CHICAGO (CBS) — A CBS 2 exclusive.

A suburban couple revealing what it was like to grow up with possible serial killer, Bruce Lindahl.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports from Lindahl’s old school, Downers Grove North, where people who knew him said he was strange.

“I wouldn’t of thought of him as a serial killer. It wouldn’t have crossed my mind. But now we know different.”

That was the reaction of Mike Gilbert and his wife Terri upon learning that Bruce Lindahl sexually assaulted and murdered a 16-year-old girl 44 years ago and is believed to have been involved in at least three more murders.

“I wasn’t surprised. I had a close call with him,” Terri Gilbert said.

Back then, she was Terri Cooper when she and Mike attended Downers Grove North High School with Lindahl. He was a year older but had a well-known reputation among girls at the west suburban school.

“He kind of gave us all the creeps,” she said.

Then one night at the bowling alley, Lindahl wanted to give Terri a ride home. She had her own car, but Lindahl wasn’t taking no for an answer.

“He pulled wires out of my car so I couldn’t start it,” Gilbert said.

But the old Rambler station wagon parked near the high school did start.

“I remember him swearing and saying ‘that thing shouldn’t of started,'” she said.

Mike wonders now what might have happened if Terri had gotten into Lindahl’s car.

“She could’ve been one of his victims,” he said.

And it doesn’t end there. Several years later, Terri’s brother saw Lindahl trying to force a young girl into his car.

“She was yelling for help and that was when my brother saw her, intercepted and got her away from Bruce,” she said.

The 20-year-old Lindahl was enraged and ambushed Terri’s then 16-year-old brother in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant that used to be in a now empty lot along Ogden Avenue.

“Bruce came after my brother and pulled his coat over his head,” Terri said.

Her brother received 11 stitches in his face. But in Mike’s view he may have prevented a serial killer from following his monstrous impulses.

“He probably did prevent that girl’s death,” Mike said.

Lindahl died back in 1981 while murdering another man. Lindahl actually stabbed himself in an artery, bleeding to death. The other man, an 18-year-old high school student.

Police in at least three counties are looking into cold cases as to whether they might be linked to Lindahl.

 

Mike Puccinelli