The first woman is added to the FBI’s Most Wanted List.
Ruth Eisemann-Schier was arrested March 5, 1969 and later indicted for kidnapping with ransom for the kidnapping of land-heiress Barbara Jane Mackle on December 17. Mackle was buried alive in a fiberglass reinforced box with a battery, air pump, some food and water. After a 1st botched ransom drop, a 2nd drop of $500,000 was successful.
Ruth’s partner, Gary Krist, who Schier said was the mastermind of the whole thing, called & gave an FBI operator vague directions to Mackle’s location.
After 3 days of being buried alive, Mackle was found, suffering from dehydration. She wrote a book of her experiences called “83 Hours till Dawn”.
Mackle was driven to a remote wooded area where she was confronted by a coffin-shaped hole in the ground and a fiberglass coffin. She begged with her captors, “I’ll be good!” if they would not put her in the ground. They chloroformed her and placed her in the box, taking a photo of her holding a sign that said, “Kidnapped”.
In the box was a letter of instruction with details explaining how her use of the light, air pump and water pump could affect the battery life and her life expectancy. There was also a case of candy for energy, water (laced with sedatives), and sanitary supplies. They promised her she would be released by Christmas whether her father paid the ransom or not. Her light went out after only 3 hours and she was left in total darkness for the next 80 hours.
Her father was a personal friend of President-elect Richard M. Nixon so with his connections, J. Edgar Hoover himself took personal charge of the case.
Krist was captured when the man he bought a boat from got suspicious of the bearded man who paid over $2000 in twenty-dollar bills and called the police. Krist was convicted but released after only 10 years in prison. He went to college in the Carribean and became a medical doctor but kept losing his job when his past was discovered. He last practiced medicine in small town Chrisney, Indiana but when nearby Evansville Indiana ran a story in the paper about the kidnapping, he lost that job, too.
Schier was paroled after a few years in prison and deported to Honduras.