Police Crack Molester's Code

Dean Arthur Schwartzmiller, 63, a convicted child molester police now suspect in as many as thousands of other cases, is seen here in police booking photos in San Jose, Calif., in May 2005 (left) and in 1998. The investigation involves at least five states and three countries.
AP
A man who authorities say could be the nation's most prolific child molester was crafting a lengthy memoir about his sexual exploits with boys when he was arrested, police said.

Authorities also said they have cracked "99 percent" of the detailed code that Dean Schwartzmiller used in notebooks he kept, apparently to chronicle crimes both real and imagined.

Schwartzmiller was arrested in May after investigators said they discovered notebooks with 36,700 handwritten entries of boys' names, descriptions of their anatomy and codes for suspected sex acts.

The notebook entries, apparently coded for each boy's anatomy and personality, are being entered into a spreadsheet. Police have not said how many victims those entries represent. Many items are duplications and some may describe Schwartzmiller's fantasies.

San Jose Police Lt. Scott Cornfield said investigators seized a memoir that Schwartzmiller had been writing about his exploits with boys. Typed out, the manuscript is about an inch-and-a-half thick.

In Schwartzmiller's words, "every boy was beautiful and every one wanted him," Cornfield said.

Schwartzmiller is being held without bail on one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child under 14 and six counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 14 involving two 12-year-old cousins. He faces two life sentences if convicted.

Schwartzmiller is not talking to police and apparently has not been very forthcoming with his public defender, either. His lawyer, Melinda Hall, said she still knows very little about the case and is not getting much information from her client.

"I've learned more from the newspaper," she said.

Prosecutor Steve Fein will not discuss how many alleged victims authorities have heard from, or whether any of the reports might result in additional charges against Schwartzmiller.

But as investigators follow up on hundreds of phone tips from around the country, they say they are confident Schwartzmiller will not go free again, as he has in the past despite at least three molestation convictions and a dozen arrests across over three decades.

"This time we've got him," Cornfield said. "This guy's not going anywhere."