Mike DeBardeleben: Serial Sexual Sadist


Short Bussed
Mike DeBardeleben: Serial Sexual Sadist

Name James Micheal DeBardeleben
Alias The Mall Passer
Dr. Zack
Al Wise
Frank A. Turner
Gender Male
Birth Date March 20, 1940
Place of Birth Little Rock, Arkansas
Date of Death January 26, 2011
Place of Death Butner, North Carolina
Job Barber
Pathology Serial Rapist
Modus Operandi See below
No. of Victims See below[1]
Status Deceased (pneumonia)
Known VictimsEdit

  • Unspecified locations:
    • April 1971: Terry McDonald (suspected)
    • September 4-5, 1978: Lucy Alexander, 19 (abducted and raped repeatedly; was released)
    • 1979:
      • February 4: Elizabeth Mason, 31 (pistol-whipped, bound and strangled to the point of unconsciousness)
      • June 1: Laurie Jensen, 20 (raped repeatedly only)
    • November 1, 1980: Dianne Overton, 25 (attempted to abduct; she escaped)
  • ?, 1982, Bossier City, Louisiana: Jean McPhaul (suspected; strangled and stabbed twice in the heart; not sexually assaulted)
  • April 13, 1983, Greece, New York: David Starr and Joe Rapini (suspected; abducted both)
    • David Starr
    • Joe Rapini (held for ransom and shot)
The Trap

US Secret Service seal (AP)

The Secret Service wanted him on charges of counterfeiting. Little did the agents assigned to him know what their investigation would ultimately uncover. The chameleonic James Mitchell ("Mike") DeBardeleben II knew how to elude authorities, and he had more reasons to do so than anyone ever thought. Once he was caught, the investigators became aware that they'd been looking for him for many other crimes, from bank robbery to murder, and had not even realized it.
Mentioned in books by sexual crimes expert Roy Hazelwood and once profiled by former FBI Special Agent John Douglas, DeBardeleben has been thoroughly documented by only one person, true crime author Stephen Michaud, in his book Lethal Shadow. Through Hazelwood, Michaud received an introduction to the treasury agents who worked the case and he tells the story mostly from their perspective. Hazelwood calls DeBardeleben "the best documented sexual sadist since the Marquis de Sade," and Michaud provides an inside look at him through a combination of interviews and DeBardeleben's own written records.
The Secret Service had been on his trail for several years. They called him the Mall Passer, because he was quite successful at passing counterfeit bills as the real thing in various suburban malls, and he printed them himself. In his second year, traveling through 38 states, he managed to pass about $30,000 in fake bills. He'd go from store to store, buying low-priced items he didn't need, like socks, dog collars and greeting cards, in order to get change back from fake twenties in real cash. The agents tracked him and lost him on several occasions, but eventually managed to accurately predict where he'd go next. They alerted the personnel in several potential malls to watch for money that didn't look quite right, and passed out a composite drawing.
According to Michaud, on April 25, 1983, DeBardeleben went into a targeted mall and bought a paperback at B. Dalton. He spent $4 and got $16 back in change. The clerk watched him go across to a toy store and make a purchase, and then the clerk alerted mall security and they tracked DeBardeleben through several stores and out to the parking lot, where they got his car make and license plate number. They also had him on videotape passing bad bills. He went from there to several other states, dropping bills as he went. Agents staked out the malls where they expected him to turn up and alerted relevant personnel.

James DeBardeleben
(US Secret Service)

It was May 25, just one month later in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Mall Passer arrived in a car registered in two states with license plates stolen in Virginia. He went into several stores in a local mall and was recognized by store clerks, who reported him immediately. By the time he realized he was being followed, he was already caught.
A search of his car turned up guns, counterfeit bills, numerous license plates, prescription drugs, a police badge, nine fake driver's licenses, and a substantial stash of pornography. That was important evidence, but what they really needed to do was locate DeBardeleben's "plant," or the place where he kept his printing press. That way they could prove that he'd counterfeited the bills himself.
They went to an apartment registered in his name and a search there led to a storage space at a mini-warehouse. Using a bolt cutter to remove the padlock, they opened the door. Despite a stack of debris, it was clear at once that the printing press was not there. Yet rather than walk away in disappointment, they decided to look inside the two oversized footlockers. They soon realized they had evidence of crimes much more sinister than counterfeiting.

