Topic: Family, Life & ExperiencesFamily Members

Last updated: February 15, 2019

Alex Asp
Mr. Willsey
English 3
9 May 2015
Charles Howard “Smitty” Schmid Jr.
Charles Howard Schmid Jr. (July 8, 1942 – March 30, 1975), also known as The Pied Piper of Tucson, was a serial killer in the state of Arizona. He did not do good in school, but some considered him good-looking, intelligent and well-behaved. He was experienced in gymnastics and even took his school to a championship, but stopped his senior year. After being suspended for stealing school property, he never returned and lived off $300 a month from his parents. They let him out on his own with a new car and a new motorcycle, drinking with girls and friends.

May 31, 1964, Schmid decided he wanted murder a girl named Alleen Rowe, a high school student who lived with her mother in Arizona. Schmid’s girlfriend, Mary French, earlier convinced Rowe to date a man named John Saunders, Schmid’s friend, but he had intended to kill Rowe anyway, just to know what it’s like to kill someone.

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Schmid and friends, took Rowe to the desert, where Schmid planned to murder her. Before murdering Rowe, Schmid forced his friend to rape her, but he did not comply to doing it. During the murder, Mary French waited for them in the car and was listening to the radio. Afterwards, they buried the body. When the victim went missing, family members back home went to the authorities to try to get them to investigate. They replied that they did not have enough evidence to search for the girl. Then, on August 16, 1965, Schmid murdered his old girlfriend and her sister. He told his friend Richard Bruns about the murders. This frightened Bruns very much, so he flew to Ohio and told his grandparents about the event that he had been informed in, and flew back to help authorities in an investigation against Schmid.

At Schmid’s trial, in 1966, he was found guilty and sentenced to death the following month. Though he did not get the death penalty because the state of Arizona had temporarily abolished this, so the sentence was commuted to 50 years. Schmid tried multiple times to escape the prison, and succeeded at one point, breaking out with fellow inmate Raymond Hudgens. They had held four hostages at a farm near Tempe, Arizona. After this, the two separated, and were captured by the police once again and were returned to the prison again.

On March 10, 1975, Charles Howard Schmid was stabbed 47 times by other inmates. This attack left him without and eye and a kidney. He did not die until the 30th due to a second stabbing. His mother decided to have a Catholic funeral for he son at the prison cemetery, but one day before the ceremony, the body was stolen from the morgue. The mother decided to continue with the burial, even though the casket was empty.


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