Robert Andrew Berdella also known as Kansas City Butcher was a serial killer who moved to your neighborhood in Kansas City where he tortured, mutilated and killed at least six men. A house where his acts took place still stands on 4315 Charlotte Ave, but I have no information on whether anyone lives there today.
Originally from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Robert Andrew Berdella moved to Kansas City when he was 18. His enrolment in the Kansas City Art Institute was accompanied with illegal substance abuse which got him into a scuffle with the law after he tried to sell amphetamines to an undercover cop.
By the time he was 20, he dropped out of art school and started working as a chef for well established restaurants in Kansas City. He bought that house on 4315 Charlotte Ave and got involved with the community, like every upstanding citizen would.
Towards his late 20’s, Robert Andrew Berdella got to be very open about his homosexuality and opened a “Bob’s Bazaar Bizarre” shop at the Westport Flea Market. The shop specialized in selling any items generally regarded as “bizarre”, including human skulls, witchcraft and occult books, knives and swords, jewellery, and whatever else was bizarre enough to fit in.
By the time he was 33, Robert Andrew Berdella got involved with an unstable Vietnam veteran but the relationship didn’t work out very well so he started picking up male prostitutes. Many of them were allowed to live in his house in exchange for little help with housework and cuddles when the lights went out.
When he was 35, Robert Andrew Berdella found himself a favorite gay prostitute – 19 year old Jerry Howell. His previous sexual encounters contained heavy sodomy, but it was with Jerry Howell when he took it to a whole new level. He used animal tranquilizers to keep the victim drugged up, gagged and bound him against the bed so he could sodomize him repeatedly and take polaroid pictures of the progress.
Jerry Howell died from asphyxiation on July 6, 1984. Robert Andrew Berdella took him to the basement, hung him upside down and slit him open to drain all blood out of his dead body. Once bloodless, his body was dismembered and pieces stuffed in a garbage bag which he deposited outside his house just before the garbage truck showed up. Unaware, garbagemen picked up the bags and took them to the incineration site disposing of the evidence for good.
On April 10, 1985 Robert Andrew Berdella met Robert Sheldon whom he invited home and allowed to stay for a couple of days. Burning with desire to keep his new acquaintance, Bob drugged him up the same way he did with Jerry Howell before and repeatedly sodomized his live, but bound and gagged body.
Few days later, the roofman came to fix his roof so to avoid the roofman hearing the moaning of Robert Sheldon, Robert Andrew Berdella suffocated him with a plastic bag. Unlike he did with Howell, Sheldon’s body was sliced up in a bathtub to allow for blood drainage and the disposal ritual was a bit different too. The body was dismembered and stuffed in a garbage bag, but this time the butcher kept the head which he buried in the backyard.
Mark Wallace was hired to do some yard work for Berdella. When the storm came, young man went to hide in a shelter so Berdella invited him inside where he had him drugged, bound and gagged for ongoing sodomy. The death from asphyxiation came a few hours later so Barbella sliced him up and disposed of him the same way as with his previous victim.
Todd Stoops was a male prostitute Robert Andrew Berdella used to use prior to his KC Butcher days. When the two met again, Todd was invited in the house of horror but this time never to leave. He was tortured and sodomized for weeks before he died of blood loss and injuries sustained during mistreatment. The disposal was the same – the garbagemen just picked up his bags and threw them in.
When his friend Larry Pearson ended up in jail, Robert Andrew Berdella bailed him out and invited him to stay in his house. Needless to say, young fella was drugged and tortured for 6 weeks but managed to bite his tormentor’s penis on Aug 5, 1987. He was suffocated to death with a plastic bag and Robert Andrew Berdella had to go to the hospital for penile treatment. Because sodomy was nothing new, doctors did not suspect anything funny and just treated the patient. When Pearson’s body was disposed of, Berdella dug out the skull of Robert Sheldon to keep it in his closet.
Chris Bryson was to be his next victim. This male prostitute was taken to Berdella’s home, was drugged, handcuffed, gagged and sodomized for 5 days until one day, when Robert Andrew Berdella went to work (dude continued going to work while keeping his boyfriends tied up at home) he managed to set himself free by burning through the ropes that kept him tied up and ran out of the house wearing nothing but a dog collar.
The police initially didn’t make a big deal out of seeing a naked guy with a dog collar, given that the community was known for people practicing sodomy but when they got the details out of Chris Bryson, shit started hitting the fan.
Upon arrest, the police charged Robert Andrew Berdella with seven counts of sodomy, one count of felonious restraint and one count of first degree assault. His bail was set at $500,000, but upon careful evaluation of torture logs and pictures taken by the torturer himself, one police officer suspected murder and dug deeper into the situation.
Large scale investigation was launched which involved digging through the backyard which revealed buried skull of Larry Pearson. Dubbed the Butcher of Kansas City, Robert Andrew Berdella pled guilty to 1st degree murder in the death of Robert Sheldon and to 4 counts of 2nd degree murder involving his other male victims. He was sent to Jefferson City, Missouri with two life sentences with no parole and four life sentences with parole. After three and a half years in jail, Robert Andrew Berdella died of a heart attack.
After his arrest, Robert Andrew Berdella claimed to have been raped by a co-worker when he was 16. Gallery of crime scenes pictures of the Kansas City Butcher is below.
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