As the police reached home, they saw the nude body of Susan, who was shot four times in the chest with a 0.38 caliber handgun and stabbed at least 57 times with a large hunting knife protruding from her chest. According to the officials, Susan’s coworkers came to her home worriedly when she didn’t show up at work. And they saw Susan in the way she was from the front window.
Description of the Crime Scene.
Susan’s body lay in a supine position, with her right arm extending above her head, legs crossed, wearing high-heeled shoes. The rest of her body was entirely nude, with several stab wounds into her chest and breast. The stab wounds continued from her chest to the pubis and pelvic area, with her throat cut. A telephone cord was wrapped around her neck very tightly, and her body was smeared in such a way that the entire floor was drowned with extensive blood from it. There were a few footprints through her blood, which were from her husband’s feet. The police found numerous drawings of nude sketches with stabs on their chest postured similarly to Susan’s body. Approximately 18 stab wounds perforated her chest with the knife literally drilled into the linoleum floor.
The house had hundreds of drawings and paintings with women having gunshot or knife wounds to the breast and chest. It also had several number of centerfold photos in which red-inked stab wounds were displayed. Interestingly, the injuries and mutilations of Susan matched those from the drawings and paintings that the police recovered from the scene. With all these, there was also the body of Susan’s husband, Frank, in an upstairs bedroom. Located between the right side of the bed and the wall, he lay nude from the waist down. There was blood over his genital area, later determined to be Susan’s. It determined that he attempted intercourse with Susan while she was stabbed brutally. Later, he went to the upstairs room, took out his gun, and shot himself in the head. It was a 0.25 caliber semiautomatic handgun found close to his body. The phone in the bedroom was lying in a puddle of blood. There was a large poster picture of a seminude woman wearing a black slip and extending one arm up while raising the other arm. It was also shot at least 15 times with a 0.380 caliber gun through the chest area, which traveled through the wall of the bedroom closet. But the picture was shot before this entire incident, and it might have provoked the situation. Certainly, it gave few insights into the pathological dynamics of the marriage. Other shell casings were found on the bed, floor, and dresser. The detectives also found a briefcase with two additional weapons in it.
The Story of Susan.
Susan was 37 years old and married for the second time to Frank, who was then 43. Frank married twice before Susan. She had a full-time job and worked to support her living with her husband. Frank, on the other hand, drifted from job to job, working as a male model to a dance instructor. They were married for around three years, with no trace of any domestic violence given to their friends and family. During Susan and Frank’s marriage, they took a mortgage on the house that Susan lived in prior to their marriage.
In contrast to the quiet and down-to-earth behavior of Susan, Frank was hyperactive with flashy opinions. When the detectives interviewed one of the people attending his dance academy, she said that Frank was extremely intense about the dance and he would chastise his wife severely if she made an error while dancing.
While conducting interviews with the family and friends, there were lots of opinions for Susan and Frank. For instance, some people considered him a passionate and emotional man, whereas others remarked he was an angry man. From the interviews, they also came to know that neither Frank’s mother nor his second wife loved him, but Frank always considered her second wife, as the love of his life.
According to several other interviewees, he displayed many feminine mannerisms, making him appear effeminate. An acquaintance described Frank’s lifestyle as “Hollywood”. In addition to being open-minded about sexual matters, he was also outgoing and talkative. Frank was reported to drink excessively by other individuals who were interviewed. Although he did not have a criminal record, his former wife had filed a domestic abuse complaint against him, which dissolved after their divorce.
The detectives also learned that he was at Kent State as the CIA recruited him as per his saying. Frank often boasted how he was trained in martial arts and owned a .25-caliber Baretta, a .45 or 9mm semiautomatic, and a .38-caliber or .357-caliber revolver, as well as a shotgun and an assault rifle.
The Last Few Days of Couple.
When discussing the last few days of Frank, the officials learned that he tried forming his own company with Susan’s assistance but failed four times. As a result, they had financial difficulties, but the breadwinner among both of them was Susan. On interviewing several family members, the detectives picked up that he was about to begin a project that included various drawings of homicide scenes for a detective magazine. However, none of this was reality as he just boasted around. While Susan worked, Frank spent his entire days drawing pictures of nude women, fantasizing and claiming to get a role as a commercial artist.
Four days prior to the incident, Frank and Susan fought, according to Susan’s father. As the fight escalated with both of them slapping each other, Susan left the house. Frank told his father-in-law that they were having financial difficulties as they were unable to pay for their mortgages, which was true. Due to these problems, they were sleeping separately for approximately five months. In addition, it was known that they were planning to sell a house in the Spring.
