Just The Facts: Herb Baumeister


Name: Herbert Richard “Herb” Baumeister

Known Aliases: Brian Smart, Brian Stats

Date of Birth: April 7, 1947

Claim to Infamy: Eleven bodies were found on Baumeister’s estate. He also suspected of being the I-70 Strangler.

Indiana Connection: Herb was born and raised in Indiana, where he continued to live and hunt humans until shortly before his death.

Current Status: Killed himself with a single shot to the forehead July 3, 1996

Random Disturbing Fact: Baumeister was fired from a position he held with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles for repeatedly urinating in his boss’s desk.

Author: IndianaInfamy.com

Writer, photographer, book hoarder, rabble-rouser Contact me on Twitter (@IndianaInfamy) or by email (@IndianaInfamy.gmail.com).

11 thoughts on “Just The Facts: Herb Baumeister”

    1. Julie Baumeister is a puzzling case. If you get a chance, I highly recommend reading Where the Bodies are Buried. It was thoroughly researched and has some very interesting information in it.

      Thanks for your comment and interest in the site!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What is your opinion? Do you think she knew more than she would like everyone to believe? Because I’m the type of person that you couldn’t get much past me, and certainly not for any length of time. Some people see what they want to see. I’ll have to read the book. Interesting case!


      2. In the holiday rush, I somehow neglected to reply to your question…my apologies!

        Before I answer, I’d just like to quickly remind everyone that Julie Baumeister had two young children (15 and 13, I think) when the police came knocking on her door. Despite the terrible murders Herb committed, by all accounts he was a devoted father and deeply loved by his kids. So, although it’s easy for me to say what I would have done in her place, It’s impossible to really know. Julie Baumeister was faced with a situation which – thankfully- few of us will ever have to face.

        That being said, however, I do think she knew Herb had committed at least one murder by the time police approached her. There are several problems with her credibility, but the skeleton on the property is the biggest one by far. In the fall of 1994, Julie saw a skeleton laying against a tree on her property. She apparently did not tell anyone about it at the time – no friends, relatives, police…no one. A few months later, in December of 1994, Julie’s son Erich and a friend found a human skull while playing outside. Again, Julie didn’t call police to report the incident, nor did she so much as mention the incident to anyone but her husband Herb. According to Julie, when Herb got home that day, she told him what the boys had found, and he claimed the skull was leftover from his father-in-law’s medical practice. (Julie later admitted to police she’d never seen human bones among her FIL’s belongings, which were being kept in their garage after his death.) She said Herb got rid of the bones and she never saw them again, so she didn’t even think to mention them when police came round asking about Herb’s possible involvement with missing men. I’m paraphrasing the exact words she used in the interview I read, but it was basically out of sight, out of mind. However, in June of ’96, when she finally allowed investigators on the property and showed them where she’d seen the skeleton, they immediately spotted hundreds of bone fragments and even some complete bones just laying out in the open, plainly visible to the naked eye. It turned out Herb was dumping and sometimes burning bodies there, in a spot that was not just yards from his back door but visible from the kitchen window. Given all that, plus the statements she made both to police and to/through her lawyer, it’s really difficult to believe Julie didn’t at least suspect Herb was guilty quite a while before she decided to cooperate. I suspect she was trying to protect her children though. It certainly couldn’t have been an easy decision to make.

        I’m planning on doing a longer post on Herb Baumeister. I’ll be sure to share Julie’s statements and other info in it. If you get a chance to read it, you’ll have to let me know what you think after seeing the additional material.


      3. Oh, that’s right! I totally forgot about her finding the bones. I know she isn’t guilty of anything legally but just being nosey, I’d love to know what she actually knew versus what, if anything, she suspected. I’m looking forward to your extended post. This case reminds me of how many psychopaths there are that run huge businesses, are extremely successful, who actually don’t commit murder. I don’t think people are aware of just how many are out there. Great post.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Personally…yes, I do. If she didn’t suspect anything before Erich found the bones behind the house, she almost certainly must have afterward. The excuse was made that she believed Herb’s lie (the bones were part of an old anatomical display skeleton leftover from her father-in-law’s medical practice), but the bones used for teaching purposes have been cleaned and polished, and would’ve appeared very different from those of the victim Erich found. Julie was an intelligent woman (she’d been a teacher at Broad Ripple High School) and no doubt would have noticed the difference immediately.

        I’m certain there were other things she must have noticed over the years, things only a spouse would have known. For instance, we now know he had been institutionalized during their marriage. She also knew he’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child, so she was certainly aware of his mental health problems. Many people have attested to his bizarre behavior over the years. Additionally, she later claimed they’d had sex only five or six times after getting married, and Herb had no interest in what most people would consider a “normal” married sex life. Instead, once they got the Fox Hollow estate, he seemingly just waited until his wife and kids were away then brought his victims home to kill and then dispose of on the grounds…all dates which Julie could have given authorities to check against missing persons cases, if she had ever been inclined to talk to them before Herb ran off with their son. No one will ever know what Julie’s motives were for refusing to cooperate with police prior to Herb’s disappearance, but I don’t think it’s uncharitable to think she had to have known something.

        I’ll do a deep-dive on this soon. Thanks for visiting the site, and please let me know if there’s another case you’d like to see covered.


  1. I find it hard to believe Julie didn’t know. After all these years there are people talking about the parties Herb used to throw and conversations the witness; Mark Goodyear; had with her.

    Liked by 1 person

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