A Surprise for the Secret Service

The agents spent three hours going through the contents of the storage area. It was clear that DeBardeleben had ordered things through the mail to assist him in disguising himself as a police officer. He also had an assortment of women's phone numbers and addresses. Evidence of counterfeiting was among these items, but its significance began to pale when the agents pieced together what they found with what they knew about other crimes. One bag contained handcuffs, a dildo, shoelaces, a chain, bloody panties, and lubricant. There were also hundreds of photos of females, most of them sexually explicit, and several audiotapes.

US Secret Service badge (AP)

This was way out of their league. It wasn't the kind of case they usually tracked. Since 1865, the job of the Secret Service had been primarily to investigate and stop counterfeiting and fraud against the government. In 1883, the Secret Service became a distinct organization within the Treasury Department, and eleven years later it was first assigned the job of protecting the president. Eventually some agents were transferred to the Department of Justice, and that became the FBI. By 1915, they were investigating espionage. Then they also began to protect former presidents, the vice president, and their immediate families. In 1984, Congress enacted legislation that made the fraudulent use of credit and debit cards a federal violation and soon the Treasury Police Force merged with the Secret Service.
According to their Web site: "The types of criminal cases we work are mainly concerned with safeguarding the nation's financial security.... We spend a lot of time investigating counterfeitmoney both in the United States and overseas. Additionally, we currently investigate credit card fraud, computer fraud and financial institution fraud. Even though we now rely on computers to help us, we still go out and ask questions of victims, witnesses, and suspects.... We also investigate people who make threats against the President, Vice President, or any of our protectees."
Often Secret Service agents manage to break a case and confiscate counterfeit bills because numerous people are involved and someone snitches; a lone practitioner like DeBardeleben is much more difficult to stop. He'd proven to be slick and elusive, and was soon among the most wanted.
Back at the Washington Field Office, agent Greg Mertz looked through the assortment of distasteful items they had found in DeBardeleben's storage locker and then listened to one of the tapes. He was utterly stunned by its contents, and it soon became evident that DeBardeleben, in the words of one expert, had a criminal history "unmatched anywhere for its sadism, its scope and his success at eluding detection."
The tapes recorded intense and disgusting torture sessions with women, who begged their tormenter to either stop or kill them. They appeared to be somewhat scripted and revealed a man full of self-hatred who needed to experience pain in others or himself to get aroused. According to Michaud, many of the investigators believed that DeBardeleben was the "most dangerous felon ever at large in America." Agents Greg Mertz, Dennis Foos, and Mike Stephens went to work on a case the likes of which they'd never seen before or since.

Uncovering Evil

Mike DeBardeleben, (US Secret Service)

