As I continue forward with my Bricca case opus (Author’s note: just released!), I remain amazed at the number of West Side veterinarians pulled into the investigation. The most notorious suspect (both then and now), was of course, Fred Leininger. Linda Bricca’s recent employer, with whom she had reportedly been seen on Lover’s Lanes in the area, had immediately risen to the top of the “person of interest” pile. But the link to the veterinary vocation does not stop there. Let’s examine some of the more unusual suspects in this unforgettable cold case.
As I processed the volumes of typed pages in the Bricca case file, one name kept coming up: Stan Keller. Stan served as president of the Cincinnati Veterinary Association at the same time Fred Leininger served as Treasurer. It was here that the two men bonded in professional brotherhood. Is it possible they also bonded in blood?
Dr. Keller was dashing, respected, and like Fred, the last man you would think capable of such abhorrent behavior. If Fred had anything to do with the Bricca family murders, you can bet Stan Keller knew something. Could he even have been an accomplice?
Uncovering the details of Herman Rehder’s life felt like having a bad hangover; I just couldn’t shake the misery.
In 1958, Herman was confined to a Columbus mental hospital for stabbing a man. Police had recently remanded him for attempting to stab another man in a separate incident. He was, in short, a ticking time bomb….
Robert Weadick was scheduled to be interviewed, but unfortunately, that interview is missing from the case file. If any of my intrepid readers has a bead on this man, please email me post haste. Worry not: my sources always remain anonymous.
Dr. Hannifi Mohamed was known for his unfortunate tendency to sexually harass female clients. Was his name in the Suspect pile just a routine follow-up, or a closer look at a suspected perpetrator?
Drs. Coleman and Henry of the Bridgetown Animal Hospital were asked about the mysterious “Dr. Silk.” Dr. Philamon Dill was grilled about his close association with Leininger. Did he know something that he wasn’t giving up? Dr. Jerry Theobald of the Cincinnati Zoo (not technically a West Side vet, but certainly connected to Linda Bricca through her work with animals) was questioned about Linda Bricca. Theobald’s daughter was murdered on the UC campus in 1977. That case is still unsolved.
I ask you, gentle readers: If you have memories of a personal encounter with any of these men, PLEASE reach out and share your story. Let’s crack the mystery surrounding the most tragic of cold cases, and perhaps, in so doing, honor the Bricca family’s memory.
All sources kept anonymous.