Published:June 3, 2024

Law & Crime


A coroner in Indiana recently announced that medical examiners identified the bone fragment belonging to another victim from the 10,000 human remains recovered from the farm of alleged serial killer Herb Baumeister.

Jeffrey A. Jones, who last lived in Fillmore, Indiana, was reported missing in August 1993. Jones is at least the 12th victim out of the staggering amount of remains first recovered in 1996 at the 18-acre Fox Hollow Farm in Westfield, said Hamilton County Coroner Jeff Jellison. With DNA technology improving over the last three decades, Jellison has renewed efforts to identify more victims.

The effort has yielded three identifications so far with four more DNA profiles sent to the FBI for possible identification, according to Jellison. Several law enforcement agencies, labs and DNA experts from colleges including the FBI, Indiana State Police Laboratory, University of Indianapolis and Texas-based Othram Laboratory have pitched in their expertise, Jellison said.

“Because many of the remains were found burnt and crushed, this investigation is extremely challenging; however, the team of law enforcement and forensic specialists working the case remain committed,” he said.

As Law&Crime previously reported, Allen Livingston — a queer man who was just 27 years old when reported missing in 1993 — was identified back in October.

Baumeister died by suicide in 1996 shortly after a warrant for his arrest was issued and Indianapolis police had begun questioning him about a string of gay men who went missing from the area during the 1980s and 1990s.

Key to the case was an informant identified as Tony Harris, who claimed that he had met Baumeister at an area gay bar in 1994 and spent a horrifying evening with him at his home. Harris’ friend, Roger Goodlet, had gone missing around that same time and Harris suspected Baumeister may have been responsible. According to an A&E documentary on the case entitled “The Secret Life of Serial Killers,” Harris would later tell police that when he approached Baumeister, who introduced himself as “Brian Smart” and had spent a good chunk of the evening staring at Goodlet’s missing poster hanging in the bar.

When Baumeister — posing as Smart — invited Harris back to his place for a swim and a late night cocktail, Harris accepted and the men went to Fox Hollow together. He said they began to have sex and in the middle of it, the man he thought was Smart tried to strangle him to death with a pool hose as part of foreplay. Harris said he only managed to escape with his life after pretending to pass out.

Harris went to authorities, but locating the farm to match his description proved difficult for police and it wasn’t until more than a year later that Harris would cross paths with “Brian Smart” again — and be able to give police a critical tip.