Gary Muehlberg has children and a sister. His family, to some extent, is still in touch with him. An individual who has interacted with him says that he likely fears the reaction from family members once they learn he didn’t just kill an acquaintance 30 years ago but also tortured and murdered five women, at least three of them young mothers.
Muehlberg’s crimes, by their nature, defy any attempt to make sense of them. Weber says that he has not given any reason that he did what he did other than stating “it was a dark period in his life.” About three weeks after the meeting with the families, Weber went to interview Muehlberg for a third time. He didn’t have much more to say to her.
But then, a few days later, Weber got a letter from Muehlberg. Details are still scant about the content of Muehlberg’s letter, but in it, he confessed to two more murders.
Three months after Mihan’s murder, 40-year-old Donna Reitmeyer was out working the stroll with her friend, 24-year-old Sheila Leach. Leach and Reitmeyer had a tight bond, having met while serving time together in prison and now keeping an eye on one another while on the street.
Leach told police that on June 3 she drove Reitmeyer to the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Chippewa Street where Reitmeyer hoped to make some money. Reitmeyer gave her friend a business card and, according to a police report, said that if anything ever happened to her, Leach should tell people about this guy.
The name on the card was Frank, whom Reitmeyer had dated a few times. She was afraid of him because he seemed obsessed with her, stalking her while she was working.
Leach went to a nearby KFC to buy a soda, and when she came out, Reitmeyer was gone. Hours went by without Reitmeyer returning, and the next morning, Leach reported her missing.
Eight days later, Reitmeyer’s body was found in a brown Rubbermaid trash bin near the intersection of South Broadway and Gasconade Street, seven blocks south of the stroll. A price sticker on the bin indicated it had been bought from Beiner Hardware, a store with only two locations in town. Brenda Pruitt would be found in a similar trash bin in October.
There was talk on the street that Reitmeyer had overdosed and the panicked people around her had put her body in the bin. Police had investigated Reitmeyer’s death in connection to the Package Killer, but never had any definitive proof until Muehlberg’s written confession.
Muehlberg says there is a fifth victim as well, a woman he killed in early 1991.
Muehlberg told Weber he doesn’t remember the fifth victim’s name, if he ever even did know. All he can say is that he left her body in a metal container in a self-service car wash.
Weber is now poring through missing-persons reports from that time frame. There’s likely another family out there who for three decades has been left to wonder what happened to their daughter, sister, mother.
Weber wants to bring them some answers.
An earlier version of this story had the incorrect name for Gary Muehlberg's mother. It has been updated. We regret the error.
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