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Frederick Robert KLENNER Jr.






A.K.A.: "Fritz"
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Child custody dispute
Number of victims: 8
Date of murders: 1984 - 1985
Date of birth: July 11, 1952
Victims profile: Five relatives of his girlfriend / His girlfriend and her two children
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife / Shooting
Location: Kentucky/North Carolina, USA
Status: Committed suicide by bomb to avoid arrest on June 3, 1985

Police knew Fred Klenner was dangerous when they spotted his van on the outskirts of Greensboro, North Carolina, on June 3, 1985. A month earlier, he had slaughtered a family of three at Winston-Salem, and he was also sought in connection with the 1984 murders of a mother and daughter in Prospect, Kentucky. 

Authorities were ready to subdue him in the case of physical resistance, but they never got the chance. When Klenner's van was stopped, he opened fire with a machine gun, wounding three officers in the initial burst of fire. 

Before they could respond in kind, he threw a switch and detonated an explosive charge inside the van, killing himself and his three passengers. Identified as 39-year-old Susie Lynch and her two sons, the latest dead were related by blood or marriage to all of Klenner's previous victims.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers


Frederick Robert "Fritz" Klenner Jr.

In the 1980's, the small town of Reidsville was rocked by a bizarre multiple-murder case that ultimately pointed to one of its own, Frederick "Fritz" Klenner Jr. A bitter child custody dispute between "Fritz'" first cousin and lover Suzie Sharp Newsom Lynch and her ex-husband preceded the brutal murders of her ex-husband's mother and sister near Louisville, KY, as well as her mother, father, and grandmother in Winston Salem, NC. It has been proven that "Fritz" murdered Lynch's in-laws in Kentucky and is highly suspected that he murdered Lynch's parents and grandmother as well. Lynch's involvement in the murders was also suspected by many but never proven.

On June 3, 1985, during a low-speed police chase when authorities began closing in on them, "Fritz" and Lynch ended their lives with a car bomb, as well as the lives of her two young sons.

The crimes are the subject of Jerry Bledsoe's book "Bitter Blood" as well as a made-for-TV movie ("In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & Madness") starring Harry Hamlin, Kelly McGillis and Keith Carradine. They are also the subject of the seasonal haunted house, "Nightmare on Scales Street," housed in "Fritz'" father's former downtown clinic (Waymark WM7CJ7).



MO: Stabbed/shot five relatives of his girlfriend; later murdered the girlfriend and her two children.

DISPOSITION: Suicide by bomb to avoid arrest, June 3, 1985.



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