The agents realized that DeBardeleben was possibly the elusive suspect in two cases of abduction and rape in 1979. He had often posed as a law enforcement officer, gaining the trust of his victims or insisting they accompany him before forcing them to do his will. Those who survived his attacks reported that he yelled a lot, swore at them, forced them to perform degrading acts, and could not maintain an erection. One girl reported that he'd said he wanted to get back at women because he'd had a wife who'd given him a raw deal. Often, he took photos of his victims naked and engaging in forced sexual acts. He threatened to use the photos against them if they ever told.
Based on the accounts from these women, Special Agent John Douglas had come in from the Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico to offer a description of this suspect's likely background and personality characteristics. Among those listed were:
  • Weak father and domineering mother
  • Record of previous offenses, including voyeurism and burglary
  • Adjustment problems in school and the military
  • Difficulty with females
  • Believes that his victims desire what he does to them
  • Fantasies influenced by sadomasochistic pornography
  • If married, he degrades his wife and experiments with her
  • Cagey and intelligent
  • Likely to be a police buff
  • May stalk the victims to relive the experience
In fact, DeBardeleben appears to have had most of these traits, and he took steps to strengthen his approach to victims and to escalate his behavior. For example, when he experienced fear during one episode, he devised a strategy to give himself more courage, and then wrote descriptions of what he could do next. There were times when he even wore women's clothing while he performed his fantasies. He would also take pictures, posing his victims in various ways. He even used the photos from one victim to help him perform with another, as if he needed dance steps drawn on the floor before he could participate.
He'd write about his feelings and plans, including the possibility that he might murder someone; in any event, he had to be "ready" for it, and it wasn't long before he went ahead.
How did he become such a person, and how closely did he actually fit the profile? According to Michaud, the Secret Service managed to discover a number of disturbing facts, many of them amatch to Douglas's character analysis.
DeBardeleben was born on March 20, 1940 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the middle of three children. He was named after his father, who was an army officer and a rigid, controlling autocrat with a bad temper. Young Mike apparently had a strong love-hate relationship with his mother, who was an alcoholic and who frequently punished him for his stubbornness. By the time he was in high school, he had started to beat her up. He also got caught with a weapon and by the age of 16, racked up his first arrest. He went into the military but was quickly court-martialed for a variety of offenses.
DeBardeleben ended up having five different wives (one of which had dissociative identity disorder). He married the first one when he was nineteen and it lasted all of three weeks. Shortly after their separation, he began to steal cars. He married again, had a child, and was divorced in short order. Then his younger brother, Ralph, killed himself. He thought this was due to their upbringing.
DeBardeleben served eight months in prison for auto theft, and when he got out, he moved in with his parents, menacing them and indulging himself in pornography. Then he married his third wife and brutalized her to get her to participate in his elaborate cons. She later reported that DeBardeleben thought he was God.
It was his fourth wife, Caryn, who left a deep impression. He was thirty, she was eighteen, and he set about subjecting her to complete degradation. It was his goal to control her totally. She, too, participated in his criminal schemes, as did his next wife. Both of these women were subjected to different forms of humiliation and domination, and both were terrified of him even after he was out of their lives. His hatred for Caryn in particular was so intense that he often mentioned her to his rape victims. Eventually he turned to murder.
In 1982, as "Dr. Zack," he asked realtor Jean McPhaul in Bossier City, Louisiana, to show him some houses. She went out with him and never returned. After she failed to check in, they found her in one of the empty houses, lashed by the neck to a rafter in the attic. She had two puncture wounds to her heart, but she'd not been sexually assaulted. No one could determine a motive. It was an FBI agent who suggested that the motive was simply to kill for the thrill of it, or possibly to relieve stress. It was also likely that this offender would kill again, and DeBardeleben later became the chief suspect in the murder of another female realtor.
From that location, he passed funny money in several stores, and the agents who were seeking him on counterfeiting charges were able to pull witnesses together to get a composite sketch. Yet it was a year before they finally reeled him in at the mall in Knoxville.
Once detectives from various jurisdictions pieced things together, DeBardeleben faced numerous separate prosecutions in several states, including two for homicide. It was clear to everyone that they'd caught a very warped and dangerous man. Those involved wanted him executed, but that was not to be.
After three trials, DeBardeleben directed his own defense, claiming that the seizure of the tapes and sexual paraphernalia were not within the limits of the search warrant for counterfeit equipment. He moved to have them suppressed, which would have effectively halted the trial. However, the judge decided against suppression and that trialthis one for kidnapping and assaultmoved forward.
By the time six trials were over, all with guilty verdicts, the other jurisdictions awaiting their chance at him decided not to get into line. DeBardeleben had two life sentences on top of all the others, which amounted to 375 years. He'd be over 100 years old before he was eligible for parole. That meant that he wouldn't face charges for murder, and would not be brought to court in a death-penalty state as the agents had hoped.
It appears to have been 18 years between the time he committed his first murder and when he was ultimately caught for another crime altogether. It turned out that he was wanted in nine states, and that was only for crimes that they managed to tie to him. Most of those involved in the investigation believe that he's done far more than they could uncover, both in number and degree of evil. He became the primary suspect in four murders and a likely suspect in several more, as well as the principal suspect in numerous rapes.
Foos, Mertz, and Stephens believe that he did not get what he deserved. Having listened to the harrowing tapes of his victims and having seen the damage that DeBardeleben had wreaked in their lives, the officers believed this predator should have faced the ultimate penalty, and for them the case was never really closed.
Yet because he had written so extensively and had kept so many tapes and photos of his victims, DeBardeleben proved to be a fascinating subject for those experts who studied this kind of perversion.

