Man identified among 10,000 pieces of human remains on suspected serial killer’s farm

More than 10,000 pieces of human remains were found at Herbert Baumeister’s property since the late 1990s

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 19 October 2023 20:42 BST
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The remains of a man who was killed 30 years ago were found on the property of a suspect serial killer in Indiana, according to police.

Coroner Jeff Jellison of Hamilton County, Indiana, announced on Tuesday that the bone fragment remains found on the property were those of Allen Livingston, a 27-year-old queer man who disappeared in 1993.

His remains were among 10,000 human remains investigators have collected over the years at an 18-acre farm called Fox Hollow in Westfield, Indiana, according to Law & Crime.

The property belonged to Herbert Baumeister, a suspected serial killer who died by suicide in 1996 shortly after police obtained a warrant for his arrest. He was being questioned at the time about a string of gay men who had gone missing from the area between the 1980s and 1990s.

Baumeister was implicated by a man named Tony Harris, who claimed to have met him at a gay bar in 1994 and was later allegedly nearly strangled while at his home.

Herbert Baumeister, a suspected serial killer, in a television interview with WISH-TV in the 1990s
Herbert Baumeister, a suspected serial killer, in a television interview with WISH-TV in the 1990s (screengrab/ WISH-TV)

Mr Harris told investigators at the time that he met Baumeister — who called himself "Brian Smart" — at a gay bar, and the men spent an evening getting to know each other before they went home together.

After returning to the Fox Hollow property, the men began to have sex, and Baumeister allegedly tried to strangle Mr Harris with a pool hose during intercourse. Mr Harris said he pretended to pass out, which dropped Baumeister's guard long enough for him to escape the Fox Hollow property.

Roger Goodlet, a friend of Mr Harris's, had gone missing around the same time. Mr Harris believes he was one of Baumeister's alleged victims.

Mr Harris reported what he thought was an attempt at his murder to police, but they could not locate the farm. A year later, Mr Harris ran into Baumeister again, and copied down his license plate number, which he then passed to police, according to WTHR.

Baumeister was married at the time to a woman and had a 15-year-old son. The teen discovered a human skull on the property in 1994, just as reports were emerging that gay men in the area were going missing.

When Baumeister's wife confronted him about the skull, he said it was likely left over from his father's work as a physician. She accepted that explanation for two years, but the couple eventually divorced.

As police began searching the site, they found bone fragments, a skull, and teeth on the property.

By the time police had solid evidence of human remains to justify an arrest warrant, Baumeister had already fled to Canada, where he died by suicide.

Police believe the more than 10,000 pieces of human remains recovered at the property represent approximately 25 individuals.

Mr Livingston's mother, Sharon, told WTHR last year that she believed his remains would be found on Baumeister's property.

“I know that man got him, I just know,” she told WTHR at the time. “I’m pretty sure they are going to find him. I just know they are.”

She was proven right on Tuesday when it was announced his bone fragments were located on the property.

It was a member of Mr Livingston's family who pushed for an expedited identification process of the remains found on the site. Mr Livingston's cousin approached Mr Jellison and asked the coroner to speed up the identification process if at all possible.

“What are the odds, out of 10,000 remains? Out of 10,000, we selected 44 and the first identification is a person from the family that initiated this whole thing,” Mr Jellison said. “Where does that come from?”

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