Police arrived on the scene to discover the bodies of Brandt’s wife, Teri, who had been stabbed to death with a knife from the kitchen while lying on the couch, and the decapitated body of Brandt’s niece, Michelle Jones, in her bed. Jones had been disemboweled and had her heart and other organs removed. Her severed head was sitting next to the body.
The house was locked from the inside, so the suspicion fell on Charlie Brandt, who was proved to have murdered the two before committing suicide.
A friend of Michelle Jones had spoken with her earlier that evening and was informed that she shouldn’t come over to the house, as the Brandt’s were intoxicated, had been arguing and weren’t good company to be in.
Described by all as being mild mannered, a loving husband and an all-around good guy, nobody could believe what Charlie Brandt had done.
Shockingly, this was not the first time Brandt had murdered.
On the 3rd of January 1971, at the age of just 13 years old, Charlie Brandt had shot both his father in the back while he was shaving in the bathroom and killed his pregnant mother as she bathed in the bathtub. He then went to his sister’s room and put the gun to her head, pulling the trigger. However the gun was out of bullets. His fifteen year old sister escaped after calming him and telling Charlie that she loved him and wouldn’t leave him, before fleeing from the house.
Brandt then calmly walked next door to inform a neighbor that he had shot his parents.
Despite evaluation at the time, he apparently showed no signs of a diagnosable mental illness and the motive for his crimes was unknown.
Brandt had showed no previous signs of violence or conflict in his life and claimed to love his family and spoke highly of them.
Since he was only 13 years old at the time of the murder, he was too young to be prosecuted in the state of Indiana.
The incident became a grisly family secret, which the kept for years.
Following the incident in 2004, police looked into previously unsolved cold cases and linked Brandt to some of the crimes. He was linked to the murder of a homeless woman, Sherry Perisho, in 1989, who just like Brandt’s niece, had her head severed and heart removed, as well as Darlene toler, a woman working as a prostitute in 1995 who was killed with the same modus operandi.
During a search of Brandt’s home investigators noticed something on the back of the couples bedroom door; a poster illustrating the female muscular and skeletal system. Despite not being in the medical profession, books on human anatomy were sitting on a bookshelf in the home, one of which contained a newspaper clipping of a labeled illustration of the human heart.
Charley Brandt had a subscription to “Victorias secret” magazine, and chillingly, always referred to his niece by a nickname he’d given her, “Victoria’s secret”.
An analysis of his computer turned up erotic websites related to sacrifice, violence and necrophilia.
Investigators believe that Brandt was obsessed with his own niece and had premeditated the murders.
26 cold case murders have been linked back to Brandt.