Gary Heidnik aka Brother Bishop
While Gary Heidnik is not a product of Philadelphia, he is one of the most notable characters to have called the City of Brotherly Love at one point. Heidnik was born in a suburb of Eastlake, Ohio but made a move to Philadelphia in the fall of 1962. He transplanted here via a transfer from am Army Surgical Hospital in Germany-where he worked as a medic-where he later landed himself in a local hospital and was diagnosed as having Schizoid Personality Disorder.
Here’s the kicker, as well as a prime example of how botched our whole system is; after being discharged from the Army due to his mental diagnosis, he was capable of landing a job as a Psychiatric Nurse as he able to obtain the credibility of being an LPN (Licensed Practicing Nurse). Remember, this all came about after he got “the sickness”. He worked at Veterans Administration Hospital in Coatesville, PA. He was however, fired shortly after for his less than shining attitude.
Later, while living in the Philadelphia area he (like all good psychos) incorporated the United Church of the Ministers of God. He created a bank account for said Church with Merrill Lynch in the amount of $1,500. Over the next several years Brother Bishop made several wise investments (one of them with Playboy) building up his earnings to roughly 5ook, which in today’s money would be just shy of a million.
Find out more about one of Philly’s finest…With Gary doing well for himself he decided to get himself a mail-order bride from the Philippines. Well, this didn’t last too terribly long due to the bizarre shit that he brought upon his new exotic bride. He forced her to watch him have sexual relations with multiple women, as well as being fairly abusive. She finally left Gary in 1986 which is when Gary had begun to make a name for himself, yet no one knew this just yet.
Over the next year, he began to kidnap and hold six different women captive in the basement of his Philadelphia home. He had turned it into your typical serial killer/serial rapist hide-away. He tortured and raped this women over a period of about a year between 1986-1987, two of which died of starvation and excess torture. Apparently while dismembering one of the women who died, Gary had some trouble and simply kept parts of her in the freezer and labeled her “Dog Food”.
On March 24,1987-a day after abducting one of the unlucky ladies-good old Gary was arrested. The young lady somehow convinced him to allow her to see her family one last time in which she never returned to their rendezvous spot at a local gas station. She had contacted 911, and the gig was up.
Gary stood trial, and the defense was unable to prove he was “insane” because the prosecution argued that no insane man could accrue so much money through a legitimate source. Subsequently, our fine friend was sentenced to death. While serving his time, Mr. Heidnik called the attention of a correctional officer informing the officer that “Satan had fed him too many cookies, and he couldn’t speak”. Gary lay silent for the next two years without uttering a single word.
Gary Heidnik is to date the last recorded person to be executed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He died by lethal injection on July 6th, 1999.
Philadelphia, take a bow as being able to own Mr. Gary Heidnik as one of ours.
Another odd side note, when the police entered the home of Heidnik they took notice to the fact he had glued pennies all over the walls of his home. Go figure, but like they said…he wasn’t insane.
Below is a link to the map location of Gary Heidnik’s Phialdelphia home. I could be wrong, but I believe the actual original structure of the home was demolished, and has since been rebuilt.
This is the list of the abducted women:
- Josefina Rivera, age 25, kidnapped on November 26, 1986
- Sandra Lindsay, age 24, kidnapped on December 3, 1986, murdered in February 1987
- Lisa Thomas, age 19, kidnapped on December 23, 1986
- Deborah Dudley, age 23, kidnapped on January 2, 1987, murdered on March 22, 1987
- Jacqueline Askins, age 17, kidnapped on January 18, 1987
- Agnes Adams, age 24, kidnapped on March 19, 1987