Wyoming’s ‘Satanic Hippies’ Leave Heartless Torso in Yellowstone River
It was a hot and stormy night in July of 1970. The road to Yellowstone was closed. Stanley Dean Baker and Harry Stroup hitched a ride from James Schlosser hoping to camp in the park. They never made it, and for Schlosser, it would be his last day on earth.
A few days later a fisherman would snag Schlosser's remains in the Yellowstone River. The catch was truly macabre, described by the book Cannibal Serial Killers: Profiles of Depraved Flesh-Eating Murders written by Christoper Berry-Dee. The body had no head, arms, or legs. Later the coroner said he never had seen anything like it. That the dismembered body was stabbed 25 times and missing a heart. However, this isn't all of the horrific details.
The night of the murder there was a large lightning storm, according to a story by USA Today. Baker stated that it was just he and Schlosser camping. Baker was ripped on LSD. He believed he was talking with the devil. While Schlosser slept, Baker shot him in the head. Then he carved his heart out of his body and ate it raw. Baker then dismembered the body and cast Schlosser's remains into the Yellowstone River.
According to Baker, he met back up with Stroup. Later in court, however, a park guard who was stationed at Yellowstone park testified that he saw all three men in the car. That placed Stroup at the scene and helped put him in jail.
The two "Satanic Hippies" met at a college campus in Wyoming. Front Page Detective wrote that both Baker and Stroup were from the Sheridan area. At a music festival in Canada, they decided to hitchhike across the country. It was in Montana just outside of Yellowstone when Schlosser picked up the two.
After the murder, Baker and Stroup took Scholsser's car and drove to California. In Big Sir, the two had an auto accident which led to their arrest. When Baker was arrested, the police found the recipe for LSD, a copy of the satanic bible, and a human finger. Baker then readily admitted, "I have a problem. I am a cannibal."
Later in jail, Baker confessed to another killing that was thought to be the work of the Zodiac Killer. That death he claimed was on the order of a satanic cult known as the 4 Pi Movement. He also confessed to killing Jimmy Hendrix by using a satanic spell. To add to the madness, in court he also said he was Jesus.
Both men were sentenced to jail for the gruesome murder of James Schlosser. The New York Daily News wrote that Stroup was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was out in 2 years. Stroup has spent a lot of his life in and out of jail for drug-related crimes since.
Baker who pleaded guilty to murder was sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled in 16 years. He lived and sold sporting goods in Sheridan until the TV show "A Current Affair" exposed his horrific past. That subsequently got him fired. Baker died in 1994 from cancer.