WEEKEND SHOWCASE;NEWLN:Murdering dentist called Dr. Engleman and Mr. Hyde


ST. LOUIS -- Slight and balding, Dr. Glennon E. Engleman appeared to be a kindly old dentist in the quiet, south St. Louis neighborhood where he lived and practiced.

But prosecutors say the mild-mannered demeanor was a facade for a madman who derived sexual pleasure from killing, and mesmerized young women into setting up their husbands as targets in murder-for-profit schemes.


'He says he does it for money, but I think that's a front,' said Gordon Ankney, the prosecutor who sent Engleman to prison. 'He never did it for enough to make it worthwhile.

'He related homicidal intimacy with sexual intimacy. There was almost a sexual excitement about killing. He's said to have quite a sexual drive. He has a very macho image of himself.'

Engleman, 57, currently is serving two life terms -- with no parole for 50 years -- for two murders. But he may be forced to stand trial again in Illinois because of an indictment returned in August that names the dentist as the triggerman in the killing of an Illinois man and his parents.


That pleases Ankney because a conviction could bring the death penalty.

'This guy is a dangerous man,' Ankney said. 'He's as cold-blooded a murderer as I've ever seen.

'Most believed he was a kindly old dentist in south St. Louis. But he is a Dr. Engleman and Mr. Hyde.' Ankney said Engleman had a Charles Manson-like hypnotic ability over young women. In all but one of the seven deaths in which he is implicated, Engleman worked with a woman -- sometimes hand-picking a man for her to marry -ua aYK E

Hd then shared in insurance payoffs.

'I wouldn't doubt that this guy uses some hypnosis on these girls,' said Ankney. 'To get young girls to go out and get people to kill without even knowing who they were -- that's incredible.'

Fred Buckles, the assistant U.S. attorney who pressed federal charges against Engleman, said he had a power over women not related to his physical looks.

'For a 50-year-old guy, he had the body of a 50-year-old guy,' Buckles said. 'Like many people his age, he has an extra pound or two.

'But he had some sort of hold on women. He's quite a talker. There's got to be something about his personality to convince people to do these things.'


Buckles also agreed Engleman didn't kill just for money, pointing out that in one murder that took three years to pull off the dentist's share was $10,000 of a $60,000 insurance payoff.

'When I think back about it, I still think it's incredible,' Buckles said. 'I can remember the looks on the jury -- people looking at you like it was a fairy tale, like it was a TV movie.'

Investigators who interviewed Engleman described him as 'super intelligent' with an IQ in the 140s. The dentist refused a UPI request for an interview in his cell in the state pentitentiary at Jefferson City, but one of the last reporters to talk with him said Engleman spoke of 'parapsychology' and 'signs of the Zodiac.'

'He said he knew through the stars that he wouldn't get the death penalty,' said Bill Bryan, a veteran of 10 years as a city police reporter. 'He talks with very high self-confidence, almost cocky.'

Bryan said Engleman asked him to come into his cell and help him take his coat off. The reporter said he hesitated at first.

'He's a little pipsqueak,' Bryan said. 'He's not big, maybe 5-8. If he doesn't have a gun or something, there's no reason to be afraid.'


Engleman's name first made headlines in the 1958 shooting murder of James Bullock, 27 in one of the city's best-known unsolved slayings. At the time,Engleman's former wife, Edna, had been married to Bullock for six months.

Mrs. Bullock got $64,500 in life-insurance benefits and later invested $15,000 in a dragstrip owned by Engleman. Engleman never was charged in the Bullock shooting, but Ankney noted the case remains open because there is no statute of limitations on murder.

No charges were filed in the 1963 death of Eric Frey, an employee at the dragstrip who was killed in a dynamite explosion as he was attempting to fill an old cistern. Frey's widow received $37,000 in insurance benefits and said she later gave $16,000 of the sum to Engleman, a self-professed explosives expert.

The first conviction of Engleman came in 1980 in the death of Peter J. Halm, who was shot in the back with a rifle as he stood next to his wife in a wooded area near Pacific in 1976.