The Sexual Sadist

Dr. J. Reid Meloy is a forensic psychologist in California. He's written extensively about psychopathy and aberrant sexuality. In Violent Attachments, he discusses the fact that sadistic psychopaths are more likely to relate to people in terms of power than affection. They commit crimes with more violence than other types of offenders, and in general are more aggressive. Psychopaths are callous, without remorse or empathy, and often predatory. They move about with planning and purpose, and what most gratifies them is the omnipotent control of others. Among the characteristics Meloy finds in this type of offender are:
  • Impersonation of law enforcement
  • Abduction of victim to a preselected location
  • Binding of the victim
  • Emotional detachment during attack
  • Rape often leads to murder, usually by strangulation
  • Murdered victim is generally concealed
  • Offender records his activities
  • Victims are most likely strangers
  • Attack is methodical and repeated from one victim to another
"In virtually all cases of sexual sadism, including sexual homicide" Meloy says, "rehearsal fantasy is a prerequisite."


Roy Hazelwood from the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit studied DeBardeleben closely. His specialty was sexual crimes, and he transformed the investigation of aberrant sexual offenses into an integral part of the FBI training. Hazelwood has co-written numerous articles and books, notably, "The Lust Murderer" with John Douglas, Practical Aspects of Rape Investigation, and The Evil That Men Do.
Hazelwood talks about serial rapists in terms of categories, which he says were first discussed by Dr. A. Nicholas Groth in a book called Men Who Rape. He outlines four major categories and two minor ones:
Power-reassurance, "which law enforcement calls the 'gentleman rapist.' He has a complex fantasy of a consensual relationship with a woman."
Power-assertive: "That's the individual who believes that he is entitled to do whatever he wants towomen. His fantasies are minimal."
Anger-retaliatory: "This person assaults because he's motivated by anger and he's getting even with women for real or imagined wrongs. He has almost no fantasy. He simply strikes."
Anger-excitation: "He's a sexual sadist. He's punishing women because he believes them to be evil and powerful, so he's trying to take away that power. He has deep and complex fantasies."
Opportunistic: "He's there to commit another crime, like robbery or burglary. The victim is there and he simply seizes the opportunity."
Gang rape: "This involves three or more offenders and you always have a leader and a reluctant participant."
According to Hazelwood, the anger-excitation rapist is the most dangerous, and DeBardeleben was a good example because the suffering of his victims sexually stimulated him. His goals, expressed in writing, were to dominate and control. He defined sadism for himself as "the central impulse to have complete mastery over another person, to make him/her a helpless object of our will, to become her god." Moreover, he wanted to be in a position to do whatever he pleased with her, to enslave her, and to make her suffer in a way that she couldn't possibly defend herself against.
This type of rapist generally has a plan that he knows how to execute, and will do it over and over for as long as he can get away with it. He rehearses every detail and has all the equipment necessary to play out his fantasies.
"A sexual sadist," says Hazelwood, "is an individual who is aroused by the suffering of another person. It is not the infliction of pain that's arousing, it's the victim's suffering. He may use pain - physical or psychological - as a tool to elicit the suffering, but it's the suffering that's most important to him. One thing that's confused with sexual sadism is cruelty committed during a crime. A lot of crimes are extremely cruel, but very few crimes are called sexual sadism. We've overused the term, sadism, in our society. In my opinion, sexual sadism counts for no more than 7-10% of sexual crimes committed. But the sexual sadist is the great white shark of sexual crimes. He's the premier predator."
Such men, Hazelwood discovered in a study of thirty sexual sadists, viciously despise women. They're all bitches, whores, and sluts, and it's just a matter of pushing the right buttons to bring this out, or forcing them into the position in a way that proves the point to his satisfaction.
With forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz, Hazelwood wrote a 40-page report to help the Secret Service agents understand DeBardeleben's behavior. They diagnosed him from the materials recovered as a full-fledged, highly aberrant sexual sadist.
"He had red lights, sirens, and police badges," Hazelwood recalls, "and thousands of pages of writing in which he described feeling degraded and needing to restore his self-respect by ripping off society. He had audiotapes of himself torturing his wives and other victims, and he had thousands of photographs, many of which depicted his victims. He would rehearse with his wives and he'd then act out that fantasy with his other victims, and he would even put himself on an audiotape with a falsetto voice, playing the role of the victim. He also had a number of cards containing statistics and sexual evaluations of random females."
In support of this, among the many pages of written notes to himself, DeBardeleben had scribed the following recipe for controlling his female partner and making her into a sexual accomplice:
  • Get his satisfaction early
  • Isolate her and keep her dependent
  • Make all decisions
  • Prevent her from acquiring any skills
  • Don't let her get educated or have any power
  • Be ready to cut her loose if necessary
  • Never show weakness
Hazelwood and Dietz also saw evidence of narcissism, which meant that DeBardeleben had a to build an illusion of omnipotence around himself that protected him from insult or humiliation. He had to reign supreme, and anyone close to him, such as a wife, had to fully support his self-perception. The least dent in this psychological armor would provoke rage and potential annihilation for the person who crossed him. In fact, it seemed to be the case that one of DeBardeleben's five wives had undermined him in a way that fueled his rage and motivated him to keep hurting other women.

