Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Justin R. GEIGER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Murder-suicide - Motive unknown
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: July 16, 2006
Date of birth: January 29, 1987
Victims profile: Amber N. Carlson, 19, and Adam Towler, 20
Method of murder: Shooting - Stabbing with knife
Location: Laramie, Albany County, Wyoming, USA
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day
photo gallery

Justin R. Geiger, 20, a sophomore at the University of Wyoming from South Beloit IL, was believed to have taken his own life with a gunshot to the head early July 16, 2006, after fatally shooting one student, Amber N. Carlson, 19, and killing another, Adam Towler, 20, with multiple stab wounds to the chest.


Tough Questions

The University changed policies after a double slaying, but parents want more done

By Monte Whaley -

June 25, 2007

Nearly a year after a University of Wyoming student killed two other students before killing himself near campus, officials say they can better identify and help troubled students who may violently lash out.

But parents of two victims of the July 16 attacks doubt the university is doing all it can to save students from dying at the hands of a classmate.

"Due to what has happened in the past at the University of Wyoming, we have no faith in them making the really hard decisions," Steve Carlson said last week. "As a parent, I would be petrified to send my child to the University of Wyoming."

The university has threatened asking for criminal action against Carlson for writing an angry e-mail to the school president. But Carlson, a Denver County sheriff's deputy, said that won't derail his effort to get top university officials fired for what, he says, was their inaction after Justin Geiger exhibited previous dangerous behavior.

Carlson's daughter - 19-year-old Amber, a John F. Kennedy High School graduate - liked the UW campus because it was small and neighborly.

She also became close friends with the 19-year-old Geiger, a former athlete from Rockton, Ill. Geiger was living in a house two blocks from campus with four others - two roommates had gone out of town the weekend of the attacks.

Police said Amber, who was visiting the house, walked into a room in the early-morning hours of July 16 to find the body of 20-year-old Adam Towler, who was also visiting friends at the house.

Geiger had stabbed Towler to death and then shot Amber with a single shot to the head with a high- powered rifle. Geiger used the rifle to fatally shoot himself, police said.

Geiger also sexually assaulted a male housemate, who survived Geiger's knife attack to flee the house for help.

Carlson and his wife, Julie, as well as Towler's parents - Brian and Shelley Towler - say the university knew about Geiger's erratic and dangerous behavior during the 2005-06 school year. But they did nothing to get him help or to keep him from other students, they say.

"There were warning signs even up to the end," Steve Carlson said. "But they totally dropped the ball with this kid."

Geiger, Carlson said, vandalized a bathroom after fighting with another student, threw a knife at a residence hall assistant and was transferred to a new dorm because of a possession of alcohol charge. Police, however, were never notified nor were his parents, he said.

"There was no communication to anyone concerning Justin's explosive temper and no cautions advised," Carlson said.

"In this case," Shelley Towler said, "there were warning signs after warning signs, but they (the university) didn't react."

University officials, however, said they made every appropriate response to Geiger's behavior, including calling the police about the alcohol possession charge. Those incidents did not indicate he was prone to the type of violence that unfolded in July, school officials said.

"We did everything we could have given what we knew," said Sara Axelson, the university's vice president of student affairs.

Geiger's parents were not notified of his problems in the dorm. Once Geiger was moved to a new dorm in October 2005, he stayed out of trouble, Axelson said.

After the attacks, the university reviewed its security policies and made some upgrades, she said, including updating safety notifications to students and faculty and re-emphasizing the importance of reporting unusual behavior.

The Carlsons say university officials were dismissive of their complaints, prompting Steve Carlson to send stinging e-mails to faculty and staff - including university president Tom Buchanan. "You are a liar and poor excuse for a human being," Carlson said in an e-mail to Buchanan.

Carlson also told the university he would warn new students about the dangers on campus during freshman orientation.

The e-mail prompted a letter from Rick Miller, the university's vice president of legal affairs, saying Carlson could face charges of harassment and intimidation if he kept it up.

"University employees ... understand they may be subject to criticism, and possibly harsh criticism," Miller said. "However, University employees, whatever their duties, must not be subject to abuse."

Carlson said he is not backing down. Shelley Towler, meanwhile, credits Buchanan with pushing hard for increased school safety.

