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Former employee of accused serial killer Herb Baumeister speaks out about his experience, the accused killer’s temperament

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One of Herb Baumeister’s two thrift stores was once on the west side of Indianapolis at the corner of West Washington Street and South Lynhurst Drive. A former employee said the accused serial killer was “very odd” and “acted neurotic” about the store.

Adam Smith was just 15-years-old when he worked at the “Sav- a-Lot” thrift store on the west side of Indianapolis. He said Baumeister micromanaged the employees and his mood could change at any moment.

“He had a very hands-on role on what he wanted to keep and he would tell us his expectations and if we put something in the pile that we thought wasn’t good he would blow up and freak out,” Smith said.

Smith said the employees had to sort the used goods that came in each day. He also did the yard work outside of Baumeister’s store.

“It was hot that summer so he did allow me to take my shirt off because it was no shade and the first week I think I cut the trees down and weeded the whole parking lot,” he said.

Baumeister is accused of luring LGBTQ men from Indianapolis gay bars to his Westfield home where the authorities said he killed them. Smith said he never felt unsafe with his boss but often thinks of the amount of time he spent alone with the accused killer when he was a teen.

“It’s definitely surreal to know I was in a store, sometimes by myself with him, while maybe he left work went downtown and picked out a victim,” Smith said.

Smith went through a mix of emotions when he found out Baumeister was an accused serial killer.

“My mouth dropped. My first thought was I am not totally surprised,” Smith said. “I don’t have enough words to describe him. He was short-tempered, eccentric, eccentric not as a rich eccentric, he was bizarre. His mannerisms, the things he got annoyed at and frustrated at the things that his workers did.”

Reopening this case could give more families peace. Smith said it is time for this to finally be over for the victims and their families.

Authorities in this case are asking anyone with a male family member or friends that went missing in the 80s or 90s to come forward to the Hamilton County Coroners’ office to allow them to investigate and determine if they were an unidentified victim of Baumeister. The main phone line is 317-770-4415.

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