Nearly 50 Years After Her Death, A Murdered Teen Is Linked To A Serial Killer Cop

A Florida family finally has closure after authorities identified a body recovered in 1974 as 15-year-old Susan Poole.

Susan Poole [main] went missing in 1972 and her murder is now being linked to serial killer cop Gerard Schaefer [inset].

Nearly 50 years after Susan Poole's death, her murder is being linked to serial killer cop Gerard Schaefer.

Photo by: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office [main]; Martin County Sheriff's Office [inset]

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office [main]; Martin County Sheriff's Office [inset]

Nearly 50 years after the skeleton of a teenage girl was found tied to a mangrove tree, authorities finally know who she is and who killed her.

Genetic genealogy testing that began in 2021 identified the body as Susan Poole, a 15-year-old who was reported missing just before Christmas in 1972 when she went missing from a Broward County, Florida trailer park.

A skeleton, now known to be Poole, was found in 1974 in Palm Beach County off Highway A1A, a scenic route along Florida’s Atlantic coast.

According to reports, her remains were bound to a mangrove tree with a wire. Due to limited forensic technology, authorities had no way to identify her body, and the case grew cold.

The Suspected Serial Killer

At the time of Poole’s disappearance, a yet-unknown serial killer was terrorizing the area. Gerard Schaefer worked as a police officer for a small department, but his short tenure as an officer came to a screeching halt when he kidnapped two hitchhiking teen girls in July 1972. He tied the girls to trees along Highway A1A and said he would be back later, but the pair managed to escape.

Schaefer immediately lost his job and was arrested for kidnapping. While he was on bond and awaiting trial, he reportedly kidnapped and then killed two different teen girls. The teens’ disfigured bodies were discovered in April 1973. As authorities investigated that case, they searched Schaefer’s home and found evidence that linked him to other murders in the area. Schaefer was found guilty of murdering the teens discovered in 1973 and was sentenced to life in prison. According to Murderpedia, he was killed by another inmate in the mid 90s over a dispute about a cup of hot water.

Connecting The Dots

According to CBS News, Palm Beach detective William Springer noted the similarities between Poole’s case and other murder scenes attributed to Schaefer. The detective believes it is very likely she met her end at the hands of Schaefer because she fit his profile and was found in the same fashion as his other victims.

According to WPBF, Springer doesn’t have the physical evidence to say for certain that Shaefer killed Poole, but he believes she was likely hitchhiking and got into his car.

Springer wants to speak with three of Poole’s friends from the time of her disappearance. He believes those friends may be able to answer some questions that could bring answers to Poole’s mother, who is now in her 90s.

Anyone with information on Poole’s activities or her possible connection to Schaefer can reach out to Springer at 561-688-4013. Callers can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

Next Up

Colorado Man Allegedly Kills Teen Coworker In Break Room After She Rejected His Advances

Riley Whitelaw, 17, had previously expressed concerns about her 28-year-old coworker Joshua Johnson, whom she said made her feel uncomfortable.

Texas Truck Driver Charged In Nearly 30-Year-Old Cold Case Murder Of California Mother

The body of Sherri Herrera, 30, was found along a California freeway onramp on March 30, 1993. Nearly 30 years later, a suspect has been charged with her murder.

DNA Helped Solve Cold Case Murder Of Woman Found Wrapped In Carpet On The Side Of The Road

The body of Lina Reyes Geddes, 37, was found along a highway near Maidenwater Spring in Utah’s Garfield County on April 20, 1998. Her murder remained unsolved until June 2022.

True Crime News Roundup: Young NYC Mother Fatally Shot While Pushing Newborn In Stroller

Plus: Gabby Petito’s mother “fed up” with “narcissist” killer Brian Laundrie; search continues for missing Georgia teen with special needs; Arizona grandmother solves her own murder; warrant connected to Emmett Till lynching case discovered in Mississippi courthouse.

Bite Marks Left On Victim’s Body Help Police Identify Suspect In 1994 Cold Case Murder

“She told us that someone had been taking photos of her and hanging up when she answered the phone,” the mother of Cheri Huss recalls.

True Crime News Roundup: Woman Who Manipulated Boyfriend Into Killing Her Husband Sentenced

Plus: Principal accused of having yearslong sexual relationship with student; NYC teen mother allegedly threw newborn from fifth-floor window; dispute over dog turns deadly in Connecticut; and a judge denies a request for DNA testing in West Memphis Three case.

Florida Teen Allegedly Stole Parents’ Money To Hire A Hitman To Kill Them, Cops Say

Cops say she allegedly withdrew $1,400 from her mom and stepdad's account in a failed murder-for-hire plot.

Suspected ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ Robert Koehler Is Linked To Additional Cases

In June 2022, DNA linked suspected serial rapist Robert Koehler to an additional string of rapes in the 1980s.

Virginia Murder Linked To Serial Killer Who Took 10-Year Hiatus

When an Alexandria, Virginia man was murdered in 2013, police noticed an eerie similarity between his death and a crime that happened a decade before.

‘Soulless’ 15-Year-Old Florida Boy Strangles & Buries Mom After Fight Over His Grades

Police said Gregory Logan Ramos showed “no sign of remorse whatsoever.”