One of the most famous of the early serial
killers, Fritz Haarmann was a man that was able to prosper in
a nation that was ravaged by the first World War.
Mired in a great depression, Germany was ripe
for a man like Haarmann, who was known throughout his Hanover
town as a black market dealer. He would sell various items to
his hungry, poor neighbors, like food, clothing, and tools.
A career petty thief, when Haarmann was released
from prison just after the war, he found his country virtually
destroyed. People werte starving, out of home, and in desperate
need of help.
Haarmann, seeing that he could make a pretty
penny supplying them with what they needed, figured out a way
to make money selling food and cloths, while also feeding his
He devised a plan of capturing and raping
young men around his area, then selling off their cloths and carving
up their bodies to sell off the meat to unwitting area residents.
Posing as a police officer, he would approach
drifters who would hang around the local train station. Under
the facade of arrest, Haarmann would lure the young men to his
home, where he would then sexually molest and torture them, ending
with Haarmann biting through their necks until the victim was
Haarmann wasn't alone in his venture. In 1919
he met a fellow sadist/homosexual named Hans Grans, and they began
Soon enough the pattern was set. Grans would
select a victim (sometimes for as little a reason as an article
of clothing that he wanted from them), where Haarmann would then
proceed with the usual plan.
This went on for some time with no one the
wiser. It was reported that a woman once went to the authorities
with her suspicions of what the meat actually was, but was told
to go home, "grateful that she found such a good-looking
piece of pork in such hard times".
As far as the authorities were concerned,
the matter of young men disappearing was simply not paid attention
to. It was far too difficult to keep an eye on everything going
on as Germany was almost on the brink of chaos.
It wasn't until June of 1924 that police realized
something was going on, when human skulls began turning up in
the Leine. At the same time Haarmann was arrested for trying to
lure a little boy away from his home.
When officers went to the Haarmann residence,
they found piles of cloths awaiting sale, and police could no
longer doubt what they were witnessing. About a month later, children
found a mess of human remains near a meadow by the river, leading
police to search the river bed for more clues.
What they found stunned everyone. Over 500
human bones were uncovered and police immediately pointed the
finger on Haarmann and his lover, Grans.
Once incarcerated, Haarmann began to talk,
and he told of "over 40" young boys and men that he
killed over the course of the last few years. Police confirmed
and identified a total of 27 male victims, ranging from the age
of 10 to 23 years of age.
On trial, Haarmann further spoke of how he
couldn't resist killing, claiming it was a "blood lust"
that drove him to such atrocities. Without much delay, he was
sentenced to execution by beheading, whereas, oddly enough, Hans
Grans was sentenced to 12 years for his part in the murders.
It was widely believed that the authorities
had plenty of evidence leading to the actual number of victims
to be in excess of 50, but why they settled on 27 was never known.
Books: Murder For Profit, various
encyclopedias of serial killers.
Suffering from mental illness from his early childhood, Gary
Heidnik was a man that didn't let his disability hold him back
from doing what he wanted, when he wanted. It could also be said
that he didn't let the law hold him back either.
After being discharged from the Army in October, 1961 for
mental problems, he was committed to a Pennsylvania hospital for
three months of intensive psychiatric evaluation. When he was
cleared, he was given 100% disability, and collected over $1000
a month in pension.
Over the next 25 years or so, Heidnik was in and out of mental
hospitals around the northern Pennsylvania area, sometimes spending
months there at a time, getting nothing out of the treatments
he was administered. Years later he told reporters that the doctors
could never quite figure out what was wrong with him.
In 1964, Heidnik started taking nursing classes in Philadelphia,
successfully completing them in a year. By 1967, after working
as a nurse in Philadelphia General Hospital, he purchased his
own three story home, renting out two floors while he took the
It was at this time that he began hanging out at the Elwyn
Institute for the retarded, treating female inmates to outings
such as picnics, movies, and shopping. What the hospital officials
didn't know was that Heidnik also usually ended the "dates"
with a stop over at his home where he would have sex with the
women, even if they didn't consent.
In 1971, Heidnik started up his own church, the "United
Church of the Ministries of God" with eight members, all
from the home for the retarded. He also began letting his house
go, leaving junked cars and boats on his front lawn, ignoring
the pleas from his neighbors as to appearences.
By 1976, Heidnik sold his home, and moved into another three
story house, this time with his illiterate, retarded girlfriend.
At the same time, he took about $35,000 and invested it into the
stock market, and it wasn't long before he developed assests worth
Avoiding taxes because of his flase church, Heidnik began
living the high life, purchasing cars such as Rolls-Royces, Cadillacs,
and a customized van.
In March of 1978, his girlfriend had their child, a little
girl who ended up in foster care soon afterwards. In May of the
same year, Heidnik and his mate drove over to an institution in
Harrisburg, picking up her sister for a day out with the couple.
She was 34, yet had the IQ of a three year old. Ten days later,
after she never returned to the institution, police found her
in the basement of Heidnik's home, she was sexually abused and
kept in her own filth for the entire stay.
