A Colorado motel owner secretly watched his guests do private things -- like go to the bathroom and have sex -- for 29 years.
Gerald Foos once held the Manor House Motel on Colfax Avenue in Aurora and equipped the rooms with fake ceiling vents so he could view his patrons having sex. The voyeurism started in the mid-1960s and lasted until he sold the motel in 1995.
Foos has been dubbed the “greatest voyeur in the world” in a new piece published in The New Yorker by journalist Gay Talese.
The writer says he first learned of Foos when he received a letter in 1980. “Sexually, I have witnessed, observed, and studied the best first hand, unrehearsed, non-laboratory sex between couples, and most other conceivable sex deviations during these past 15 years,” it read.
Foos wanted to be seen as a “sex researcher and social observer,” instead of a common Peeping Tom, according to Talese’s New Yorker article. The voyeur purchased the motel to attain his “uncontrollable desire to peer into people’s lives” and kept detailed records of all his notes.
Those notes included logging statistics on each of the guests, such as: “what was done; what was said; their individual characteristics; age and body type; part of the country where they came; and their sexual behavior,” Foos told Talese.
Adding, “My main objective in wanting to provide you with this confidential information is the belief that it could be valuable to people in general and sex researchers in particular.”
The journalist visited Denver in 2013 to investigate the details of a murder that Foos said he witnessed in one of his rooms in 1977 but never reported.
"He lied to me many times," Talese said. "The question is, did he make up the murder? But why would he? If he gets into any trouble with the law, it would be associated with the murder."
Foos currently lives in the metro Denver area with his second wife and said both his wives supported his sexual studies, according to the Denver Post.
Talese made many trips to Colorado to visit Foos and learned he grew up a child of German-American farmers in the town of Ault. His peeping began at age nine when he would look into his aunt’s window where she would often walk around nude.
Though, the journalist is still wondering what Foos’ true intention in divulging his secrets are.
Foos showed Talese his collection of sports memorabilia he believes is worth millions of dollars and hopes the publicity will help stimulate sales.
But another theory is that Foos does not want to die without confessing his secrets.
"In a way, it's like the guilt of indecent exposure," Talese said. "He's hoping to come clean 30 years later and find redemption."