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An attractive couple would check into his motel and his wife Donna would assign them to a particular block of rooms.

When nightfall came Foos would say goodnight to his mother-in-law who helped out at the business and then he would make his way to the utility room.

Once inside he would lock the door behind himself and climb up a blue ladder and into the loft space above the rooms.

From there he would move carefully along a 3ft wide three layer deep strip of shag carpeting held in place with rubber tipped nails to prevent squeaking.

Either side of him were metal screens which from the rooms below looked like ventilator covers but which would serve an altogether more sinister purpose - to hide Gerald as he watched his fee paying guests have sex.

Often he would masturbate alone, other times he would make notes of what he saw going on and recreate the sex with his wife later, sometimes she would join him and they would have sex up there together and other times he just fell asleep.

Sometimes he would take snacks up to the hideaway but always be ready should a call come to the front desk which he reckoned he could reach in three minutes.

Dmotel voyeururing the periods between 1966 and until 1995 which he owned the Manor House Hotel in Denver, Colorado, and another nearby into which he installed an similar viewing platform he watch thousands and thousands of couples in their most intimate moments, including using the bathroom.

He watched oral sex, lesbians, same sex male couples, threesomes between work colleagues and prostitutes and drug dealers going about their lives.

In fact on one occasion the extreme voyeur saw a woman strangled.

The circumstances were that he observed a couple in the hotel who as well as having sex were selling drugs, including to his anger young boys.

While they were out he went into the room and flushed the drugs down the toilet but when the man got back he accused his girlfriend of stealing them and they argued.

During the course of the argument he strangled the woman and then fled.

Foos thought the woman was OK as she was moving but in the morning maid reported her dead.

The police were called but the couple were booked under a fake name and man never caught.

Foos says he felt responsible but said he did not tell the police what he saw for fear of his other activities being exposed.

Writing in the New Yorker author Gay Talese said the extraordinary story came to his knowledge when Gerald wrote a letter to him revealing his set as he worked on a book about sexual behaviour of Americans.

The writer arranged to meet Gerald and visited the motel even indulging in the voyeuristic pursuits himself, he wrote: "Crouching on the catwalk behind Foos, so as to avoid hitting my head on a beam, I watched as he pointed down toward a vent in the floor.

"Light could be seen a few feet ahead of us. Light also came from a few other vents farther away, but from these I could hear the noise of televisions. The room below us was quiet - except for a soft murmuring of voices and the vibrato of bed springs.

"I saw what Foos was doing, and I did the same: I got down on my knees and crawled toward the lighted louvres. Then I stretched my neck in order to see as much as I could through the vent, nearly butting heads with Foos as I did so.

"Finally, I saw a naked couple spread out on the bed below, engaged in oral sex. Foos and I watched for several moments, and then Foos lifted his head and gave me a thumbs-up sign.

"Despite an insistent voice in my head telling me to look away, I continued to observe, bending my head farther down for a closer view."

The pair maintained contact over 35 years but Talese agreed not to identify him and only choose to write about the highly unusual set up after Foos sold the hotel and it was demolished and he said he wanted to share his story.

It is now the subject of a forthcoming book and is sure to attract the attention of anyone who stayed in the hotel up to 1995.

One couple who may wish to remain anonymous was a middle aged woman and a well dressed younger man who had sex but stopped part way through as the man asked for money.

Foos followed the woman home and discovered her husband had been killed and Vietnam and concluded that she had been using the services of a gigolo.

He also watched a man secretly urinate in his date's drink and an obese man who checked in with a much younger man and then dressed him up in a furry costume with horns and then called him "sheep boy".

As well as having sex Foos watched his guests on the toilet and recorded their bathroom habits.

And his "study" also noted an increase through the years in interracial sex.

When his wife died, he remarried and his new wife also took part in his hobby.

He also tested his guests for honesty by leaving a empty padlocked suitcase in the room and then commenting to his wife in the guests earshot that someone had called to say they had left a suitcase full of money behind.

He then watched to see who tried to open it and who passed it to reception.

A several occasions he came close to being found out apparently, once when he saw a man eating KFC on the bed and wiping his hands on the sheets and another time when he saw a couple let their dog use the room as a toilet and charged them extra even though he would have had no way of knowing it had happened.

When challenged over his behavior Foos, who would now be in his early 80s, refused to admit his had invaded his guests privacy claiming as they did not know they were being watched they were unharmed.

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