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The Glenn Reitz Murder: Crime Scene


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


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


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


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.

The Glenn Reitz Murder: Local Killer(s)


MADERA - Since the death of Glenn Reitz rumors have spread like wild fire. Such is human nature when a man dies in such a way. While the evidence indicates that the murderer was a transient, there are folks that believe that Reitz's murderer still lives in Madera and the investigation into a transient killer and the moving of Reitz's car to Louisiana is nothing more than a massive cover-up to protect a local man or men responsible for the death of the teacher.

The local theory is broken down into two camps. One, Reitz was involved with a local married man and wanted him to leave his wife. Two, Reitz was a part of a group of men that in secret lead a gay lifestyle and shared the company of men from gay bars in the area or hitchhikers coming through the area.

The Glenn Reitz Murder: Gay Bar Theory


MADERA - After the death of Glenn Reitz, Madera Police Captain Andrew Moore went through all of the murdered teacher’s papers and personal effects. In this search, the secret life of the victim was revealed. A private side that even today, some of his family members question and doubt. However after what Captain Moore uncovered there is no question that Reitz was keeping a very dangerous secret. One that could potentially put his life at risk every time he brought some stranger back to his house for company.

Upon finding receipts for video rentals Captain Moore drove to a Fresno adult video store that specialized in "gay porn" called the “Video Box”. The store was a part of a larger complex that also housed two gay bars, The Express and The Backroom. Moore showed a photo of the victim to employees, who recognize Reitz as being a customer in the video store and both bars.

The Glenn Reitz Murder: 28 Years Later


MADERA - Twenty-eight years after the death of Glenn Reitz, the case remains unsolved. Over the last eight weeks I have tried to lay out the entire case in all its detail hoping that maybe someone might remember something significant and call the Madera Police with tips, and several people did. A few of the tips were about the same individual that was already cleared in the murder 28 years ago and some of the tips brought new names to the case.

From the information in the police report, at the time of the murder, Madera Police turned over every stone to find a lead in the case. However, most of the reports that were provided to me were written in March and April of 1985. Not a lot of time to find the person that took away someone that did so much for so many. A man like Glenn Reitz deserved more. He deserved justice.


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