Eugene Williams Gall Jr. was the monster that lurked in the darkness.
He snatched 14-year-old Beth Ann Mote of Oakwood off the street 36 years ago, raped her and stabbed her to death in one of the most chilling local crimes of the ’70s.
Described by an expert as a “permanently dangerous” psychopath, Gall may soon walk free and simply blend back into society.
NewsCenter 7 anchor Cheryl McHenry will explain why today at 5 p.m.
Beth Ann Mote was far from Gall’s only victim.
Below is an insider’s look at Cheryl’s story, which is airing on NewsCenter 7 today at 5 p.m. about the man dubbed “The Friday Night Rapist.”
Amelia: What made Gall’s crimes so heinous?
Cheryl: Eugene Gall preyed on school girls. He had a job where he brought a woman from Hillsboro to Dayton for kidney dialysis. While she was at Miami Valley Hospital, he would drive around the area trolling for possible victims. In the case of Beth Ann Mote, she was just walking to school in Oakwood when he stopped to ask her for directions. Beth Ann was tiny — weighing only 75 pounds and looking much younger than her 14 years. Eugene Gall put a knife to her throat and drove her to a wooded area of Miami Township where he raped her and stabbed her to death. He later abducted a girl on her way to school in Dayton and raped her, and took two girls from a school bus stop in Beavercreek and raped them. Two days after those rapes, he kidnapped a 12-year old Cincinnati girl on her way to school, drove her to northern Kentucky and raped and shot her to death.
Amelia: Besides Gall himself, does anyone want to see Gall set free?
Cheryl: I’ve not found anyone who thinks Eugene Gall should go free.
Amelia: What have the past 36 years been like for Beth Ann’s family? Did they ever find peace?
Cheryl: Beth Ann’s mother, Doris Mote, is a retired Episcopalian minister and a woman of strong faith. She and Beth Ann’s two younger brothers moved to Maryland in 1980, and Mrs. Mote later moved to southern Indiana. She is against the death penalty but believes Eugene Gall needs to stay locked up for public safety. She has said before, “There is no closure. You live with the residue of murder as long as you live.” When I asked her how her sons were doing, she said “Not so good now,” referring to the possibility that their sister’s killer could be released from prison.
Amelia: Does Gall accept responsibility for Beth Ann’s rape and murder or that of 12-year-old Lisa Jansen of Cincinnati?
Cheryl: He pleaded guilty to Beth Ann’s rape and murder midway during his trial when he realized his alibi didn’t hold up. If that’s accepting responsibility, then yes he did. A Kentucky jury convicted him of killing Lisa Jansen and he was sentenced to death. Not only was his conviction later overturned because the jury didn’t have the opportunity to consider an insanity defense, but Gall’s record in Kentucky has been expunged.
Amelia: Do authorizes suspect there were other victims?
Cheryl: Yes. In fact, the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office was contacted recently by a woman who was raped in West Carrollton in January 1978. The rape was never solved and she thinks her attacker may have been Eugene Gall. That was during the time he was on his rape and murder rampage. He had also served time before Beth Ann’s murder for raping women in Middletown. There’s really no telling how many people were victimized by Eugene Gall.
Amelia: What was the impact of Beth Ann’s rape and murder and the rape of the Greene County girls on the community?
Cheryl: It was just a chilling time. Oakwood had the same reputation then as now—a safe community where kids walk to school. To think a girl walking to school could be snatched and killed in a most horrifying way was truly shocking. I’ve heard stories from people who were around at that time that parents wouldn’t let their kids walk to school for a while after that.
In Greene County, it was much the same. Some people criticized Mike DeWine, who was Greene County prosecutor at the time, for spending taxpayer money to try Gall after he was already on death row in Kentucky. DeWine told his staff, “You never know what can happen.” No one ever thought Gall would leave Kentucky alive.
Amelia: What did you have to do to report this story?
Cheryl: I talked to the parties involved — called Doris Mote in Indiana, talked to retired Oakwood police Det. Lance West to whom Gall confessed to killing Beth Ann, and spoke to Montgomery County prosecutors who are working hard to keep Gall behind bars. I also relied on my memory. I actually covered Gall’s trial for the Mote murder in May 1979 and remember the day he came in and pleaded guilty. I remember what a small man he was and how “non-threatening” he appeared. Guess you just never know by someone’s book cover what they are capable of doing.
Amelia: What would happen if Gall is paroled? Would he simply be allowed to roam free?
Cheryl: Yes, he would go free. The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office plans to file some motions very soon. One of them would request the court to label Gall a sex offender. He would be subjected to some parole/post-release control and if he has to register as a sex offender, he would have those requirements, but other than that, he would be free to walk amongst us.
Find out more today at 5 p.m. on NewsCenter 7.