The criminal sexual sadist
Even before the police began identifying Ignatow as a criminal sexual sadist, the Schaefer family intuitively understood Ignatow as a threat. In the days after Brenda's disappearance, Ignatow would come to the Schaefer house, sit in the kitchen with the family and shed alligator tears, claiming that his life was over, that he couldn't live without Brenda. In particularly audacious moments, he would silence those that hoped for Brenda's safe return by bluntly saying that he thought she was already dead. Ignatow often broke down sobbing and crying like an inconsolable child.
Like many predators, Ignatow savored turning the tables and claiming a portion of the public's sympathy. From the beginning of this long, torturous ordeal, he'd placed himself at the Schaefer's table, a hated suspect demanding sympathy. As the days became weeks and weeks became months, the city became more distraught, and Ignatow became bolder in his claims for the public's compassion.