Putting It All Together

Stephen G. Michaud

Author Stephen Michaud met Roy Hazelwood at a serial murder symposium in 1984 in Des Moines, Iowa. Michaud was there to present his experience interviewing Ted Bundy, and Hazelwood was talking about sex crimes.
"Roy had just completed his analysis of DeBardeleben for the Secret Service," Michaud recalls, "and he let me have a look at it. At this point, DeBardeleben had just been caught. His story was completely unknown to the public, and it was fascinating."
He was soon introduced to the agents who had worked the DeBardeleben case and was approved for full cooperation, including access to the DeBardeleben files. He also managed to interview principal players, and since he is the only writer who has received this kind of access, he has a rare perspective. To give more dimension to the story, Michaud agreed to answer some questions about his experience in putting it together.

Have you always written true crime?
No. In the 1970s, I was at Newsweek magazine as a general assignment reporter and I kept falling into these true crime stories. I did one about the heir to the Bronfman fortune, who was kidnapped in New York. Then they sent me to do a story on Jack Knight, the heir to the Knight-Ridder newspaper fortune, who was murdered in Philadelphia.
In the summer of 1973, I was in Houston working for the magazine when Dean Corll, "the Candy man," was killed, so I covered that story. In Houston I also met Hugh Aynesworth, the later co-author of the Bundy book.
At this time, however, I was still a reporter, not a true crime writer. I then left Newsweek and went on to Business Week an odd incarnation. In 1978, I was about to go to Japan to take over their bureau in Tokyo when my agent called and asked if I'd ever heard of Ted Bundy. I hadn't, actually. I was unaware of who he was.
So she said there was going to be a story about him in the New York Times Sunday Magazineand told me to read it. I did and found out he was this alleged serial killer who claimed he was innocent, a handsome young law student and a real conundrum. She said that Bundy was reaching out to find someone to write a book. He wanted the cases reinvestigated. He said he'd talk to whoever worked with him.
I was dubious about it but intrigued at the possibility of maybe getting someone off Death Row.
I called Aynesworth, who had just gone to work for 20/20 at ABC as their first head of investigations. I asked if Hugh wanted to pair up with me for the book. I'd do the interviews with Bundy and he could do the investigations. He said, "Sure." So that's how it happened.
The book was published in 1983. That's when I found out that I was a true crime writer, because I'd written a true crime book. So I started doing true crime.

