Hillsboro is a seemingly quaint town in rural Southwest Ohio. The rolling pastures outside of town and the historic downtown buildings make the town appear to be a place unlikely of producing someone who would commit violent crimes. What many residents don’t know is that a serial rapist and murderer guilty of killing two adolescent girls once called Hillsboro home, and he will be up for parole in September of 2021.
Eugene William Gall Jr. grew up in Hillsboro, but reports say his life was anything but pleasant. He lived in a violent and unstable household and was abused throughout his childhood. Though the exact incident is unknown, Gall suffered an injury that damaged his brain and caused seizures throughout his early adulthood. It was an injury that caused him suffering throughout his life, reports say.
At age 27, Gall moved to Middletown to work for Armco Steel. By 1970, some reports say he had become a serial rapist connected to several unsolved cases in the greater Dayton area. Gall gained the moniker “The Friday Night Rapist” due to his pattern of stalking the streets on his nights off (Beyerlein, 2013).
In October 1970, Gall was indicted for the rape of a young girl in Franklin Township. In the face of overwhelming evidence, Gall agreed to check himself in to the Lima State Mental Hospital (Dixon, 2016). Gall was eventually convicted of armed robbery, abduction and rape. He was sentenced to three to 20 years in the Ohio State Reformatory. In 1977, Gall was released after serving five years.
In October 1977, Beth Ann Mote was walking to school in suburban Dayton when Gall forced her into his car at knifepoint. While in Gall’s car, Gall attempted to calm Mote by forcing her to write a ransom note in her heart-shaped notebook. The note was used. Seven days later, 14-year-old Mote was found stabbed to death in a wooded area of Miami Township. Gall was later convicted of the murder, according to reports.
In 1978, 12-year-old Lisa Jansen was abducted while walking to her school in Columbia Township. A Kentucky woman discovered Jansen’s books along the side of the road just two hours after her disappearance and notified officials. Boone County police located Jansen’s jacket and purse, and eventually her body. She had been shot and abandoned in a ditch alongside a country road, reports say.
Meanwhile, Gall traveled to the small town of Gardnersville, Ky. He spotted Kentucky State Trooper Gary Carey parked along the side of the road and fired two shots into the trooper’s chest (Dixon, 2016). Carey survived. After the near-fatal shooting, reports say Gall robbed a small convenience store, shooting a female bystander. She, too, survived. Gall’s crime spree prompted a police chase that ended with his capture and arrest.
A May 1979 trial began with Gall pleading innocent on all counts. Within 10 days, Gall abruptly changed his plea to guilty (Fornshell, 2001). Gall was eventually sentenced to death in Kentucky. He remained on death row until 2000.
Gall’s trial was controversial. Although his paranoid schizophrenia and brain damage were major factors in his crimes, the jurors and judge were not made aware of Gall’s mental state. Gall choose to serve as his own attorney. In October 2000, Gall’s conviction was overturned on account of his mental instability and the defense’s failure to present medical records proving Gall’s brain damage at the trial (Gall v. Parker, 2000).
Although Kentucky had tried Gall for the murder of Jansen, the state of Ohio had not convicted him for the murder of Mote. As soon as Gall was released from Kentucky prison, Ohio officials took him into custody. He is currently serving time in South Eastern Correctional Institution (Fornshell, 2001).
Gall was denied parole in November 2013 after serving 16 years at the Madison Correctional Institution.
In September 2021, Gall will again be eligible for parole.
Information for this story came from the following sources:
* Archives: Eugene Gall-Beth Ann Mote Case. Dayton Daily News, Cox Media Group, 2013. www.daytondailynews.com/news/from-the-archives-eugene-gall-beth-ann-mote-case/8qryrfrtyZEkuoVuvRq4bL/
* Fornshell, David P. Eugene William Gall. Warren County Prosecutor, Warren County Ohio, 2001. https://www.warrencountyprosecutor.com/Public/Prosecutor_Parole/details.aspx?OffenderNum=A416-846
* Dixon, Deb. Mother of Murdered Girl Waits for Justice. Local 12, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, 2016. https://local12.com/news/local/mother-of-murdered-girl-waits-for-justice
* Beyerlein, Tom. Parole Hearing Set For Serial Killer. Dayton News, Cox Media Group, 2013. https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/parole-hearing-set-for-serial-killer/zCXxckIvrBztfKgogD0pYL/.
Isabella Warner is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.