July 16, 2012

"Thank You: The True Story of the Bathroom Basher" - Natasha Amadaeus

Editor's Note: The man known as the "Bathroom Basher" killed several women in rural Idaho in the 1960s. The murders, especially the gruesome finale, became the stuff of legend in the area. The following story has been told many times by the author's family.

She laid there, blood pooling under her head, tears streaming. She was barely breathing. Slow, deep breaths, the kind they teach you in Lamaze class. He could see her eyes beginning to glaze over, and he knew she soon would be dead. He stood there, watching, that same sad glee he always felt as he watched them die. And then, she whispered two small words.

"Thank you."

The words came out softly, gently. Like a sensual Amy Winehouse lyric. Her lips stretched into a smile. Her eyes rolled back. And with that, she was gone.

He stood over her. The smile stared back at him.

The little tramp. The good-for-nothing whore. Bitch.

He’d always had the last laugh. And now, this one with the jet black hair, fair skin and pursed red lips was mocking him.

He kicked her. Kicked her and threw the toothpaste at her, the lotion, the hand soap, everything from the counter that he could, he threw at her even though he knew she was dead. He wanted desperately to bring her back and hurt her more. He kicked more and screamed obscenities; her corpse simply smiled. Rage kicked in.

When police arrived, he was still there, mutilating the body, screaming and throwing bits of her across the bathroom. The toilet overflowed with her hands and feet. Her intestines bathed in the tub.

It went down in the record books in Bartersville as the most grisly murder scene. The Bathroom Basher, as cops dubbed him, had been caught. But there would be no cheerleading press conference on this evening, no parading the psycho in front of local reporters before stuffing him in the backseat, no celebratory Jack and Coke at Appleby’s.

Their uniforms were stained with too much blood.

The only pieces of her still intact were her lips. The officer who had to cuff the Bathroom Basher found them in his right hand. He’d ripped them from her face. The lips seemed to be smiling like the Joker in Batman, the officer wrote in the police report.

Seventeen families got closure that night, knowing the man who had killed their loved ones had been found. For the Bathroom Basher, that night would be the last thing he remembered. His defense team had him cop a plea rather than go through the lengthy red tape of an insanity plea – he admitted that up until the moment that his final victim spoke, he had known exactly what he was doing and enjoyed every second of it.

She ruined it for him, and he only prayed that somehow she could still feel his utter hate.


Natasha Amadaeus has always been fascinated with true crime and pulp fiction, especially the psychology of criminals. Working for a mental health service fueled her interest. This background inspires her writing.



  1. Agreed. This is exactly the type of story I wanted to run when starting this site. One that is passed down from person to person.

    I did have to pause and decide if it was too much. The descriptions are brutal. Doubly so because it actually happened. But I ran it in the interest of crime history. It's important to chronicle how crime affects people, even if they weren't there. Here's a story that had such an impact, it's retold by the author's family.

  2. Yikes! Brutal story. I hesitate to Google "bathroom basher" to find out more...

  3. Good job,crime is not pretty and the author knows how to tell the story.