On the day of the murder, Susan’s mother called her ex-husband, asking him to go and check on her as she thought something was wrong. But, as he got to the house, the investigators and police were already there.
Investigators interviewed Susan’s mother. According to her, she attempted to contact Susan’s house 10 to 12 times and has received a busy signal each time. As soon as she reached the house, she knocked on the door several times. By the front door, she placed the newspaper. Afterward, she walked around the house and looked out the window. Observing a body on the floor, she assumed it was Frank sleeping. So, she went to work and called Susan’s coworkers and her ex-husband to check on her.
Psychoanalysis of Frank.
Tracing Frank’s past, the police found that as a child, he went through physical and sexual abuse by his mother. Further, he dealt with his father leaving and started to work at the early age of 11.
The subject was also found to marry thrice, with the former two resulting in a divorce. His first marriage was with a high school teacher and lasted 10 to 11 years. Though she denied any abusive behavior to have witnessed during her relationship with Frank, he showed a prime example of inability to commit to an individual in an intimate relationship, as he straight up decided to take divorce and confessed to wanting to date other women.
As we move on, he started an 8-year relationship with his ballroom dance partner, Wendy. Frank spent 8 months in marriage before which Wendy committed to share a relationship with him for 7 years. Wendy was bi-sexual and when Frank found her dating another woman he decided to take a divorce. But this wasn’t it.
Speaking to Wendy.
Wendy shared that Frank was a kind man and had a love-hate relationship with his mother.
She added that before getting divorced, both of them entered an argument that led Frank to attack her twice and choke her before which she kicked him and ran away. The explosive part of Frank’s behavior was his possession of numerous pornographic tapes including bondage and his likeness to take nude photos of Wendy for which she agreed to pose.
Knowing after the divorce Wendy reclaimed all of her nudes, she remained calm. However, it was a matter of time before the detective shared her photos with numerous holes and red ink to depict blood which showed his symptoms of being aggressive. Frank also used to record them getting intimate and Wendy bathing and getting dressed afterward that she didn’t know about.
She also agreed that Frank started to watch pornographic movies a lot more and got explosive and dangerous when he started to share the feeling of slasher-type acts.
Mixed Personality Disorder.
The consultant on the case reviewed numerous notes written by Frank as well as the correspondence from his second ex-wife that he secretly kept with his “artwork”. Frank used to write his symptoms on notepaper, which included insomnia, nervousness, general depression, disorientation, anxiety, and fear, as well as nightmares and flashbacks. These together with his drawings display his mixed personality disorder.
According to the findings, his pathology remained common to that of child abuse victims, that is, experiencing feelings of abandonment, betrayal, lack of trust, rage, chaos, and isolation.
With the feeling of being liked and low self-esteem, Wendy shared, he called her last saying that he was having problems with Susan as she was disagreeing with him.
The Nude Drawings
As the detectives searched for more pictures and drawings in Frank’s art studio, they found hundreds of fantasy stories related to sexual exploits. The drawings and sketches revealed his psychosexual attributes.
In the opinion of the consultant, when someone begins to script fantasy drawings, that person has become “vested” in the fantasy and has effectively created an engram, which allows the person to reinforce a specific sexual fantasy (Geberth, 1996).
Hence, what Frank did was merge the fantasy drawings of nude women exploited and stabbed with his everyday life. Numerous pictures included blonde women stabbed sexually, especially in the chest and vagina. He chose blonde as he might wanted to do the same to his second wife, Wendy as she left him.
The police discovered around 115 drawings and 105 photographs of nude women in 83 men’s magazines. He had maintained an extensive collection of extremely sadistic pornographic content.
Conclusions and Opinions.
The forcing of Frank’s wedding ring on the Susan’s nose depicted a classic example of interpersonal violence. But any homicide is incomplete without sexual component in domestic violence episode.
Susan’s murder was a sex-related homicide with classic “overkill” injuries directed to significant sexual parts of the body. The stabbing injuries into the breasts, chest, and vagina, along with the evisceration and slashing of the throat are consistent with the psychodynamics of sexual sadism (Geberth, 1996).
According to the author of Sex Related Homicide and Death Investigation Practical and Clinical Perspective, Vernon J. Geberth,
The consultant had the opportunity to review various pieces of the correspondence between Frank and his ex-wife as well as written materials and some personal papers. In addition, I reviewed all of the photographs, drawings, paintings, sketches, and fantasy stories that the authorities retrieved from the crime scene. Frank’s psychosocial history, coupled with the psychodynamics of the crime scene, indicated that Frank could have been diagnosed with a personality disorder that featured obsessive-compulsive personality traits and narcissistic traits.
Sex Related Homicide and Death Investigation Practical and Clinical Perspective by Vernon J. Geberth.