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Bob Berdella Testimonials & Timeline


3/04/09 From Donn

OMG. I used to live in the house right next door to his...Met him once at Westport Flea Market. Little bit scary.

2/26/09 From Corey

Bob Berdella was my uncle's roommate in college. He told me that he used to torture fish and beat his dog until it passed out and shit. I can try and get some more info for you for the movie if you want. Hit me up. Peace.

1/26/09 From Jeff

You said you wanted to know if anyone had contact with Berdella. I did once at his store in the flea market. I was 13 or 14 at the time. I liked getting mail so i would fill out flyer requests all the time. I went into his shop. I believe it was in the NE corner of the building on the Clark St side. Anyway, I began filling out the form when he began to talk to me. He said hi and introduced himself as Bob and asked my name and age. He told me that he would send flyers and when I was older I could possibly work for him. I got a few flyers in the mail. i remember them being an orange color and special showings printed on them. I only got two. He seemed nice at the time but now I feel lucky to not be a victim.

1/26/09 From Zach

I know someone who used to work with Bob when he was a chef at a law firm in KC. Apparently, he used to drive him to City Market everyday to get food, and said he insisted he take a different route everyday. Apparently, he was a real ass hole and control freak.

1/15/09 From Kepley

I knew Bob- and lived in the house on the corner (to the right of his place if you were facing his front door) I used to drink beer with him- I was involved in the KC punk rock scene at the time, and was 19 in 88.

1/23/09 From David

I live in kansas city all my life, I am 53 years old. I remember  bob berdella, I was living on  3809 mercier street, kansas city.
one after noon in the summer of 1985 me and some of the people from the 12 step program came in westport flee market after a meeting to drink coffee, I went into bob berdellas bob bazaar bizarre. I looked around and I asked him questions about witchcraft, and asked him if he wanted to sell one of them skulls and he said that they were not for sell, I asked him were he got them at and he said he brought them back from the Caribbean  and I said I would like to have one   but he said they were not for sell, and he gave me one of his cards, and he ask me to give him a call, but I never did I got some strange feeling about this guy

I went back in there two or three more times and then I stopped going in there because he seemed like he would become angry so I did not return.

12/25/08 From Unknown Sender

I just happened to follow a link to this site from eatmybrains.com, I have a Berdella story.  I moved to the KC area in 1993, met this guy that owned a video store with his friend.  Jeff Sisson, his friend/business partner was a guy named Kelley.  One of these two knew a guy that that worked in city hall or something like that.  I guess this guy stole evidence in the form of polaroids.  Sisson showed me the polaroid's, creepy stuff.  I had never heard of Berdella before this so it was a startling introduction.  This was before photo shopping got to the almost indistinguishable point its at today, and it was polaroid's, so I don't even know if those could have been shopped anyway.  The only reason I'm suspect about the situation is because Sisson was a gore movie nerd, was into trying to do movie makeup and stuff like that, I heard all these years later he's still dabbling in it.  Those photos could have been staged I guess, I know they looked more real than the ones posted on this site.  I think he has a myspace, look him up, Jeff Sisson, or Jeffrey maybe, I'm sure he can give you more details.

Berdella Timeline (Taken from Radford.edu)



 Life Event

Jan 31 1949


Robert Berdella was born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

May 1956


Brother, Daniel, was born



Berdella was baptized as a Catholic

Dec 1965



Father dies of a sudden heart attack at age 39.  Mother remarries soon after.  Berdella resented it.


Raped by a man he worked with in an Ohio restaurant.

Stopped attending church services

Watched the movie “The Collector” which was about a man who kidnapped a woman and kept her captive. He would later admit that this movie left a lasting impression on him.

Aug 1967



Enrolled in the Kansas City Art Institute.


Began to abuse and sell drugs and alcohol.

Jan 1968



Arrested, and plead guilty, for selling amphetamines to an undercover agent.  He received a five year suspended sentence.

Feb 1968

Arrested for possession of LSD and marijuana.  After spending 5 days in jail the charges were dropped for lack of evidence.


Began to work as a short-order cook.

Sep 1969


Bought a house where he would live until his arrest

Dec 1969

Dropped out of art school



Became more accomplished as a chef and worked for many well-known restaurants and country clubs. Joined local chefs association where he helped set up training classes for aspiring chefs.

Helped organize local crime prevention and neighborhood watch association

Began renting space at the local flee-market where he sold oddities, antiques, and artifacts.

Became open about his homosexuality



Quit work as a cook and begin to work full time at his shop, which he named “Bob’s Bazaar Bizarre”.



Became seriously emotionally involved with an unstable Vietnam veteran, however, the relationship did not last long.

Began picking up young male prostitutes.  He would become a friend with many of them, often allowing them to live with him in exchange for helping with housework.  He tried to get many of them to quit prostituting and get their lives in order.



Began hanging out with 19-year-old Jerry Howell, one of the young prostitutes.

