I recently asked readers which Indiana stories they’d like us to cover for future article. Among the requests were several asking me to research and write about serial killers from Indiana. Believe it or not, we have several, and there’s little shortage of story there. But I politely refused, and I’d like to take a moment to explain why.

I once met a serial killer.

I met him in 2000 or 2001 while I worked in a small meat market in Northwest Indiana and attended Purdue Calumet (now Purdue Northwest) in Hammond. I was either 20 or 21. It was a weekend lunch rush on a Saturday, and several workers hopped from customer to customer in the small meat market, mostly filling orders for sausage sandwiches, our specialty.

I didn’t notice him until calling out “Who’s next?” and seeing him wave at me as he stepped to the counter. A middle-aged man of average height and short hair (in his mug shot his short hair had grown out), the guy smiled at me and ordered.




His eyes fell on mine, then scanned the menu on the wall, then came back to me. He had a trapezoidal neck nearly as thick as his head and lips as thin as sliced meat. His skin was the ruddy red of a man used to working outdoors and seemed even redder against his white T-shirt.

HAMMOND POLICE

I don’t know what he ordered or how many people were with him. He had two or three, but I have no idea if they were friends, family or coworkers. Something tells me it was the latter. I don’t remember what he ordered. Probably sausage sandwiches.

But him. I remember him. I remember his face and his eyes. I remember how he thanked me and those thin lips stretched up into a smile that cut off at his eyes. I remember watching him pay for the food and walk out of the store. I wasn’t sure exactly why, but I never wanted to see that man again.

I saw him again in 2003.