A former Fort Wayne resident will be featured on national television, but this isn't exactly the kind of thing you'd want to brag about.
The story of Carl “Charlie” Brandt, the suspected serial killer who – at age 13 – killed his pregnant mother and wounded his father in Fort Wayne, will be featured tonight on the CBS program “48 Hours Mystery.”
Brandt, 47, hanged himself after stabbing his wife, Teri, and dismembering the body of niece Michelle Jones. He also is suspected of killing at least two other women in Florida.
“48 Hours Mystery: Deadly Obsession,” at 10 p.m. on WANE-TV, Channel 15 is expected to provide more evidence that Brandt was responsible for one of those deaths and that Teri Brandt suspected her husband was the killer.
The story is not only one of tragedy but also one of a long-held family secret: Brandt’s two younger sisters grew up not knowing their brother killed their mother.
A “48 Hours” production crew of four was in Fort Wayne in December, said Edward Cochrane, a former Brandt classmate at Jefferson Junior High School and one of the local people interviewed for the program.
The shootings 35 years ago and the horrific 2004 slayings of Brandt’s wife and her niece in Florida were the subject of a two-part Journal Gazette series in January, “The Darkness in Charlie.”
The slayings occurred Jan. 3, 1971, in the Old Brook addition east of Shoaff Park. Brandt, a Jefferson Junior High School ninth-grader, retrieved a handgun from his parents’ bedroom and later shot them as they prepared for bed. Brandt’s oldest sister, Angela, ran screaming from the house, alerting neighbors, while their two younger sisters slept.
The JG series, written by Ron Shawgo, was very good, and the paper ought to consider putting it back up on their website for those who see the CBS program and are interested in reading more about this tragic story.
UPDATE: A Fort Wayne Observed reader writes in to tell me that Shawgo's series is indeed available on the JG website, hidden in the special projects section. Here's the link.