|April 9, 2006, Daily Camera, Harvey Glatman's First Molestation Charge was in Boulder, by Silvia Pettem
On April 8, 1954, two University of Colorado students hiking in Boulder Canyon discovered the body of a murder victim. Although "Jane Doe" still is not positively identified, law-enforcement officials are revisiting a decades-old theory that she may have been murdered by Harvey Glatman.
The notorious serial killer was executed in 1959 following his arrest in California for the murders of three young women. His earliest known victims, however, survived. In Boulder, in July 1945, he abducted and then returned a 24-year-old woman.
At the time, Glatman was 17 years old and living with his parents in Denver. He had been arrested two months earlier for breaking into a young woman's apartment in Denver. He was charged with aggravated robbery and thrown in jail.
While free on bail, Glatman used a gun to subdue the Boulder woman. He accosted her at the intersection of 13th Street and Arapahoe Avenue as she walked alone from a downtown movie theater to her home on Marine Street.
Glatman bound and gagged her, then forced her to walk with him up Sunshine Canyon, where he kept her captive throughout the night. According to the Camera, he returned her "unharmed" the next morning. He was arrested by Boulder police two days later.
The stated offense for Glatman's Boulder arrest was "molesting women," but he also had stolen two dollars from his victim's purse. "A charge of armed robbery was filed in Boulder District Court," stated a reporter, "as the district attorney at the time felt the evidence was stronger for armed robbery than for one of kidnapping or assault."
In September, police again arrested Glatman for the robbery and molestation of three additional young Denver women. Two months later, the "phantom terrorist" (as he was called by the press) pleaded guilty to his initial charges from the previous May.
Glatman received a one- to five-year sentence at the Colorado State Penitentiary. Psychiatrist J. P. Hilton testified at his trial and stated, "With shock treatment, the boy might snap out of his present mental condition."
Another doctor examined Glatman at the penitentiary and said that if he received additional sentences "he would become resentful and vindictive and would be more apt to get into further trouble." Seven months later, he was paroled.
After gaining his freedom, Glatman moved to New York, where he committed more crimes and was sent to Sing Sing prison. In May 1951, he was paroled again, with the provision that he return to Denver and remain under court supervision. He got work as a television repairman. His Boulder case had been dismissed in November 1950.
Glatman's early crimes escalated to murder. In his final arrest, in 1958, his victim escaped from his car. At the time, then-Boulder County Sheriff Art Everson took a close look at Glatman's whereabouts in the mid-1950s, the same time period detectives are focusing on today.
When Everson was told that California authorities questioned Glatman about Jane Doe and that he denied killing her, the sheriff said he was "not convinced" and that Glatman remained "a good suspect." The young woman who was abducted in 1945 might have had an opinion, too, but there's no record of her being questioned. She died in 1979 at the age of 58.
Silvia Pettem's history column appears every Sunday in the Daily Camera. Write her at the Daily Camera, P. O. Box 591, Boulder 80306, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.