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Mel Ignatow

Born: 1938-01-01 - Died: 2008-09-01
Cause of Death:

Death Summary: Mel Ignatow was found dead in his Louisville, Kentucky home at the age of 70. The official cause of death has been determined as a fall which cause a laceration.

Ignatow’s upstairs neighbor said that he often heard him asking for Jesus to come get him, because he was in a lot of pain.

Who was Mel Ignatow : Ignatow was a resident of Louisville, Kentucky who is famous for murdering his fiancée, Brenda Sue Schaefer in 1988. What makes him famous is that he was initially acquitted of the murder charges… but later evidence proved his guilt, but under the legal principle of double jeopardy, he couldn’t be tried a second time for the same crime.

Ignatow and Schaefer had been in a relationship for nearly two years, but Schaefer had said that her fiancée was abusive and was planning on leaving him. Ignatow became aware of her intentions and began to plan her murder with his former girlfriend, Mary Ann Shore.

The two spent several weeks meticulously planning out the murder, they went as far as to “scream test” the house and pre-dig the grave in the woods.

On September 23, 1988, Schaefer met up with Ignatow to return some jewelry at Shore’s house. This was where he pulled a gun on her and locked her in the house. She was bound and blindfolded.

Ignatow forced Schaefer to strip, raped, sodomized, and took suggestive photos before killing her with chloroform.

Police immediately suspected Ignatow, but were unable to find any eyewitnesses or physical evidence.

During the trial the jury argued Shore, not Ignatow, had killed Schaefer.

Ignatow was acquitted of the charges, it’s been said that loud talk and laughter were heard coming from the deliberation room.

Just six months after his acquittal, new evidence was surfaced. The house where Ignatow had previously lived had been sold, and the new owners were having new carpet installed. When the carpet layer pulled up the flooring in the hallway he discovered a covered vent. Inside was a bag with Schaefer’s jewelry and the photos of the crime.

None of the photos showed Ignatows face, but it was determined to be him by hair and mole patterns.
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30 Signatures in Mel Ignatow's guestbook

  1. lori Says:

    accidental fall ha things have a way of evening out.

  2. Stephen Says:

    You Will Not Be Missed!!!

  3. Keith Says:

    20 yrs too late! Double jeopardy laws are stupid…when you find this kind of evidence.
    Burn Baby Burn!

  4. Jim Says:

    Dumb fuck! Why would he take pictures of the crime in the first place? Stupid!

  5. Tereka Smith Says:

    Disgusting what that poor woman wnet through. I wish she was being immortalized here not him. This seems so backwards!

  6. Heather Says:

    he should of got what he deseve. he is a lying peice of shit

  7. William Says:

    One way or another you will pay in the end for the things that you do to others. I only hope that he burning in hell.

  8. William Says:

    One way or another you will pay in the end for the things that you do to others. I only hope that hes burning in hell.

  9. Darren T Says:

    Well this dirt bag is rotting in hell right now and I bet the same way he tortured that poor girl he will be tortured for all eternity

  10. bambi Says:

    vengence is not mine.. go to God.. forgiveness is there..rest in peace

  11. Jane Says:

    I imagine the spirit of Brenda taunting Mel, standing over him as he fell on a glass table fatally injuring himself. Then moving the phone around from area to area so he could not phone for help. I believe in spirits and the balancing of the evil done will return to you double fold, right Mel?

  12. Lesley Says:

    It said he was in pain before he died too. Good! Now he gets to burn in hell for eternity. Don’t know why he thought Jesus would be coming for him.

  13. William Says:

    I hope that both you and Mary Ann Shore are in company with the devil in hell.

  14. blair Says:

    Hope you burn in the hell you have gone to, you piece of crap! Someone should have put a bullit in your ugly head when you were aquitted by those fools called jurors. Mel (the sadistic rapist/murderer) ignatow

  15. missy Says:

    what an ass… should have sufferd a lot more

  16. Dragonfly Says:

    Karma did bite back!

  17. forensicfan Says:

    I hope now that he can finally BURN IN HELL!!

    Rest in PIECES, Mel.

  18. Gomer Says:

    Dirtbags and criminals have more rights with repeated appeals, while the innocent and their families have the one shot to get it right, or the scumbag walks free. Perhaps it’s time for the government to actually start defending the victims and treat these pieces of crap suspected or convicted they way they should be…kill them all. That’s why they hide evidence and lie, hoping that some retarded jury might find them not guilty, then they can smirk their way through life, knowing that they beat the system. The constitution was written to protect the innocent from being tried again for the same crime, not to help pieces of shit get away with murder. Once the proof was found, they should have tortured and killed the prick right there…let her family get their justice. Society has become too soft, criminals have way too many rights. Amend the constitution assholes to stop this from happening again…but why would the politicians do this, most of them are criminals anyway and they’re protecting their own asses by keeping this retarded clause in place. People speak out, those assholes in Washington work for you, make them do some damned work. Only in America can someone admit murder and get away with it…only in America can big business douchebags play with other people’s life savings, rob people blind while doing it, bankrupt huge companies, and get away with it while their companies get bailed out, and what happens to the victims…they have to suck it up, live in shit and obey the law…bullshit. An eye for an eye I say no matter what…if the justice system fails, do it yourself.

  19. Alex Says:

    What comes around goes around Mel. You’re finally reaping what you sowed.

  20. David Says:

    Just saw this on American Justice. Situations and cases like this should be exempt from double jeopardy. This guy smiled and grinned knowing he was untouchable. Where’s the justice for Brenda and her family? I hope his fall was extremely painful and a prolonged death. Laws need to be changed to protect victims not the guilty. He is where he belongs now. Hell !!!

  21. steve Says:

    Hopefully karma finds the jurors and his lawyers……they deserve to suffer as well.

  22. Richard Verreault Says:

    You were found guilty after all

  23. josh Says:

    haha funny death

  24. KATHY BROWN Says:

    It hurts to see that he got more life than his victim….I hope that when he stands before Christ he realizes this is one place he will not be able to lie and hide. Who knows what his hell will be!!!

  25. k olson Says:

    lol oh well, you may have been in pain & crying out for jesus because of it but i’m sure it was nothing compared to what you inflicted on your victim, r.i.p. rot in pieces!!!

  26. William Earl Miller Sr. Says:

    He won’t escape divine judgement now won’t he?

  27. Amanda Says:

    Why would he take pictures…and forget to take them? Clearly he’s as dumb as he is insane.

  28. Michael Says:


    I hope you’re burning in hell!

  29. Sad sack Says:

    The thought of a vengeful god is crap. They are both dead and this dirtbag got away with it.

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