True Crime Forensics Podcast Review: Monster Presents: Insomniac

Love makes us do crazy things. In Herbert Richard “Herb” Baumeister’s case, who lived a picture-perfect life on the surface level, love was what made him the ideal person.

He was, first and foremost, a passionate husband, a devoted father, and a hardworking business owner who had always dreamt of making it big in life.

Love was what also twisted him undone. Herb Baumeister, underneath this persona he would show the world, was also a killer.

Such was the topic in the latest Monster Presents podcast. Titled “Insomniac”, the show presented Baumeister’s crimes in a really engaging fashion. Fair warning, though – as like our other reviews, do expect spoilers below!

Scott Benjamin’s Dark Secret

What makes this podcast such a delight is that the narrator, Scott Benjamin, is what you may consider a person unhinged by darkness. Perhaps with him staring into the True Crime abyss made him – as he admits on the podcast – a person with a dark secret.

You read that right. Scott Benjamin is a disturbed individual who has dreams that manifest carnal and violent desires.

Something sinister lies in his dreams. So much so, that Scott’s waking life is affected. As a researcher who delves into the world of True Crime – looking up crime cases, staring at crime scene pictures, uncovering narratives of some of the most devious acts committed by man – there does seem to be an unnerving effect done on his very own persona.

So much so that Scott would dream of demons in his sleep. And at first, he would seek out solace in True Crime stories. It’s an escape from whatever darkness that seemed to be gnawing up within. 

But what if those demons – the monster – are just but a representation of yourself? That you yourself is the monster? That realization shocked Scott’s very own soul! Reality then blurs with the imaginary, when Scott now finds himself in a tight spot. 

He dare not sleep. He feels these demons will defile and consume him. Such is the case that the podcast series is titled “Insomniac”! With him living out a dual sinister life in his dreams, his bloodshot eyes speaking some semblance of truth in the gloomy stories he dwells in, Scott now harbors a guilty and dirty shame he can’t seem to shake off. 

And that is just the start of this amazing podcast! This show does not only have Scott narrating gruesome criminal stories – it also serves as a rather different platform to expel these demons inside him. Scott hopes that by sharing these nightmares, that he would now get some much-needed rest!

It Began with Death

After the different – and perhaps bizarre – disclaimer on the show, Scott then dives into the main topic – the murders committed by Herb Baumeister. And Scott does deliver this in such an engaging manner.

He started this off with a death – Herb’s death, to be exact. A note found nearby Herb’s lifeless body painted a picture on why he decided to put a bullet in his head.

His business was suffering. He couldn’t be the perfect man for his family.

But never did the note mentioned that Herb, was in fact, being traced as a prime suspect of perhaps one of the most violent crimes in Indiana.

Who was Herb?

Born on April 7, 1947, Herb experienced a typical and peaceful life. Not until did he enter his adolescent years when things started to get weird.

Herb reportedly began to obsess on the weird side of life. His sense of morality seemed to be off – and there seemed to be a fascination of relieving himself during inappropriate situations. 

He was also violent. School authorities then contacted Herb’s parents for help. With the elder Baumeister as an anesthesiologist, treatment was then sought out for the boy.

Initial findings concluded that Herb was schizophrenic. 

And yet there seems to be no indication or recorded documentation if ever Herb had undergone whatever treatment was deemed right for him.

No one knows.

Fast-forward to his college years (yes, Herb managed to survive in the hell that school gave him), the young man then met the love of his life, Juliana Saiter.

Seeing the apparent chemistry between the two individuals, Herb then now had something to live for.

The couple married last 1971. But in another bizarre twist of events, Herb’s father committed him into a mental health facility.

The reason why that was done was not (and perhaps, will never be) known. But Juliana still loved Herb – the couple soon started a family that resulted to then having three loving children.

Descent into Madness?

Blame it on Herb’s mental state, or there may be other reasons. But truth to be told, there was something truly off with this person.

Considering that he now has Juliana (and plans to have children), Herb strived to find ways to provide and make ends meet. His career can be a considered a topsy-turvy journey.

Considering his odd ways, Herb always had trouble fitting in. On more than one occasion, his weird take on humor wasn’t found to be funny at all. Worst (and similar to an episode he had during adolescence), Herb urinated on a letter meant for Robert D. Orr, the-then governor of Indiana!

When he was out of work (or struggling to look for a job), Herb would often drink. 

He would drink a lot.

Also, Herb would also frequent gay bars. Perhaps a closet homosexual (there seems to be no clear indication if he outright claimed to be gay), Herb would seek these places out as an escape from the harsh reality he found himself in.

Factor in all these points – these may just be a formula for the madness that Herb would succumb into.

Success (and Darkness)

His career in the thrift shop industry did result into something positive. By learning the ins-and-outs of the business he was currently employed in, Herb decided to take the plunge and start his own business.

Success soon followed. From a profitable store that provided affordable items, Herb and Juliana soon expanded by opening another branch. Who would have known that Herb would have earned a lot from this venture?

And yet, with success, comes another pathway towards darkness and madness.

A Chronicle of Strangled Victims

Before, during, and after the thrift shops’ success, there seems to be a line of violent murders happening in the Indiana and Ohio areas.

The victims seem to match a similar profile. Otherwise known to have frequented gay bars (and perhaps, of having similar physical appearances), these deaths seemed to be piling up.

Somewhere out there was a man who was killing these men. And these victims, who were all strangled and buried along Interstate 70, may just be committing more murders! 

The Pool House of Death

Let’s get back to Herb. Because of the influx of money, Herb decided to purchase a new house for his family. The property can very well be considered the dream house they have always hoped for.

A pool house was also part of this purchase. It was also the location where Herb acted out on his carnal desires. Not being specific on the murder details (listen for it on the podcast – please!), Scott did mention something disturbing found in this pool house.

Investigators, who after Scott’s death, discovered something bizarre in the pool house. The place was full of female mannequins.

Scott claims in the podcast that Herb suffered from a mental condition that made the criminal sexually attracted to a doll. Considering the large number of dolls found in the pool house, Herb may have been living out a seedy fantasy of being in the company of inanimate females. And of course, enjoying the company of his victims!

Capping it Off Just Right

Scott sets the next podcast just right by ending in a cliffhanger. Narrating a story of a weird video he found of Herb being interviewed, Scott wanted to see just how bizarre things are in reality.

Apparently, Herb was interviewed by a local news outlet because of a racoon complaint.

Seeing a dead racoon on the road, Herb reacted loudly on why local authorities decided to paint a pinstripe over the animal. Instead of simply being removed from the road, the racoon carcass became one with the paint!

“The poor thing deserved a better fate than that.”

A statement Herb said on TV. Was the criminal simply trying to blend in society with that remark?

We Can’t Wait for the Next Podcast!

Scott ends the gripping podcast with Herb’s son. Apparently, the young child saw something that resulted to the unravelling of Herb’s escapades. We really can’t wait for the next release!

As for Scott – such a great approach in tackling True Crime cases! Fact may just always be more interesting – and stranger – than fiction. It’s an obsession. And we hope that the series will help you deal with the demons inside you … and for you to get some sleep!