July 5

Drugged Howell with animal tranquilizers.  Bound and gagged him to a bed and sodomized him repeatedly. During this time, and subsequent crimes he took numerous pictures and kept a detailed log.

July 6

Howell died from asphyxiation.  Berdella hung Howell upside down in his basement and cut slits in the body in order to drain the blood.  He then dismembered the body, put the pieces in trash bags, and left them on his curb.  Garbagemen then unwittingly took the trash to the dump never to be found again.

Apr 10 1985


Allowed an acquaintance, Robert Sheldon to stay at his house for a couple of days.  Injected him with drugs with the intention of “keeping him” like he did to Howell.

Apr 11

Decided not to “keep” Sheldon and took him to the doctor because Sheldon was complaining of soreness from the drugs.

Apr 12

Sheldon got drunk and Berdella again decided to “keep” him.  He then drugged him with sedatives and tranquilizers and then bound and gagged him as he had done with Howell.  He then sodomized and tortured him repeatedly for days.

Apr. 15

A workman arrived to do some roofing work for Berdella.  Berdella then suffocated Sheldon with a plastic bag so that the workman would not hear him.  He then placed the body in his bathtub and made incisions to allow the blood to drain.  He then dismembered and disposed of the body as he had done with Howell, except this time he kept the head and buried it in his backyard.


Met Mark Wallace after he had help with some yard work for him.

June 22

Berdella found Wallace in his tool shed seeking shelter from a violent storm.  He invited Wallace inside and drugged him.

June 23

Berdella tortured and sodomized Wallace for several hours until he died from asphyxiation.  Berdella then disposed of the body as he had done before.

Sept 26

Picked up an acquaintance, James Ferris, at a gay bar and took him back to his house.

Sept 27

He then drugged, bound, and tortured Ferris as he had with the others until he died from asphyxiation. He disposed of the body as he had before.

June 17 1986


Met a male prostitute he had known for a couple years named Todd Stoops and invited him back to his house.  He then drugged and tortured him for weeks.

July 7

Stoops died from blood loss as a result of the torture.  Berdella disposed of the body as had the others.

June 5 1987


Bailed a friend, Larry Pearson, out of jail and invited him to live with him.

June 23

Drugged and tortured Pearson in his basement for 6 weeks.

Aug 5

Berdella went to the hospital after Pearson had bit his penis.  Berdella was told that he would have to stay in the hospital for a couple days.  Before his stay, he went home and suffocated Pearson with a plastic bag.

Aug 7

Returned home from the hospital and disposed of Pearson’s body.  He kept his head and buried it in the backyard.  He also removed Sheldon’s previously buried skull and put it on display in his house.

Mar 29 1988


Picked up a 22 year-old male prostitute, Chris Bryson, and took him back to his house. He drugged and tortured him as he had done with the others for 5 days.

Apr 2

While Berdella was at work, Bryson freed himself by burning through the ropes that bound him, and jumping out of the second story window.  Bryson then ran to a neighbor’s house wearing nothing but a dog collar around his neck.  Police began to care for Bryson and listen to his story of repeated torture when Berdella arrived home.

Apr 2-4

Police searched Berdella’s house and found his torture logs and pictures. Berdella was arraigned on seven counts of sodomy, one count of felonious restraint and one count of first degree assault.  Initally, bail was set at $500,000.

Apr 5-Sep 13

Bail was revoked when an officer testified that one of the men in the photographs from Berdella’s house appeared to be dead.  Berdella remained in jail while police found more evidence of his crimes; this included digging up his backyard where they found Pearson’s partially decade skull.

July 22

Grand jury indicts Berdella for the murder of Larry Pearson

Aug 3

In order to avoid the death penalty Berdella pleads guilty to Pearson’s murder.

Sep 2

Grand jury indicts Berdella for the murder of Robert Sheldon

Sep 13

Berdella plea-bargains to life in prison in exchange for a full confession of his crimes.

Dec 13-15

Berdella confesses to investigators to his crimes in vivid detail.

Dec 19

Berdella pled guilty to 1st degree murder in the death of victim Robert Sheldon and to 4 counts of 2nd degree murder involving additional male victims. Berdella confesses in court and is sent to the state penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri for the rest of his life.  He also announces that he has set up a trust fund in the amount of $50,000 for the families of his victims.

Jan. 1989


Gives an interview with a local television channel in which he blames police and media for distorting him and his crimes.

Jan. 1992


Todd Stoops’ mother wins wrongful death civil suit against Berdella, and is awarded a record $5 billion. Because Berdella can’t pay this amount, Stoops’ mother would have a claim on any future earnings Berdella might make.

Oct. 8 1992


Berdella dies in prison from a heart attack.

Information researched and  summarized by

Ryan Fisher, Ashley Aust, Danielle Bisset, Timothy Jamba, John Jones, Audrey King, Jennifer Kowalski, Elizabeth Krell, and Jaclyn Layton

Department of Psychology
Radford University
Radford, VA  24142-6946

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