But most universities, including UW, still don't do enough to make sure the students who attend their classes are not dangerous, Towler said.

"There are kids rooming with other kids in these dorms and no one, not the university, knows who they are or what they have done," Towler said. "In this case, I think there were big warning signs, but they were ignored.


Illinois man's night of killing still a mystery

Slayings, suicide still shake Wyoming city

By Liam Ford -

September 5, 2006

Even as police released more details of a double homicide-suicide in Laramie, Wyo., that involved a young man raised in South Beloit, Ill., experienced investigators said a motive may never be known.

Forensic evidence and witness interviews after the July attack have provided a timeline of how Justin Geiger, 20, of Rockton, stabbed Adam Towler to death, attacked his roommate then fatally shot Amber Carlson before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.

But investigators said they have unearthed no clear motive to explain why Geiger killed Towler, 20, and Carlson, 19.

"We approached this as if we were going to try to prosecute someone--motivation was a critical piece," said Laramie Police Cmdr. Dale Stalder. "From everything we've been able to determine at this point in the investigation, we can't point to anything that triggered the event."

Before last week, police had not released information laying out the order in which the attacks occurred.

Geiger, Carlson and Geiger's 19-year-old roommate who was stabbed in the attack were students at the University of Wyoming who met as freshmen last school year.

Geiger grew up in South Beloit, and Carlson was from Denver. Towler's father is head of the chemical and petroleum engineering department at the university. Towler was home for the summer taking classes as he prepared to transfer to Georgetown University from Emory University in the fall.

Family members have not spoken to the media since just after the incident. The Tribune is not naming Geiger's roommate because he was sexually assaulted.

The rampage took place early in the morning of July 16, after a small drinking party at a one-story frame home close to the university campus in Laramie. Geiger rented the house with several roommates.

About six or seven people had attended the party, and autopsy results indicated the victims and Geiger had all consumed alcohol, police said.

By the time Geiger attacked Towler shortly before 2 a.m., most of the guests had left, leaving only those who became involved in the attacks.

Geiger stabbed Towler multiple times, fatally injuring him, then attacked his roommate, sexually assaulting him and giving him superficial stab wounds, police said.

Police believe the sexual assault was "a crime of power and control and violence" and not one of sex, Stalder said.

The roommate fled the house and shouted for help, alerting people in the quiet residential neighborhood, who called police.

It was at that point that Carlson walked into the room where Geiger had killed Towler; Geiger shot her once in the head, killing her, then put the rifle to his own head, police said.

The multiple homicides shook the small city of Laramie and raised questions among the students' friends and acquaintances about what could have caused Geiger, known as a close friend of Carlson's, to attack the others.

Though university officials said talk of the killings has quieted in recent weeks, some residents said each mention in the media brings a new round of questions.

In the days after the incident, Stalder said that police considered it their responsibility to determine "what started this" to help provide closure for the families. But officials said they are still stymied in their attempts to explain the slayings, and some with experience with homicide investigations said a motive may never be known.

"You look at a bloodstain pattern analyst who will look at where the blood is. And that will tell you where the shooter was from the victim, whether or not there was struggle, things like that," said Gary Rini, a Cleveland-based forensics consultant who has worked for the Denver and Naperville Police Departments.

"When you're talking about motive--that goes into a whole other realm."

Determining an exact motive can be difficult even when the attacker is still alive, said Douglas Godfrey, a former prosecutor and a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

"One, it's very hard to look into men's minds, it's very hard to figure out what they're thinking. Second, people often work from mixed motives," Godfrey said.

Richard Kling is a clinical professor of law at Chicago-Kent and a defense lawyer for 35 years. Forensic evidence can nail down what happened and who was responsible, but he added: "Why it happened, it can never tell you."

So for now, it appears police know who was responsible for the killings, but not why.

"That's not to say that next week or next month, or a year or two years from now, something might come to light that will tell us, `This is what that trigger was,'" Stalder said.


Police Call Wyoming Case Murder-Suicide

By Kirk Johnson - The New York Times

July 20, 2006

The police said yesterday that they were now convinced that a rampage leaving three students dead and one wounded near the University of Wyoming campus over the weekend was a case of double-murder and suicide.

But the new details of the crime, including evidence of a sexual assault on a survivor who fled the scene with knife wounds, only deepened the mystery about the motive for the killings while adding to a portrait of bloody ferocity that has gripped Laramie, a community of 28,000.

