David Meirhofer was one of the few serial killers believed to have committed all of his killings in Montana. Meirhofer lived in Manhattan, and all of his known murders happened within Gallatin County.
In 1973, Meirhofer kidnapped seven-year-old Susan Jaeger from a campsite at Missouri Headwaters State Park near Three Forks. One year after the kidnapping, Meirhofer called to taunt Jaeger's mother, Marietta, who was able to keep him on the line for more than an hour. The FBI was able to use the tape-recorded call to identify Meirhofer.
Meirhofer was a suspect in the February 1974 murder of 19-year-old Sandra Smallegan, whom he'd dated. He was arrested in September 1974, and confessed to both murders, as well as the 1967 murder of 13-year-old Bernard Poelman and the 1968 murder of 12-year-old Michael Raney, whom Meirhofer abducted from the same campground as Susan Jaeger. Meirhofer hanged himself in his jail cell within hours of the confession.
The case holds special significance because it marked an early success in the use of offender profiling.