In June of 2014, highway workers in the town of Geneva, Illinois found two suitcases that had been purposely dumped at the side of the road.
Inside were the decomposed remains of two contorted dead women who had been stuffed inside.
One of the women was naked, bound and gagged and the other was bound at the wrists with her hands behind her back.
An ex-cop, a man in his early fifties named Steven M. Zelich, was charged with the murder of the two women. He confessed and during the investigation revealed the details of the crime stating that he met both women online, possibly on a fetish or BDSM website, he couldn’t recall.
Some reports state the site was called “collarme”, and that he went by the user handle “mrhandcuffs”- the site does not seem to be currently active.
(Steven Zelich. Image source gazetteextra)
The first victim was identified by her dentals and tattoos as Laura Jean Simonson, who was 37 years old at the time.
She had been reported missing more than six months previously by her family and was described as petite and vulnerable. The pair had checked into a hotel together in November, but analysis of the security footage from the establishment shows that only Zelich appeared to leave.
(Laura Simonson. Image source gazetteextra)
The second victim was identified as 19 year old Jenny Gamez.
Gamez was a foster kid and had given birth to her first child young. She was a perfect student with a lot of hope for the future and a big heart for people.
Apparently she chatted online with Steven M. Zelich for a long time before flying out to meet him, never to be seen alive again.
(Jenny Gamez. Image source unidentified.wikia)
Although Zelich remained cold in the courtroom during his sentencing, he did have positive words for Gamez, describing her as a “wonderful young lady”.
Strangely, he claimed that he could not recall the young girl’s name.
It turned out that the ex-officer had been concealing the bodies of the two women for some time, keeping them in his freezer and in the trunk of his car and moving them around until the stench of decay became so unbearable that he was forced to dispose of them on the rural highway.
Zelich claimed the he had unintentionally murdered the women, saying that they had died during a sex game that involved choking.
He told the court that it was just a sex game gone wrong.
(Poster released to identify Gamez)
Gamez had been choked to death and was kept in Zelich’ freezer while he actively searched for another woman and found Simonson. Even after disposing of the two bodies he was actively searching for a new victim that very night. According to some reports the ex-cop had previously used his position of authority and the databases available to him to track down women, stalk them, threaten them and allegedly attempt to trap them in his home against their will.
He was not charged for his crimes but was fired from the force.
He had been actively looking for a submissive partner online, in his advertisement on a web board he described his ideal partner wearing handcuffs and leashes and being caged, gagged and bound- indefinitely.
He was sentenced and is currently incarcerated for his crimes.