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Harvey Glatman Update

April 2, 2010 | 10:24 am

Oct. 31, 1958, Harvey Glatman
Oct. 31, 1958, Harvey Glatman

Oct. 31, 1958: Harvey Glatman admits killing Judith Ann Dull, Shirley Ann Bridgeford and Ruth Mercado.

I was recently contacted by Det. Steve Ainsworth of the Boulder County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office regarding a 1954 Jane Doe who may be the victim of serial killer Harvey Glatman.  Glatman, who was executed in 1959, usually claimed to be a photographer for pulp detective magazines that used cover shots of women who were bound and gagged. 

According to Ainsworth, Glatman was active in the Denver area between 1945 and 1954, and when he was questioned by LAPD detectives in 1958, they examined a toolbox containing hundreds of photos and transparencies showing his victims, including at least two Denver women.

Ainsworth is looking for copies of Glatman’s photos in an attempt to identify Jane Doe and images of Glatman’s 1951 Dodge Coronet, which he may have used to run over his victims.

On the jump, Ainsworth’s synopsis of the case.

Judith Ann Dull

Los Angeles Times file photo

Judith Ann Dull, one of Harvey Glatman’s victims. She was 19.

Jane Doe/ Harvey Glatman Synopsis

    In July, 1945, Harvey Glatman, DOB/121027, abducted a young girl in Boulder, Colorado, tied her up, and took her up Sunshine Canyon, where he kept her for the night, fondling her while she was tied up. She was released the next morning unharmed. Sunshine Canyon is about ¼ mile south of Boulder Canyon.

 Between 1945 and 1954, Glatman had numerous incidents in the Denver area in which he would accost women, tie them up and rob them, either for money or souvenirs, but later said he did it just to tie them up. Glatman lived at 1133 Kearney Street during this time.

     On 040854, the nude body of a female was found by two CU students in Boulder Canyon along the creekbed, about 27 feet below the roadway. Boulder Canyon is the next canyon south of Sunshine Canyon and was a remote area in 1954.  Because of decomposition and scavenger activity, she was physically unidentifiable and had no fingertips left. What appear to be ligature marks are present on her left wrist and her injuries are consistent with being struck by a car. These marks were examined in 2006 by Dr. Richard Froede, renowned forensic pathologist, and he expressed the opinion that they are, indeed ligature marks.   During this time, according to newspaper accounts, Glatman had been “terrorizing women in Denver”.

 The victim was subsequently identified as Dorothy Gay Howard and she gave an address of 1235 Grant Street, Denver in July 1953. The two residences are 4 miles apart, straight down Colfax Avenue. 

      In 1955, Glatman paid Rita Culbertson, Ruby Meadors, a “Jean” and at least one other unidentified woman in Denver to pose in bondage situations while he photographed them.

     In January 1957, Glatman moved to California.

     On  102758, Harvey Glatman was arrested by the CHP after attempting to tie up and rape Lorraine Vigil in his car on Tustin Avenue near “the Freeway”. He had hired her for “detective magazine photographs”.  His car was a black 1951 Dodge Coronet. A subsequent investigation revealed that Glatman had abducted at least three other  California women under the guise of being a photographer for a detective magazine. He would tie them up, take numerous photographs, rape them, then take them to the desert and murder them by strangling them. The three murdered victims were Shirley Ann Bridgeford, Judy Dull, and Ruth Mercado, aka Angela Rojas. The LAPD missing persons case number for Shirley Bridgeford is 255 505 and was reported on 030858.

     On 103158, Glatman was interviewed at LAPD by LAPD Captain  A.G.Hertel, Lt. H. Zander,  and Sgt. Pierce R. Brooks. During the course of this interview, the contents of a toolbox belonging to Glatman was examined in his presence. The toolbox contained possible hundreds of photographs and transparencies/negatives of women in bondage situations, including Shirley Bridgeford, Judy Dull, and Ruth Mercado. According to the transcript of the interview, there are bondage photographs of at least two women in Denver who were not identified by Glatman along with photographs of two Denver women whom he identifies as  Rita Culbertson and Ruby Meadors. It was never verified that Culbertson and Meadors were still alive. When Glatman was asked if the Denver women were still alive, he replied “Unless they’ve been run over”.

     On June 8 and June 9, 2004, the skeletonized remains of Jane Doe were exhumed from her grave at the Columbia Cemetery in Boulder, Colorado. Injuries were catalogued by Dr. Richard Froede, forensic pathologist and Dr. Walter Birkby, forensic anthropologist and the skull was reassembled by Dr. Birkby. According to both, the injuries were consistent with being struck by a motor vehicle. A facial reconstruction was completed by forensic sculptor Frank Bender and unveiled publicly in June 2005.  A fully restored 1951 Dodge Coronet was located at a movie car company and measurements taken of all the contact surfaces (rearview mirror, top of fencer, bumper height, etc) and compared to the heights of the injuries on Jane Doe’s body-the injuries matched the contact surfaces of the Dodge.

      Because of the similarities in the Glatman cases and the Jane Doe case, in addition to the fact that, not only was Harvey Glatman living in Denver, but was active in the Boulder/Denver area, I believe that examination of all of the photos from Glatman’s toolbox would very likely assist in identifying Jane Doe, and help to determine what actually happened to her and who murdered her. I am therefore requesting copies of all photos from Harvey Glatman’s toolbox. I am also requesting any photographs that investigators might have taken of his 1951 Dodge Coronet to establish the configuration  of the rearview mirrors, bumpers, and fenders, along with any damage which might be present. Any assistance you can give me is greatly appreciated.

Steven G. Ainsworth #536


Boulder County Sheriff’s Office

1777 Sixth Street

Boulder, Co. 80302

Office (303) 441-3627

Fax     (303) 441-4739