Halm's wife, Carmen Miranda Halm, had worked as a dental assistant for Engleman before she married Halm. She was granted immunity and testified Engleman 'suggested that I marry someone and that he would, uh, kill them.'


Mrs. Halm said Engleman told her the plot would work because he had pulled it off before. 'He said he blew up Eric Frey,' Mrs. Halm testified, adding that she gave the dentist $10,000 of a $60,000 insurance settlement.

Engleman also was convicted in the 1980 car-bombing death of Sophie Marie Barrera. Mrs. Barrera performed dental lab work for Engleman and at the time of her death was suing him for $14,500 in unpaid fees.

Authorities believe Engleman constructed the bomb but a second man actually planted it. The man's identity is known, but prosecutors said they lack enough evidence to bring him to trial at this time.

Police investigating the bombing were led to Engleman by his third wife, Ruth, who said she feared for her life. She agreed to tape secretly conversations with her husband.

The tape was played at Engleman's trial for the Barrera killing and he was heard telling his wife he wanted to 'quietly settle down' and 'practice dentistry for a little.'

'There's no possession on my part, no driving urgency to keep getting rid of my fellow man,' Engleman said.

His wife pressed him for a reason for his murderous ways and Engleman replied: 'Money, money, money, money.' He also talked of 'a nice camaraderie that you have and closeness' with the women who helped with the killings.


Engleman could not be sentenced to the gas chamber for the Halm murder because Missouri did not have the death penalty when the killing occurred. He escaped death again when the Barrera jury could not agree on a sentence.

But during the investigations into the two murders, police found Engleman had bragged to cohorts about 'his biggest project,' the murders of a farmer, his wife and their son in Madison County, Ill. An indictment was returned in August for the Illinois killings.

Barbara Gusewelle Boyle was charged in the murder of her husband, Ronald Gusewelle, 33, in March 1979, and the deaths of his parents, Arthur, 61, and Vernita, 55, in November 1977. Mrs. Boyle was arrested in Florida where she had obtained a passport and apparently was headed to Switzerland.

Ronald Gusewelle had inherited a $340,000 estate after the deaths of his parents. In addition, Mrs. Boyle had approximately $120,000 in insurance policies on her husband.

Engleman and Robert Handy, his convicted accomplice in the Halm killing, were named as unindicted co-conspirators but Madison County State's Attorney Don Weber says they will be indicted on the murder charges. Weber said Mrs. Boyle planned to share the $500,000 she would make after her husband's death with Engleman.


Sources said Mrs. Boyle met Engleman about 1960 when she lived in an apartment over his mother's home. Engleman and Mrs. Boyle's first husband were said to have been schoolmates.

Weber has said he will seek the death penalty for Engleman because of statements by Handy that the dentist shot Ronald Gusewelle through the heart, and then beat him repeatedly on the head with a sledge hammer.

Engleman, however, could escape the death chamber a third time because his health may not permit him to stand trial. His sister, Melody Gonterman, told UPI he suffers from diabetes and has lost about 75 pounds.

'He's just getting old -- old and sick,' Mrs. Gonterman said of her brother. 'He's lost a toe, lost it last year. And he has a hole in his neck. You can almost put a couple fingers in it.'

Engleman once boasted to a reporter that he was a 'celebrity' in the prison and that a 'hit man' had sought out his advice on killing. Engleman advised him that a shot to the back of the head was best.

'Let's face it,' Engleman told a reporter. 'I'm a celebrity - Jesse James, the Dalton Gang and Dr. Engleman.'


Mrs. Gonterman said Engleman had asked to be allowed to practice dentistry in prison but officials were afraid of lawsuits. 'It's a shame to waste all that talent,' she said.

Prosecutor Ankney has a different view of Engleman's dental talents.

'There was some thinking that he would practice on the prisoners, but the warden stopped that talk pretty soon,' Ankney said. 'He was a lousy dentist.'

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