As many true crime enthusiasts know, the early life of a serial killer is often fraught with abuse, neglect, and suffering of all kinds. There may even be a specific incident that one could point to as being instrumental in their descent into utter depravity, foretelling of the horrors to come. The great tragedy, revealed only by studying the past, is that someone could have prevented the crimes had they only known to intervene.
This is not the case for Herbert Baumeister, which perhaps makes his story all the more unsettling.
Herbert Richard Baumeister was born April 7, 1947, to Herbert Baumeister Sr., a successful anesthesiologist, and his wife, Elizabeth. He would be the first of the couple’s four children and spent his early years in Westfield, a well-to-do suburb just north of Indianapolis, Indiana. Shortly after the younger Herbert’s arrival in 1948, his parents welcomed a second child and only daughter, Barbara. The early 1950s would also see the births of two little brothers: Brad, born in 1954, and Richard, born in 1956.
It is said that the four Baumeister children had a happy childhood, and if young Herbert had any grievances about his home life, it would be that the family home was not large enough to accommodate six people. The crowded house was uncomfortable for the boy, though the issue was a temporary one.