09192017Tue
Last updateMon, 18 Sep 2017 9pm

The Glenn Reitz Murder: An Introduction

AN UNSOLVED MURDER IN MADERA: Part 1

MADERA - In 1977 I entered junior high school in the small Central California town of Madera. While I thought I knew everything and had experienced things that other twelve year old boys had not, it would be many years before my eyes would be opened to the big picture and the truth about people: We should all be treated equally no matter what the differences.

I was an only child of conservative Republican parents with country club memberships. Dad was an accountant and a member of the Elk's and Masonic Lodges. Mom was also involved in community service clubs. Being an only child, I had the full attention of my parents most times. I sometimes forgot that I was only a lad and my mouth occasionally landed me in some real trouble.


The Glenn Reitz Murder: Crime Scene

AN UNSOLVED MURDER IN MADERA: Part 2

MADERA - On Tuesday March 19, 1985 Thomas Jefferson Junior High English teacher Glenn Reitz failed to show up for school. This was something school Principal Ben Barsotti thought was very unusual for the teacher he hired thirteen years earlier.

Phone calls were made to Reitz home, but there was no answer. Being that Reitz only lived a half a block from the Sunset Avenue school on Rotan Street, Barsotti decided to walk over to the teacher's home. What he found was something no one had expected to see in the little town of Madera.

The Glenn Reitz Murder: Time Line

AN UNSOLVED MURDER IN MADERA: Part 3

MADERA - In 1985, Glenn Reitz was living a full life. At the time of his death he was helping form a drum and bugle corps for the Boy Scouts of America. He was in great physical shape from working out six days a week. He was water skiing on one day and snow skiing the next. He had friends that cared for him. He had students who remember fondly how he would offer his help in and out of the classroom. And he had his secret life.

Once the Madera Police got this case Detectives Dale Padgett and David Foster did a great job of piecing together the last 48 hours of the Thomas Jefferson teacher's life. Through phone records, interviews and good police work almost every hour of Reitz's last 48 hours was accounted for in the police reports. Of course we do not know for sure who was in the house with Reitz when he was killed but we do know who he came in contact with shortly before.

The Glenn Reitz Murder: Missing Car & Police Sketch

AN UNSOLVED MURDER IN MADERA: Part 4

MADERA - As the local leads were drying up on the March 19, 1985 murder of Thomas Jefferson Junior High teacher, Glenn Reitz, the Madera Police got a big break in the case. A partial license plate belonging to Reitz was found near a burned out car in a gravel pit in Louisiana.

On April 7, 1985 Barry Culpepper, owner of a gravel pit near Arcadia, Louisiana reported to the Bienville Parish Sheriff's Department that he had found a burned car on his property approximately 150 yards west of the intersections of Parish Roads 402 & 446.

The Glenn Reitz Murder: Serial Killer Theory

AN UNSOLVED MURDER IN MADERA: Part 5

MADERA - The Madera Police Department looked into several theories of what happened that March night in 1985. All in an effort to explain the death of Glenn Reitz, the head of the Thomas Jefferson Junior High English Department.

Local bars and truck stops were descended on by detectives seeking out information. Local people were interviewed as to their possible involvement in the killing. There were even moments when it seemed plausible that Reitz could belong with the lists of other victims killed by murderers that some may identify as serial killers.


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