Christopher Wilder: How Did the Beauty Queen Killer Die?

Although born on March 13, 1945, as the eldest of four sons into a comfortable family in Sydney, Australia, Christopher Wilder’s pursuits were anything but complementary to his upbringing. That’s because, as carefully explored in Hulu’s ‘The Beauty Queen Killer: 9 Days of Terror,’ he was a lifelong criminal, sexual predator, as well as serial killer with at least eight murder victims. Nevertheless, it was only when he went on a rampage in the US in early 1984 that the authorities realized how dangerous he truly was, just for it all to inadvertently end in his own demise.

Christopher Wilder Showed Aggression From an Early Age

Since Christopher was born to an American Navy officer and a proud Australian mother, the family reportedly moved around quite a lot before ultimately settling in New South Wales in the 1950s. However, per his own accounts, he was merely two when his world allegedly turned upside down as he almost drowned in a swimming pool and was left traumatized in more ways than one. Though it wasn’t until he was 16 or 17 that his truth of having sexually violent tendencies came to light as he raped an innocent 13-year-old girl on the beach in the suburban area of Freshwater.

Christopher was subsequently sentenced to probation, only for him to later claim he also received electric shock therapy as a form of punishment for his inappropriate attraction toward young girls. But alas, while it has since been suggested this treatment just further aggravated his dark desires, some reports have claimed there’s no evidence he underwent such shock or even nearly drowned. In fact, journalist-turned-author Duncan McNab wholeheartedly believes this then-rising conman simply connected these narratives from the ground up so as to secure some empathy for his actions.

We should also mention that Christopher is actually one of the primary three suspects in the still unsolved 1965 Wanda Beach Murders, wherein two 15-year-old girls lost their lives in the worst way. According to reports, Marianne Schmidt had been stabbed six times before her throat was slashed, whereas Christine Sharrock’s skull was literally shattered prior to her receiving 14 stab wounds. There was also an attempt to rape these teenagers, yet their autopsies uncovered no trauma to their private parts or hymens despite semen stains on their clothes plus their underwear being cut.

This case is also significant because Christopher’s mode of operandi — which he ostensibly followed for the ensuing two decades — was similar in the sense he assaulted young women prior to stabbing or shooting to kill. He has actually even been linked as a suspect in at least three more homicides across Australia within the next two years, yet it wasn’t until 1968 that further allegations against him directly came. His wife of less than a week had approached local police to claim he’d manipulated her family, attempted to kill her twice, and likely fooled around with the young girl whose near nudes she found in his vehicle.

As per records, all this was followed by Christopher trying to extort sex from a local nursing student by using her nude photographs, yet the related charges against him were dismissed once she refused to testify in court. That’s when he relocated to upscale Boynton Beach, Florida, for good in 1969, which is where he stepped foot into the world of armature racecar driving, fashion photography, as well as construction. His business partner for the latter has since expressed that while this then 20-something-year-old never did any of the sweaty work, he was a real charmer and brought in countless clients with that.

However, Christopher’s tendencies purportedly never wavered — in fact, between 1971 and 1975, he faced various sexual misconduct charges but was never once jailed owing to a lack of evidence. According to every single one of his apparent victims, mostly aspiring or rising young models, he’d lured them into his truck under the pretense of photographing them for a possible modeling contract. This is something that became a part of his modus operandi too, yet what’s even more significant to note is that he was then indicted of raping two 15-year-olds in Australia in 1982 while visiting his parents, only to post bail to return to Florida before his crime spree in 1984.

By this point, Christopher had already been examined by a psychologist in the US — in 1977 — who vehemently deemed him a “mentally disordered sex offender” prior to adding he was “not safe except in a structured environment and should be in a resident program.” But alas, he was never admitted into a mental facility for long, ultimately resulting in his dark need to dominate women so as to turn them into his personal slaves for pleasure took over in 1984. After all, from February 26 to April 13, he kidnapped, raped, and tortured 12 women across eight states, out of which only 3 managed to survive — Linda Grover, Tina Risico, plus Dawnette Sue Wilt.

Christopher Wilder Died of Gunshot Wounds

As per reports, knowing the authorities were closing in on him by listening to the radio daily while driving cross-country, Christopher let Tina Risico go on April 12, following nine days of captivity, before making his way to Canada. Therefore, the sole reason he’d briefly stopped at Vic’s Getty service station in Colebrook, New Hampshire, on April 13 was to fill his tank while asking for directions, just for two state troopers to instantly identify him. What followed was a scuffle between this serial killer and Leo Jellison, only for it to end with two shots being fired from the former’s gun — one passed through him before hitting the officer, whereas the other hit him straight in the chest.

Christopher (aka the Beauty Queen Killer or Snapshot Killer), thus, died at the age of 39, but it’s unfortunately unclear whether he’d fired his weapon by accident or on purpose so as to avoid his ultimate capture. We specifically state “ultimate” because, by this point, he was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted fugitives list and it was no secret he was a heinous criminal who used to beat his victims, bite their breasts, shock them with electrical wires, as well as seal their eyes shut with Super Glue before raping and killing most of them. It’s also imperative to note that the last charges against him in Australia never saw a proper hearing since his scheduled trial date came after his demise, yet the two victims had positively identified him through his mugshot.

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