The Laramie police said in a statement that Justin R. Geiger, 20, a sophomore from South Beloit, Ill., was believed to have taken his own life with a gunshot to the head early Sunday morning after fatally shooting one student, Amber N. Carlson, 19, and killing another, Adam Towler, 20, with multiple stab wounds to the chest.

Ms. Carlson, from Denver, was a sophomore nursing student at the Laramie campus. Mr. Towler was a local resident who had been attending Emory University in Atlanta.

A police spokesman, Cmdr. Dale Stalder, said Mr. Geiger had also sexually assaulted and stabbed another University of Wyoming student, Anthony N. Klochak, 19, with whom he shared a house where the killings occurred. Mr. Klochak was treated at a local hospital and released, and has been cooperating with the investigation, as have six or seven people who had attended a party at the house earlier in the evening.

Commander Stalder said in a telephone interview that the motive for the killings remained unclear and that it had not been determined whether any of the other victims had been sexually assaulted.

In any event, he said, “this was very much a crime of power and control and violence."


Local man blamed in slayings

July 20, 2006

People who knew Justin Geiger in the Rockton and Roscoe area expressed shock and surprise Wednesday that Wyoming police say he was responsible for a double murder-suicide and a knife attack on a fourth person last weekend.

Geiger, 19, died from a rifle blast to the head early Sunday morning at a house he shared with other students near the University of Wyoming, Commander Dale A. Stalder of the Laramie Police Department said Wednesday.

Before turning the rifle on himself, police say they believe Geiger shot and killed Amber N. Carlson, 19, of Denver, and also killed Adam Towler, 20, of Laramie, with a knife.

Police say Geiger used the knife to wound another man, Anthony Klochak, 19, of Chardon, Ohio. Klochak survived the attack, fled the residence and has been cooperating with the police investigation.

Geiger, Carlson and Klochak were all UW students; Towler had attended Emory University and planned to transfer to Georgetown University in the fall.

"We don't know an exact motive yet," Stalder said Wednesday. He said alcohol was involved in the incident, but said he didn't have information about blood-alcohol levels of any of the deceased.

Geiger graduated last year from Hononegah High School. He had just completed his freshman year at UW, where he majored in marketing.

Megan Perkins, 18, graduated from Hononegah this year. Speaking at a Rockton ice cream parlor where she was working on Wednesday, she said she knew Geiger and never expected he would be involved in a crime.

"It was an 'I can't believe it' kind of thing when I first heard it," Perkins said. "He was the kind of guy who always walked down the halls with a smile on his face."

Perkins said she thought Geiger, who had played on the school football team, was a good-looking guy. "He really wanted to fit in, I thought," she said. "When I heard that it happened, I felt maybe it was a bad scenario and he was a victim."

There are only two pictures of Geiger in his high school senior yearbook, and he's not listed as being a member of any clubs.

John Geiger, Geiger's father, is an insurance salesman in South Beloit and moved the family to nearby Rockton within the last year. An attempt to reach him for comment on Wednesday was unsuccessful.

Adam Buol, 17, a soon-to-be senior at Hononegah, lived in Geiger's old neighborhood in an upper middle-class area of South Beloit.

"He and I used to play together in the backyard when we were younger," Buol said Wednesday. "He was two years older, so when I got to high school, we would always make sure and wave at each other in the hall."

Buol said that Geiger was a thin, athletic type who loved to be outdoors and enjoyed riding his bike in the neighborhood.

Stalder said he couldn't explain what prompted the killings. He said the investigation would continue trying to find a motive.

"We felt that it was important due to the nature of this incident, and its impact on the community, to at least try to come to some preliminary conclusions, and try to let people know as much as we can tell about this incident," Stalder said of Wednesday's announcement blaming Geiger for the deaths.

"We have a dedicated detective staff of four people who are all working on this investigation, as well as other administrative personnel, and patrol personnel," Stalder said.

Geiger was the youngest of four children; a sister, Jennifer Saavedra, died in January.

In a 2004 interview in the Rockford Register Star, Geiger listed his father as his role model. "He tells me when I'm right and when I'm wrong. He made me everything that I am today. He takes me fishing and everything I want to do."


