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David Meirhofer (June 8, 1949 – September 1974) was an American serial killer who committed four murders in rural Montanamarker between 1966 and 1974. At the time, the Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker was developing a new method of tracking killers called offender profiling, and Meirhofer was the first serial killer to be caught using the technique . Offender profiling is a method used to learn clues about the characteristics of an unknown killer from evidence at the scene of the crime.

Among his victims was seven-year-old Susan Jaeger, who was taken from her tent at night during a family camping trip. The kidnapper left no ransom request and no physical evidence. However, the psychological profiling technique, which was first used in this case, was employed about a year after the kidnapping. The technique led investigators to suspect that the kidnapper was a young, white male who killed for sexual gratification and may have kept body parts of victims as "souvenirs". Further, they believed that the killer may have been arrested for other crimes. Meirhofer was 23 years old at the time and already suspected in another murder. He denied the charges. Meirhofter placed a telephone call to Marietta Jaeger, the mother of Susan Jaeger, exactly a year after the kidnapping, and she obtained enough information to help the FBI track him down. .

Meirhofer had killed Suzie Jaeger, two boys, and a woman. In September 1974, he confessed to having kidnapped the woman, Sandra Dykman Smallegan, in her sleep during February of that same year. Smallegan had once dated Meirhofer but had ended the relationship.

Meirhofer committed suicide in jail, hours after confessing to the murders.


  1. Garrido Genoves, Vincente. 2007. El perfil Criminologico como un tecnico forense (in Spanish). University of Valencia. Retrieved on June 30, 2007.
  2. The History Channel Classroom Study Guides: Meirhofter Retrieved on June 28, 2007.
  3. CourtTV Crime Library. 2007. Criminal profiling: Part 1: History and method. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved on June 28, 2007.
  4. 2005. An account of the experience of Marietta Jaeger, the mother of Susan Jaeger. Retrieved on June 30, 2007.
  5. Sullivan, Ted. Personal items belonging to 1974 murder victim found in Manhattan. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved on June 28, 2007.

In a later date Thereasa Robinson Who was Staying At her grandparents house was un-hemming a curtain in the meirhofer house that her grandparents owned from sandra smalligons ring in the curtian hem

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