When Hazelwood told you about DeBardeleben, you went to the Secret Service and got their documentation, right?
Yes, I went to the Secret Service.
I had a few problems. One was that DeBardeleben is so evil, so unbelievably bad, that you can't tell his story from his point of view. And I couldn't tell it in a linear waythe trail of a killer again because it was too bloody horrible, sustained horror.
I contacted DeBardeleben in the joint. We had a short-lived correspondence that ended when he suggested I do something anatomically impossible with myself. There's not much to say about the letters. In retrospect, it didn't matter, because as Roy would tell me of his interviews with sexual sadists, they're not worth talking to. They won't tell you anything except lies.
Bundy, by the way, was NOT a sexual sadist.
So I went to the Secret Service and introduced myself. They knew that I had written the Bundy book and that I knew Hazelwood. A lot of thought apparently went on for quite some time until the upper levels of management anointed the project and said that the three agents who were on the case could talk to me.

I would have thought they'd just send you away.

In 99 out of 100 cases, they would. I think a couple of things were different in this instance, One, the Secret Service was justifiably proud of its role in getting DeBardeleben. If they hadn't done what they did, he'd have gone free again. Two, talking to me about him was not going to compromise their main mission. I didn't get into protecting the president and I just included some general information about counterfeiting in the book. I didn't give away any secrets.

How long did you work on the book?
A long time, although it was not as labor intensive as the Bundy book, which took four years of doing nothing but Ted. DeBardeleben was probably a two-and-a-half year project.

How do you distance yourself from it after such intense immersion?
You learn how to shut it off. When you're listening to the tapes, you have to be really focused. There's a lot of information. But maybe because I've done so many stories generally, I've developed the ability to leave it all behind when I stand up from the computer. I really try to leave it behind mealthough that is not always possible.
There were times I'd be out with friends and my eyes would glaze over and everyone knew I was in Bundyville or DeBardeleben land. I spoke to lots of victims for both books and I learned a lot about what these guys did. An experience like that really does taint you. It leaves a scar on your heart.

Did you talk to any of DeBardeleben's wives?
Yes. One has Multiple Personality Disorder. I spoke with her on the telephone. I also spoke with one wife who lived down here in Texas and another who lives in Virginia. The one here in Texas, his second wife to whom he was married all of three months, either didn't want to remember, or really did not remember, any particular cruelty. She recalled his vanity, but she seems to have been relatively unaffected by her brief time with him. However, he was not a full-blown criminal sexual sadist at that point.
The other wife had been through a lot. I'd heard tapes of her with him and I knew what he had done and written about her. She was affected, no doubt about it, but she seemed to have picked up what was left of her life and moved on.
Throughout your book, I felt that as evil and calculating as DeBardeleben was, there was something really squirrelly about him, too.

Yes. He scripted everything. I've never encountered anyone who despises spontaneity more than Mike DeBardeleben. Unbelievable.
The two important things to understand about him are his paranoia and his narcissism. If you understand that a feature of paranoia is projecting onto other people those things in yourself that you fear and loathe, then you start to get an idea of his worldview. Then if you add the vanity of narcissism and the need to control and be the center of attentionwhich Bundy also had in abundancethen you get the essential features of his personality. Then add his high intelligence and the violent sexual sadism, and you've got quite a criminal.
Dr. Park Dietz, the forensic psychiatrist, was the first person to mention to me some years ago the overlooked importance of narcissism in a criminal's make-up. He felt that sociopathy was over-emphasized while narcissism was a more key element.
It's interesting that both narcissism and paranoia are adaptive traits for a criminal as well as destructive traits. Dr. Reid Meloy pointed that out to me.
Paranoia keeps you on your toes, but at its essence, it's irrational. If you're irrational at your essence, you're eventually going to get caught because you can't assess things clearly and logically. Likewise, narcissism allows you to move with bold swiftness and individual initiative, but you also will act as your own attorney, which is stupid. Hazelwood says how glad he is that aberrant criminals are narcissistic, because it's one of the few things we can use against them to catch them.

