Victims: Joan Mary Burghardt, 29, Charlotte Marie Schmoyer, 15, and Jessica Jean Fortney, 47
Murderer’s age: 17-18
Joan, Charlotte, and Jessica were all raped and murdered by a serial killer. When the killer murdered Joan in August 1992, he was 17. By the time he murdered Charlotte and Jessica in the summer of 1993, he had turned 18.
Joan was a 29-year-old aspiring nurse. She graduated with honors from Palmerton High in 1980. After high school, Joan studied secretarial science at Lehigh County Community College and, receiving an associate’s degree in May 1982.
She first worked with the adult probation office at Lehigh County Courthouse in Allentown. She also joined the art museum and a hiking club.
The experiences of all victims were equally as brutal. Joan’s experience was not any less horrifying than the experiences of the other victims because the killer was 17 at the time.