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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Attempted rape - Necrophilia
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: September 10, 1995
Date of arrest: Next day
Date of birth: October 21, 1973
Victim profile: Lisa Manderach, 29, and her 19-month-old daughter Devon
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA
Status: Sentenced to two life sentences in April 1996

Caleb Fairley (born October 21, 1973) is an American murderer from Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania.


On September 10, 1995, Fairley was working alone at Your Kidz & Mine, a children's clothing store owned by his parents in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Just before closing time Lisa Manderach (born September 30, 1965) and her 19-month-old daughter Devon (born February 4, 1994) entered the store.

Fairley locked the doors to the store when he realized that they were the only customers present. He then attempted to sexually assault Ms. Manderach. When she attempted to resist him, he became enraged and strangled her to death. He also strangled Ms. Manderach's infant daughter. After the murder he sexually assaulted Ms. Manderach's corpse, before going to an Electric Hellfire Club concert that he had been planning to attend that night.

Arrest and trial

Unbeknownst to Fairley, Lisa Manderach had told her husband exactly where she was going. When she did not return he contacted local police, who found her car parked outside. A search of Your Kidz & Mine revealed stacks of pornography stained with what appeared to be blood and long black hairs consistent with Manderach's. Similar hairs were found in the store's vacuum cleaner. Also present was a large damp spot on the carpet that was later determined to be saliva. The police also noted that peepholes had been drilled into the dressing rooms.

A search of Fairley's room in his mother's house revealed an extensive collection of pornography and a black sweatshirt that depicted an image of a vampire attacking a young woman that bore a striking resemblance to Lisa Manderach. Based on this, detectives began to suspect that upon seeing Manderach in the store, Fairley, an avid fan of vampire culture, thought of his sweatshirt and took Manderach's appearance as a sort of supernatural message. He then proceeded to act out his fantasies upon Manderach and her daughter.

When police questioned Fairley, he was wearing a thick coat of makeup on his face. When detectives told him to wipe it off, his face was covered with obvious scratch marks. When this was pointed out to Fairley by authorities, he said that he had received them in a mosh pit while attending an Electric Hellfire Club concert, at a local club called the Asylum. When hikers discovered Devon Manderach's strangled body dumped on a hill at Valley Forge National Park, Fairley was charged with murder. Fairley entered a plea bargain in which prosecutors would not seek the death penalty if he would show them the location of Lisa Manderach's body.

Fairley was tried in April 1996 and convicted on two counts of first-degree murder, for which he received two life sentences. He is currently incarcerated at a state correctional facility in LaBelle, Pennsylvania.


You have a Friend in Pennsylvania

By Katherine Ramsland

Lisa Manderach was three weeks short of her thirtieth birthday when she went for a quick errand to Your Kidz & Mine, a new children's clothing store in Collegeville, Pennsylvania on September 10, 1995. She took her daughter, Devon, only nineteen months old, and that was the last time anyone saw either of them alive. The details of this case are from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Since Lisa's husband knew where she had gone, he sent the police to the store, where they found her car parked outside. They searched the premises and found a stash of pornography, stains that looked like blood, long black hairs consistent with the missing woman (including a few in the vacuum cleaner bag), and peepholes drilled into the dressing rooms. Caleb Fairley, 21, had been minding the store for his mother. When located, he presented an even better suspect: His face was covered with fresh scratches. He said he'd gotten them in the scramble of a "mosh pit" at a local club called the Asylum, but a doctor's examination indicated they were from fingernails. He was arrested.

By that time, Devon's body had already been found by hikers, strangled and dumped on a hill at the Valley Forge National Park, but Lisa was not with her. Fairley's defense attorney cut a smart deal: take the death penalty off the table and my client will tell you where he dumped the murdered woman. The DA accepted it, because the sooner they found her, he knew, the more likely it was that they could get evidence to ensure that Fairley never walked out of prison. Even so, the decision haunted him and drew quick criticism. Some people believed that Lisa would have been found quickly without the deal.

Fairley showed them where he had placed the body behind an abandoned industrial building in a wooded area of King of Prussia. From the exposed position, it was assumed that Lisa had been sexually assaulted. She was taken for an autopsy.

The media was quick to learn about Fairley's dark background. He'd played Dungeons & Dragons, had groped or propositioned women, was known to read pornography avidly, and collected vampire paraphernalia. He'd also joined the Asylum, a members-only nightclub that resembled a padded cell and catered to people who dressed in Goth-style clothing and sported dramatic make-up as part of the vampire subculture. The place regularly hosted vampire live action role-playing games, such as Vampire: The Masquerade (and club members interviewed by the media pointed out that they were being unfairly stigmatized because of one person's sickness). Overweight, Fairley had often been a target of ridicule, especially from girls at school, and tended to keep to himself. He'd once been close to his younger brother, who had accidentally shot himself when he was four, and Fairley had told some people that he felt empty and lost.

After his arrest, a stain on his shirt was tested and found via DNA analysis to be a match for Lisa Manderach. Stains at the store on different carpets matched mother and daughter, and tissue found underneath Manderach's fingernails matched Fairley's DNA. Prosecutors surmised that Fairley had tried to rape Lisa after she entered the store, she had struggled and scratched him, so he had strangled her. (He had so much as admitted that her resistance had made him blindingly angry.) He then killed Devon and took both bodies to remote areas to dump.

Fairley was tried in April 1996 and convicted on two counts of first-degree murder. He received two life terms. Those acquainted with him could hardly believe that he could have harbored such violence, but his indulgence in pornography and vampire fantasies, coupled with his frustration over his helplessness around women, is all too often a formula for such violence of opportunity.


Caleb Fairley


Lisa Manderach



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