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United States Youngest Serial Killer: Harvey Robinson

Ever wonder who the world’s youngest serial killer is? Look no further! We have all the latest information on Harvey Robinson.Harvey Miguel Robinson is a Pennsylvania death row inmate. Robinson is thought out to be believed as one of the youngest serial killers in all of history. 

Robinson is the first known serial killer in all of Allentown, Pennsylvania history. Robinson was the tender age of 19 years when he was officially arrested by local police officers. 

Robinson is responsible for the killing and raping of three women. These three women are: 

Joan Burghardt, 29, nurse’s aide. Burghardt was raped and murdered in August of 1992. 

Charlotte Schmoyer, 15, a newspaper carrier. Schmoyer was raped and murdered in June of 1993. 

Jessica Jean Fortney, 47, grandma. Fortney was raped and murdered in July of 1993. 

Robinson’s fourth and final victim was Denise Sam-Cali. Sam-Cali was raped and then beaten, but she was able to escape her death by getting away from Robinson.  Robinson would ultimately return to Sam-Cali’s home where the police officers were waiting for him. Robin and the police officers would exchange some gunfire, but ultimately the police would track Robinson down to the local hospital where he was apprehended. 

As of April 2006, Robinson’s death sentence has been put on hold. 

Home Life

Robinson’s home life was not the best home life as he was going home. His father was a physical and emotional abuser who also loved to drink more than anything. You could call Robinson’s dad an alcoholic who would emotionally and physically abuse Robinson’s mom. 

Ultimately many years later, Robinson’s dad would leave his family behind. His dad would later end up in jail for physically beating up his mistress until she died. 


Denise Sam-Cali was not the only one of Robinson’s victims who survived his terror. There was another victim, a five-year-old child who Robinson stalked for many days. Robinson would then break into her home where he would choke and rape her, then would flee the scene. 

However, Sam-Cali managed to free herself from Robinson’s tight grip and run far away from him.  Robinson when then try and grab Sam-Cali back, but he was unsuccessful and kept running away from him. 

Later down the line, police would ultimately use Sam-Cali as bait to help them lure Robinson in, so they can arrest him for good. When Robinson would finally make it down to Sam-Cali’s home, there was a shootout between police and Robinson. Robinson would flee the scene as he was wounded. He fled from Sam-Cali’s home to the local nearby hospital where he was officially brought into custody. 

Facts of Crime, Trial, and Execution

As previously stated, Harvey Miguel Robinson is believed to be one, if not the youngest serial killer in all United States history. 

Robinson’s first victim was Joan Burghardt. Burghardt at the time of her death was a 29-year-old woman who worked as a nurse’s aide. Burghardt would ultimately be bludgeoned and raped within her east Allentown home in August of 1992. 

Almost a year later in June of 1993, Robinson would then abduct, Charlotte Schmoyer, who was 15 at the time. Schmoyer worked as a newspaper carrier. Schmoyer would also be raped and instead of being bludgeoned to death like his first victim, Schmoyer would be stabbed to death. 

Since Schmoyer delivered newspapers, one of her regular newspaper clients had noticed Schmoyer left her newspaper cart right outside of her front window. The client did not see any signs that pointed to the girl being right back, so she called Schmoyer’s employer the Morning Call. 

Schmoyer’s boss was unsuccessful in locating her as well, so they decided it was best to contact the police. 

Just hours later, Schmoyer’s body would be discovered in a wooded area close by. Schmoyer was stabbed over 20 times and raped.

Then just one month later, Robinson would encounter Jessica Jean Fortney, a 47-year-old grandmother. Robinson would not only rap Fortney, but also strangle her to death as well. 

Robinson’s last main victim was Denise Sam-Cali. Sam-Cali was also raped and beaten inside of her home shortly after Robinson murdered Schmoyer, but Sam-Cali was able to escape from the fatal situation. However, until Robinson was arrested, he would repeatedly return to Sam-Cali’s house. 

On July 31, the police officer team was waiting patiently at Sam-Cali’s home where they ultimately exchanged gunfire with their suspect, Robinson. Robinson fled to the local hospital, where he was ultimately arrested. 

Robinson’s DNA was linked to all three of those murdered. Robinson was officially convicted in November of 1994. Robinson was given the death penalty in all three cases as well. Robinson was just 19 at the time of his conviction. He is to believe the youngest serial killer in all the United States history. 

Edward Reibman, Lehigh County Judge in June of 2001 still upheld Robinson’s murder conviction but decided to take the death penalty off the table in Schmoyer and Burghardt murders stating that the trial judge he had did not give the proper sentencing guidelines to the jurors. 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court did confirm in December of 2004 that the death penalty still goes for the first-degree murder conviction in the Fortney case, which is now back within the Lehigh County Court. 


As previously mentioned in the case of Burghardt and Schmoyer, a Lehigh County Judge removed the death penalty from those two crimes. The judge stated that the trial judge failed to give the proper sentencing instructions to the jurors during that case. 

These cases happened back in August of 1992 and June of 1993. However, that did not remove the death penalty entirely. Robinson still has the death penalty from his final murder case Fortney. This crime happened in July of 1993. 

Originally, Robinson was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on April 4th, but as of right now there is a stay on his execution. If there is a stay on his execution, he will not be executed. 

As of December of 2012, Robinson agreed to waive all appeal rights within the Schmoyer case and accepted a life sentence. 

The following December, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court kept the death penalty in the Fortney case. 

However, in October 2019, one of the Pennsylvania judges told Robinson, that he should really sit down and think about donating his brain to science as it is the only true gift you will ever be able to give. 

Television Shows

You can find the story of Robinson’s murders in the film No One Could Protect Her starring Joana Kerns. This film was produced in 1996. 

Your Worst Nightmare also aired part of the story of Robinson’s crime spree as well as Killer Kids, Most Evil, and Dead of Night.