A Person Of Interest Emerges: Richard Haefner

1965 1970

Update 2010: Richard Charles Haefner Richard Charles Haefner, a Geology major at Penn State, has emerged as a key person of interest in the Betsy Aardsma murder.

Richard Haefner was a 25 year old Geology Master's candidate when he met Betsy Aardsma in the fall of 1969.

His strange behavior before and after the murder, along with his later history of violence towards women, pedophilia, and an explosive temper that led him into conflicts with police and others on numerous occasions have led to him becoming the key person of interest in this case.

Haefner was known to wear khakis exclusively, as well as plaid shirts. He wore glasses at times but did not need them all of the time, and later switched to contact lenses. This picture of Haefner on the left is from 1965, at the time of his graduation from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. The picture on the right is from the early 1970s. This site will eventually include information about his criminal history after the Aardsma murder, including the beating of a woman in Delaware in 1998, and other incidents.

For about 10 years from approximately 1986 to 1996, Haefner ran the Lost Dutchman Gemboree, a precious gem, diamond, fossil, and mineral show held in Strasburg, Lancaster, and Ephrata. Perhaps you remember his commercials for the Gemboree:

If you ever attended the Gemboree and have any memories of Haefner, we would like to hear about it.

We are currently seeking any and all information from anyone who may have known Haefner, worked for him, or knew his family.

Richard Charles Haefner died March 19, 2002, in Las Vegas, Nevada, after a heart attack.

Please help us provide the key piece of information that could close this case and bring solace to Betsy's family.