South Beloit man dead in Wyoming

Police find three bodies in house near university in Laramie

July 17, 2006

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Police are investigating the violent deaths of three people, including a man from South Beloit, whose bodies were found early Sunday morning.

Police found the bodies of two men and a woman in a home near the University of Wyoming campus early Sunday after receiving a 911 call.

The bodies of UW students Justin R. Geiger, 20, of South Beloit, and Amber N. Carlson, 19, of Denver, and Laramie resident Adam Towler, 20, were found in the home.

Geiger is a 2005 graduate of Hononegah High School, officials there confirmed this morning. Geiger played football while at HHS, and is the son of John and Janet Geiger of South Beloit.

Laramie police Commander Dale Stalder said investigators were treating the case as a triple murder, but that police didn't think there was any danger to the community. Stalder said all of the people involved were accounted for and that police were considering the possibility it might have been a murder-suicide.

"We just don't have all the facts yet," Stalder said Sunday night.

Contacted this morning by the Beloit Daily News, Stalder said Laramie police are the sole investigators in the case, adding that no suspects had been detained since Sunday.

"We believe we have identified all the individuals involved in the incident," he said.

Geiger lived in the house. Another resident, Anthony N. Klochak, 19, of Chardon, Ohio - also a UW student - was treated for what Stalder called "superficial wounds" and released from an area hospital.

Stalder wouldn't say how the three died or how Klochak was injured, other than to say that their deaths were "violent."

"I don't have any other information now except to say it is definitely criminal in nature," he said.

Neighbors reported at about 2 a.m. that Klochak was yelling for someone to call police to the home a couple of blocks south of the campus.

University spokesman Jay Fromkin said this morning he was not releasing information about the students involved, adding the university was waiting for more information from police, as well as information if the next of kin of those involved in the incident had been notified.

Laramie is located about 50 miles west of Cheyenne.


Memories, miles add up for man running for late son

By Joshua Robert -

October 17, 2012

There’s an epitaph etched on a grave marker in row Q on the north side of Green Hill Cemetery in Laramie, a work containing 19 lines and 106 words by Brian Towler’s favorite poet.

He considers it a great piece of undiscovered literature, by an artist reminiscent of none other than T.S. Eliot.

I am man.

My namesake is akin to Earth,

That to which we shall return.

When I die, though my soul go forth,

My body goes to berm.

And when I begin to rot,

And I am laid to rest,

Let the mourners drop not,

Flowers on my coffin chest.

The poem is named after its author, Brian’s son, Adam Towler, who handed it and other assorted works over to his mother in 2006, just weeks before he was killed in one of Laramie’s most brutal crimes, a murder-suicide at a home on Custer Street.

The crime claimed the lives of Adam, 20, Amber Carlson, 19, and their killer, Justin Geiger, 20, by a self-inflicted wound. It robbed Brian of his only son, he said, and deprived the world of an emerging writer capable of creating beauty with his words.

“I consider that the best epitaph poem I’ve ever seen, ever read,” Brian, a Laramie resident and 24-year professor in the chemical/petroleum engineering department at the University of Wyoming, said. “It hasn’t been discovered yet, but one day it will be.”


It’s a cold, wet early Thursday morning and under the steel skies of Laramie, Brian is criss-crossing through town, clicking at a runner’s pace, exceeding six miles per hour.

He’s wearing a ball cap, purple shorts and a grey T-shirt with words written on it, words that state his sole reason for this run and many others over the years.

“For Adam,” it’s written on the shirt. “May you run with the angels.”

There’s not an exact stopping point on this particular 8½- to 9-mile training run.

At least not in this town.

Brian’s real finish line won’t be reached for another three-plus weeks, when he crosses the tape Nov. 4 during the New York City Marathon.

Towler, 61, originally from Brisbane, Australia, was selected for the marathon this year after three previous attempts were unsuccessful. It will be his fourth career marathon — he ran the California International in 2009 and 2010 and the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon last year — and all of them have been in memory of his late son.

Adam, who grew up in Laramie, was a student at Emory University transferring to Georgetown. Had Adam lived, his father believes he would have had a career in foreign service, possibly as a diplomat.

“He was an extraordinary kid,” Brian said. “Extremely smart, but also an extremely empathetic person. … He sort of had this … insight into people. He had an understanding of things.”

