an 11-year-old boy, Richard Stetson from a popular jogging and walking trail. Joubert attempted to remove the clothes of the boy before strangling, biting, and stabbing him.


After Joubert graduated from Cheverus High School, he moved to Bellevue, Nebraska.


On September 18, 1983, 13-year-old Danny Joe Eberle set off early for his job as a paperboy, it wasn't until the local residents of Bellevue started complaining that their Sunday Omaha World-Herald hadn't been delivered that it was realised that the young paperboy had vanished, delivering only three papers on his route.


Within a few hours, Leonard, the father of the missing boy, found his son's abandoned bicycle along with the remaining 67 undelivered papers. Three days later the police discovered the body of Danny Joe Eberle. His ankles and wrists were bound with rope and his body was dumped in nearby woodland. His body had eight stab wounds, human bite marks, and showed signs of sexual assault.



Authorities began questioning known pedophiles in the area, they even called in a hypnotist to help witnesses remember memories that could have been repressed. A local bank offered $40,000 for information that resulted in the arrest of the culprit. Robert Ressler, who was an FBI profiler said that the perpetrator was likely white, young, and sexually fluid.


Victims of John Joubert
Ricky Stetson (left), Danny Eberle (center), and Christopher Walden (right).

How John Joubert Got Caught


John Joubert had landed a job as an Air Force radar technician working at the Offutt Air Force Base. Joubert was completely unaware that the FBI was now looking for him, as the person who murdered Danny Joe Eberle had also abducted him, which made it a federal crime.


On December 2, 1983, a 12-year-old boy, Christopher Paul Walden vanished whilst walking to school. The boy was the son of an Air Force officer, and his body was found three days later, his throat had been slashed, and his corpse had been brutally mutilated.


After the discovery, Chuck Wiley, a spokesman for the FBI said, "The thing we all dreaded has occurred." "We have witnesses from the morning of the abduction. They say it occurred on a street while he was going to school. One of the witnesses said the suspect may have had something in his hand."


On January 11, 1984, a Bellevue daycare centre operator saw a man who she believed looked suspicious in a car close to the school. She took down the license plate number and handed it over to the police. This gave the authorities the lead they had been waiting for, the vehicle was a rental and it was traced back to Mr John Joubert.



Not only did John Joubert match the initial FBI profile of a white, single male, but he resembled the composite sketches drawn from witness accounts.


Authorities wasted no time in searching his barracks, where they discovered a hunting knife and the same type of rope that had been used to bind Danny Joe Eberle. The FBI determined that the rope had been manufactured in South Korea for the US military.

Joubert was executed via electric chair on July 17, 1996.
Joubert was executed via electric chair on July 17, 1996.

John Joubert was swiftly arrested and taken in for questioning, where he confessed to the murders of Eberle and Walden.


Joubert was asked if he would kill again, he told authorities that he was grateful that he had been captured as he would have likely done it again.


"That's my big worry, it's scaring me quite a bit, yes," said Joubert. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder on January 12, 1984, initially, he pleaded not guilty but then changed his mind.


Multiple evaluations were carried out, suggesting that John Joubert was obsessive-compulsive and suffered from a schizoid personality disorder, even with this he was deemed as being in his right mind whilst committing the murders.

John Joubert was handed a life sentence in Maine for the murder of Richard Stetson, and he was sentenced to death in Nebraska for the murders of Danny Eberle and Christopher Walden.


On July 17, 1997, at 12:29 a.m., John Joubert was executed via electric chair in Nebraska.


Now you have read the harrowing story of John Joubert, take the time to learn about Andrei Chikatilo, the Red Ripper of Rostov.





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