The Amish Serial Killer on ID is investigating the crimes of Eli Stutzman, who is known to have killed his roommate, Glen Pritchett, in Texas, in 1985. He is also suspected of killing his son, Daniel Stutzman in Nebraska, and David Tyler and Dennis Sleater in Durango, Colorado.
Eli Stutzman’s wife died in a barn fire in 1977. At the time, it was ruled a tragic accident, but many have wondered if the 8-month pregnant woman had been the Amish killer’s first victim.
Fast forward to 1985, and it seems as though Stutzman has completely abandoned the Amish way of life. He regularly travels the country, supposedly looking for work, and regularly leaves his 9-year-old son, Daniel, in the care of others.
On May 12, 1985, the body of Glen Pritchett was found lying by the side of a Texas road; he had been shot multiple times. The police learned that his roommate was Eli Stutzman, but unfortunately, he’d already fled the state.
On Christmas of that year, the body of a young boy was discovered by the side of the road in Nebraska. The authorities were unable to identify the child or say how he died. Two years later, a news report about the boy led to family and friend’s recognizing him as Daniel Stutzman.
The law began looking for Eli Stutzman, and they finally caught up to him in Fort Worth, Texas, and charged him with child abuse. Eli claimed that his son had died from a throat infection while traveling from Wyoming to Ohio. He had told relatives in Ohio that Daniel was staying in Wyoming, and he’d told friends in Wyoming that the child was dead.
An autopsy of the child had failed to reveal a cause of death, meaning the cops could only charge him with concealing a death and abandoning a body. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
At this time, the cops also charged Stutzman with killing Pritchett, and he was sentenced to 40 years.
Eli Stutzman suspected of killing David Tyler and Dennis Sleater
During the investigation into Stutzman, the police became aware of two unsolved murders in Durango, Colorado, from the same year Daniel and Pritchett died. David Tyler was shot outside his autobody shop, and Dennis Sleater was killed at the liquor store where he worked; both men had been friends with Stutzman.
The cops tried to tie Stutzman to the two Durango murders but failed due to a lack of evidence, but he remained the prime suspect.
Incredibly, Stutzman was released from jail in 2005, and he moved into an apartment in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2007, the neighbors asked the police to perform a welfare check on the convicted killer when they hadn’t seen him in a few days. The cops found he’d committed suicide.
More from Investigation Discovery
Follow the links to read about more crimes and murders profiled on ID.
Brian Witham and Michael Benanti went on a crime spree that involved kidnapping bank employees to force them to rob banks. They operated in Connecticut, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Kirby Archer persuaded Guillermo Zarabozo to help him hijack and kill the crew of a charter boat called the Joe Cool in order to escape US justice and flee to Cuba. The truth came out when they were forced to abandon the ship and were picked up by the US Coast Guard.
The Amish Serial Killer airs at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.