Friday, 24 July 2015

Harvey Glatman - The Lonely Hearts Killer

Further to my last post on what constitutes sex crime, this post is about one man who brought sex crime right out into the public consciousness, solely through his twisted desires.  Harvey Glatman murdered three women, and had convinced them that he was a photographer who took cover pictures for detective magazines.  This meant lurid pictures of women bound and gagged, or blouses opened up with the man holding a gun or knife to her.  At the time of these offences - 1958 - pornography was still very coy, certainly no comparison to what is viewed today.  Books by Mickey Spillane, the Mike Hammer series, were considered violent and explicit.  Something for young lads gathered at school to have a quick read of the racy bits.  Glatman enjoyed pornography but it had to be a certain type to meet his "needs."  Sadistic sex killers need the more extreme porn, to fulfill their fantasies.  Sex and violence are not separate in their minds.  They are joined together at the hip.  Sex is not sex without violence.

    Harvey Glatman was born in 1928 in Denver, Colorado, and was an athletic person with a lop sided grin and he reputedly had a high IQ of 130.  During his adolescence, Glatman began a fascination with bindings and ropes.  An early warning sign that something was not quite right with him was when his mother discovered him in his bedroom, naked, with a piece of string tied around the end of his penis and the other end tied to a doorknob.  No explanation was made for this.  Then his parents saw red marks around his neck when he was twelve.  Was he already experimenting with "Autoerotic Asphyxia?  If so, where did he learn of it?  Or was it an accidental discovery made during a botched suicide attempt?   His parents took him to a doctor who in the time honoured tradition, said that young Harvey would grow out of it.  His father saw things differently and was a very harsh disciplinarian. (No surprises there!)  If he caught Harvey masturbating, he gave the usual condemnations, he would suffer mentally, it would cause other physical problems, etc, etc.  Harvey could not be deterred from his fantasies.

    It was just after he left school, that he was arrested for very odd behaviour.  He used a toy gun to subdue young girls, tie them up and then gently fondle them.  If they had any money, he took that from them.   Harvey moved away to New York and began a career as an armed robber, but that earned him a five year stretch in Sing Sing.  Whilst incarcerated, he received psychiatric care.  When released, he returned home to Colorado, and moved out to the west coast and Los Angeles.  He was set up in a tv repair business by his mother.  But Harvey had his needs, and what he found stimulating, were detective magazines and in particular, the lurid covers.  To meet women, he joined a lonely hearts club, and told prospective dates that he was a photographer.  He even managed to persuade them to let him thoroughly bind and gag them, assuring them these were magazine shots.  He took numerous pictures of them, and after he felt satisfied, he killed them.  He told Police that he raped them and needed bondage to make him aroused.  He was caught after another potential victim, after being shot in the leg, managed to snatch his gun and hold him at gunpoint until Police arrived.  He was convicted and sentenced to death, going into the Gas Chamber at San Quentin in August 1959.