Brian said he can’t help but think about what might have been if Geiger had opened up to Adam that tragic night rather than resort to such drastic and final acts of violence.

“I’m sure if he’d have started talking to Adam, Adam would have have helped him with his problems,” he said. “That’s just who he was.”

Brian thinks about his son constantly on runs like today’s, the miles piling up as fast as the memories.

His heart, he said, isn’t bitter toward Geiger, but one trying to mend over his lost boy.

“My job is to make sure Adam’s legacy is not forgotten,” Brian said. “I don’t think about the killer at all. I miss (Adam) every day and I think about him every day. You don’t get over something like that and you don’t expect to get over that.

“You never get closure, but you have to live the rest of your life and that’s what I’m doing. I think I’m dealing with the loss.”


Brian last saw his son July 15, 2006. Adam was back in Laramie from Emory for the summer, enjoying time with his family and reconnecting with old friends.

Adam spent the day building a deck with his parents at the family’s home. Later in the day, a friend called Adam, asking if he wanted to go to a street dance that night.

Adam ended up at his friend’s house after the dance, where Geiger was his roommate.

On the morning of July 16, Geiger, a UW sophomore from Illinois, stabbed a male roommate, shot and killed Carlson and stabbed Adam to death, before taking his own life.

Brian said he woke early July 16, trying to locate Adam, who hadn’t come home. He found his way over to the Garfield Street home and found it blanketed as a crime scene.

Still, Brian said, he believed his son was alive, a hope against the odds flickering inside him.

“I’m an optimist,” he said. “I sort of believe everything will turn out for the best.

“You just can’t believe your son is dead when he was so alive and vibrant before … and because nothing like this happens in Wyoming and in Laramie.”

Learning that Adam had been killed, he said, “felt like I’d been hit with a shovel, but I had to stay standing.”

Brian said he considered it his duty to be strong, to be pillars upon which his family — wife Shelley and daughters, Sarah, 31, and Renee Clayton, 29 — could rest.

The family’s grief was compounded the next day, Brian said, when he learned Geiger had stabbed Adam multiple times, and Adam had numerous defensive wounds trying to shield himself from the attack.

“When we discovered that, that was even more devastating,” he said. “That’s when I lost it, because he had suffered. He had suffered tremendously.

“His was such a life full of promise.”


Months after Adam’s death, Sarah, an Air Force pilot and veteran of four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, told her family she was founding a 5K/10K race in Adam’s honor in Laramie.

July marked the sixth annual Adam Towler memorial race, one of the biggest the community hosts each year.

“When she told me that, I decided that I would haul my fat butt off the couch and start running to get in shape to run in my son’s race,” Brian said.

Two memorial races later, Sarah came back to her father with another challenge — asking him to join her in the NYC Marathon.

Brian, 58 at the time, had never run more than a 5K and had a training regiment of about a mile per day.

The idea of running a marathon, he said, “seemed ridiculous.”

And so began his odyssey in the world of long-distance running, one that will come full circle next month when he competes in New York City, home to one of the world’s most prestigious endurance tests.

“I started running because it helped me cope with Adam’s loss and I feel much better now because I’m running,” he said. “If he had been alive, I know he’d have run marathons.”

Brian’s training schedule is built around one long run on the weekend. He’ll notch shorter distances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Sunday is the day for long runs and he expects to pound the pavement for 40 kilometers — 24.8 miles — today and a slightly longer distance next Sunday.

His words of reflection today, six years after the tragedy he and his family went through, reveal a man who finds something close to peace while running, as the memory and perhaps spirit of his lost son is a constant companion.

“Every day I go out running, I regularly feel (Adam) running with me,” Brian said. “He’s there. I feel that presence … and I talk to him all the time.”

Almost as frequent as his training runs are his visits to Green Hill, where he re-reads his favorite poem by his favorite poet on Adam’s marker, a work he feels someday, quite surely, will be celebrated.

The final lines from Adam’s poem:

Now before I go I bid,

That they throw clay red dirt

On my balmy Cedar lid.

Clutched in their clammy hands

Like sifted soot

That falls like hour-glass sands.

I am no light-victor or laurel.

I am heavier than ethereal.

I am proud to be among the lost.

I am on the Great Hands embossed.



home last updates contact