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Mel Ignatow's preliminary autopsy results show no evidence of foul play

Mel Ignatow's preliminary autopsy results show no evidence of foul play

Preliminary autopsy results from the medical examiner say that the cause of death is pending further tests but there is no evidence of foul play.

Ignatow was found dead in his apartment on Monday. His son said he apparently had fallen into a glass table and bled to death.

Ignatow was acquitted in the 1988 murder of his girlfriend, Brenda Schaefer, but photographs surfaced later showing that Ignatow did indeed torture, rape and murder Schaefer.

He became known as the man who got away with murder. Local author, Bob Hill, wrote a book entitled Double Jeopardy about the case.

Ignatow would spend time in prison for perjury. His son said he found God while in prison and believed he would go to heaven.

Mike Ignatow says his father's health had been deteriorating and that he had fallen several times in recent months.

Web story updated by Chris Wright

**Previous Story***

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - Mel Ignatow was found dead in an apartment on Terrier Road in Louisville on Monday. He was 70-years-old at the time of his death and the official cause of death is expected to be released Tuesday.

Ignatow was tried and acquitted for the 1988 murder of his fiance, Brenda Sue Schaefer, but was later convicted of perjury after photos of him killing Schaefer surfaced in Ignatow's former home.

Mel Ignatow's case was controversial, made national news and was the subject of a book. Ignatow avoided murder charges because of double jeopardy laws but later admitted to the brutal crime in court.

Mel Ignatow was one of Louisville most infamous characters. He was called smug, arrogant and a killer. Even though he was never convicted, many say the pictures spoke volumes and told the real story.

Brenda Schaffer was an attractive young woman whose face became well known to Louisville residents for many sad reasons.

She was reported missing in September of 1988.

All along police suspected that Mel Ignatow had harmed Brenda.

She had dated him for about two years and had told people he could be abusive.

No one dreamed the extent of the abuse involved in her murder.

Police convinced Mary Ann Shore, an old girlfriend of Ignatow's, to wear a wire and record a conversation that could be used against him.

She did, and finally in 1991 Mel Ignatow was tried for Brenda Shaffer's murder.

But a Kenton County jury acquitted him despite that taped conversation in which he talks about burying something. Jurors were not convinced he was talking about a body.

Mel Ignatow walked out of the courtroom a free man.

Six months later the proof against Ignatow surfaced. Undeveloped film and Brenda's jewelry hidden in Ignatow's former home were discovered by carpet layers.

Once developed, the pictures showed Ignatow torturing and raping Schaffer.

But Ignatow could not be charged with her murder because that would be double jeopardy.

He was sentenced to nine years for perjury.

Years later when Ignatow was a free man again he told WHAS11 News that he had been forgiven.

"I'm saved, I've been a born again Christian since 1989. So I'm at peace with the lord and he's at peace with me," said Ignatow.

The saga of Mel Ignatow - the man who got away with murder - is in book form written by local journalist Bob Hill.

The case has also be the subject of a national TV program.

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