So you had the Secret Service documents, the court transcripts, and what else?
I interviewed a bunch of cops. There weren't many newspaper articles. DeBardeleben was a strange case in many ways. He's every bit Bundy's equal, if not his superior, as a perverted killer, but he never got any national press. There were a few local stories, but only one television station caught him on video, going to and from court in North Carolina.
He got ink in small markets, but no one ever put it together and saw it as a national story. Part of the reason for that is that the Secret Service never sought publicity while the investigation was going on, so there was no publicity machine to generate a high profile for him. The press clips weren't of much value. It was all interviews, and digging through documents.

What was it like to write this book?
It was a very hard book to structure. In the normal course of an investigation, a bad guy commits a series of crimes. The police notice and they chase and finally catch him. End of story.
In this case, they caught him and then had to go back and find the cases. So it was a reverse investigation. For me, the question became: Where do I jump in and start telling the story?
The answer was that I had to start with him being caught. I couldn't follow him as a ghostly presence raping and murdering, because that story has no traction for the reader, no way to get involved. You're essentially talking about a ghost.
So for story-telling purposes, I had to introduce the three agents right away. Then I needed to go all the way back and figure out how to tell a non-linear story that would keep people interested. It was not easy. The other problem is that DeBardeleben was not as mediagenic as Bundy. He was not handsome and well spoken. He was a freak.

Do you think there are things he's done that he hasn't been convicted of?

Mike DeBardeleben, line-up (US Secret Service)

Yes, definitely. There are murders and bank jobs. There's money buried out there somewhere. Those things will never come to light. If anyone deserves to be on Death Row, it's Mike DeBardeleben. And the only way you'll get him to start talking is for him to be staring his execution date in the face. That isn't going to happen.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I have Dark Dreams with Roy Hazelwood out. I also write as-told-to books. I did one recently called Left For Dead, which is the story of Dr. Beck Weathers, the Dallas pathologist who survivedbut barelythat famous 1996 blizzard on Mt. Everest. It's the story Jon Krakauer wrote about in Into Thin Air.
I also write children's books, believe it or not. My first one was The Miracle of Island Girl, part of a projected series of large-format books for kids 5-8. They're all nonfiction and they're all about animals. The books are all about love and courage and personal responsibility.
A nice change from Mike DeBardeleben.


Douglas, John, Ann Burgess, Allen Burgess, and Robert Ressler. Crime Classification Manual, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1992.
Hazelwood, Roy, and Stephen G. Michaud. Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide, and the Criminal Mind. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001.
Meloy, J. Reid. Violent Attachments. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1992.
Michaud, Stephen G., Lethal Shadow, New York: Onyx, 1994.
Michaud, Stephen G., with Roy Hazelwood. The Evil That Men Do. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1998.
Private interviews

I read the book by Michaud on this dude 5-6 years ago: 8/10

http://maamodt.asp.radford.edu/Psyc 405/serial killers/Debardeleben, Mike _fall 2007_.pdf

social outcast

karma can be expected
edit: These are from Feb. 22 (my join date) and I posted it in Favorite Serial Killer thread :beer: :
Mike Debardeleben. When he would come home an electrical outlet was connected to a light switch so that when he flipped lights on a reel to reel projector would start with torture sessions he filmed from female victims. Total immersion in his deeds.
Serial killers that kept journals and made audio recordings (debardeleben and btk but sadly he threw them all in an incinerator) make for pleasurable study. I have desperately tried googling a fellow I saw on a tv doc where he would stalk woman and he kept detailed journals of them and had his own code for their height, build, etc..he was nipped in the bud (no known kills) but he still holds my fascination


Awesome post!!..very informative..I've heard a lil bit about this before...now I know the story better..thank you