ST. LOUIS — A serial killer manipulated lovers to help kill for insurance money. 

Dr. Glennon Edward Engleman, former St. Louis dentist, died on March 3, 1999, after serving a life sentence in prison. Engleman was convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, three murders in Illinois, and two capital murders in Missouri. He was sentenced to serve 60 years in prison and life without parole. 

These victims were murdered so that Engleman could collect insurance money. 

Michael Newton author of Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers, Engleman is linked to as many as seven homicides. The murders spanned 22 years. 

Early Life

Engleman was born into a family of four; he is the youngest. His father was a member of the United States Air Force, but then switched careers and worked on the railroad. 

In his early education, he was considered a mediocre student who didn’t stand out. He didn’t act out in any way.

Once he finished high school, he served in the Army Air Corps in WWII. With the GI bill, he went to college. 

In 1954, he graduated with a dentistry degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

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According to a podcast called: And That’s Why We Drink Engleman married Edna Ruth Ball in 1953 in Clayton, Mo. In two years, they were divorced, and Engleman then married Eda G. Vanhest on April 20, 1956.

Ball and Engleman will remain friends. Engleman opened up a drag racing track in Pacific, Missouri with Eric Frey, who is the husband of Sandy Frey. 

According to Medical Murders, Sandy Frey is Engleman’s niece-in-law and romantic partner.

Engleman divorces Vanhest and on April 15, 1967, he remarries. His third wife is, Ruth Jolley, with whom he has a son named David. 


The first victim he is linked to is the shooting of James Bullock in 1958. Bullock was found near the St. Louis Art Museum with a .22 caliber gunshot wound. 

Bullock was married to Engleman’s ex-wife, Edna Ruth Ball. She collected her husband’s life insurance and invested $20,000 in Engleman’s drag strip. The next murder was five years later. 

On Sept. 26, 1963, Frey was helping Engleman with the construction of the drag strip site. Somehow, Frey was hit over the head with a rock and ended up at the bottom of a well with a large amount of dynamite. This murder was ruled accidental.

Frey’s widow gave Engleman $16,000 of the $25,000 insurance settlement. The money was then used for the drag strip. 

The drag strip went bankrupt in 1964.  Engleman then decided to go back to work in dentistry again. But it wasn’t long until he was killed again. 

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The next victim was in 1976. Peter J. Halm was shot in Pacific, Missouri. 

Halm’s wife was Carmen Miranda Halm, who knew Engleman from a young age. She collected life insurance of $75,000 and gave $10,000 of the insurance claim to Engleman. 

In 1977, Engleman had an affair with Barbara Boyle. Boyle is the wife of Ron Gusewelle. 

Author Gusewell and his wife, Vernita, are Ron’s parents. They were murdered in their farmhouse near Edwardsville, Illinois. 

Ron Gusewell was then killed in Illinois 17 months later. Boyle collected $190,000. 

The next victim Engleman was convicted of murdering was Sophie Marie Berrera. She died in a car bombing in Jan 1980.

She had done some work for Engleman in her dental lab. She was threatening to take him to court over the $14,500 that he owed her. 

Barrera’s son, Frederick Barrera, accused Engleman of murdering his mother. 

Police had started connecting Engleman to the murders that seemed to surround him. Then Engleman’s third wife, Ruth Jolly, came forward and confessed to the police.

Jolly said that Engleman would often brag about the murders to her behind closed doors. She has suspicions that Engleman made plans to get rid of her as well. 

Police told Jolly she had to show proof to the police to take her claims seriously. On tape, they caught Engleman, in his own words, boasting about the murders in great detail. 

The Trial and Charges

According to UPI archives, Engleman was serving a life sentence for the murder of Halm. Carmen Halm testified against Engleman in the trial of Halm’s murder. Engleman received a guilty verdict and a 50-year sentence. 

In 1981, he was sentenced to a second life sentence when he was found guilty of the murder of Sophie Barrera. 

In 1985 Englman pleaded guilty to murdering the Gusewells. 

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Engleman died at the age of 71 in 1999 at the Jefferson City Correctional Center.