Charged with a slew of offenses, ranging from deviant sexual
conduct to endangerment, he was convicted and sentenced to three
to seven years in prison. He ended up serving four years and four
months, and was paroled in April 1983. About a year and a half
later he purchased what was to be his last house, in the middle
of Philadelphia, and began advertising his "church"
to area residents. It was at this time that he also hired a retarded
black man, Cyril Brown, as a part-time handy man.
As he began focusing on the running of his "church"
he also began corresponding with a 22 year old filipino woman,
who would later end up marrying Heidnik in October, 1985. However,
the marriage did not last long, as his wife fled after getting
fed up with Heidnik's habit of bringing home numerouse women for
sexual encounters. She turned up in a home for battered women,
where she told the staff that Heidnik constantly raped and assaulted
Police went to Heidnik and charged him with spousal rape,
indecent assault, and simple assault, but the charges never stuck
as his ex-wife never showed at the trial.
It was less than a year later, on Thanksgiving of 1986, that
Heidnik picked up part-time prostitute Josephina Rivera. Accepting
his offer of $20, she went over to Heidnik's house, where he proceeded
to choke her until she was unconscious, then shackling her to
his bed. She was later brought down to the basement, where Heidnik
began his incredible plan to start his own "harem".
Rivera was kept in a pit where she was raped daily, and fed bread
and water, with an occasional dog treat to "keep her happy".
In December, Heidnik grabbed his second victim, a 25 year
old retarded friend of the handyman. Chained to the beam of the
basement, 25 year old Sandra Lindsay was also repeatedly tortured,
raped, and fed rancid food.
Within the next month, Heidnik managed to grab two more women
for his "harem" when he abducted 19 year old Lisa Thomas,
and 18 year old Jacqueline Askins. Heidnik was enjoying how the
women began to fight for his favor, often pitting them against
each other by getting them to "rat" on the other women
when they did something wrong.
Punishments included electric shocks with a generator, beatings,
and jamming a screwdriver into their ears. All the while he told
the women of his plans to have ten women in the basement, and
to father as many children as possible before he died.
In February of 1987, Sandra Lindsay died after hanging from
the basement beams for so long. No bother for Heidnik, as he and
Rivera took the body upstairs to the tub where they dismembered
it with a power saw. Heidnik was fast to replace Lindsay's spot
when he abducted 23 year old Deborah Dudley. However, she wasn't
nearly as cooperative as the others, so Heidnik killed her shortly
thereafter, wiring her with electrical wire as she stood in a
pit filled with water.
Rivera, who was now gaining Heidnik's trust with each passing
day, helped Heidnik drive the body over into New Jersey a few
days later, where they dumped her in the woods of the Whaton State
Two days later, as Heidnik went out for some errands, Rivera
took the opportunity and escaped the house, running straight for
her boyfriend's apartment, telling him all that happened in the
last few months.
Within minutes police were at the Heidnik home, where they
were met with the strangest, and most gruesome sights many of
them ever saw. In one room, all the walls were covered with money.
Thousands of dollars were glued or stapled over the wallpaper.
The kitchen was decorated with pennies, glued everywhere, including
the appliances. In a freezer nearby, they found the remains of
When they went down into the basement, they found three women
chained to the plumbing, naked from the waste down, and badly
malnourished. They slept in foul smelling pits, and had to endure
the added smell of burning flesh that came from the furnace.
At his trial, Heidnik and his attorneys tried to play up the
"insane" angle, claiming that years of taking the drug
LSD led to his psychotic behavior, but this time Heidnik was done.
In July of 1988, he was found guilty of two murders and assorted
other charges, with the sentence of death the jurors decision.
BOOKS: CELLAR OF HORROR.
Back in 1916, the Austro-Hungarian army was
in desperate need of supplies, and more than anything else, they
needed gasoline. World War I was now a couple of years old and
it was tapping the nation of all it's resources.
From time to time the army would travel the
nation and ask it's citizens to help supply whatever they could.
When they reached the quiet town of Czinkota, they were told of
a young man who reportedly kept drums of gasoline in his basement
before the war.
Always the shrewd businessman, Bela Kiss predicted
before the war that certain natural resources would be hard to
come by later on, so he told others that he would keep drums filled
with gasoline in his basement, and capitalize when it was needed.
What he didn't count on was being drafted
by the army, and being sent out to fight for his country. According
to the Austro-Hungarian army, he was killed in action, and was
never able to profit from his stash of fuel.
Remembering this story, a local man told the
army officials of the young man who died in battle who reportedly
had all this gasoline tucked away. The army was ecstatic and they
went to the house, still empty since Mr. Kiss' death, to retrieve
They were happy to see the drums still there,
all seven of them, and yes, they were filled to the brim with
something. But opening one of the drums to make sure it was indeed
gasoline that was inside, they realized that it wasn't the precious
gasoline that was in the drums, but wood alcohol.
Finding this rather odd, why would anyone
want to save wood alcohol in their home, they checked to see what
else, if anything, was inside the drum. Upon further inspection,
they were stunned to see the tied, doubled-up naked body of a
young woman stuffed inside.
When they opened the other drums, they found
that they too contained the discolored bodies of young women.
Seven unidentified bodies tied up and stored in metal drums.
As if that wasn't enough, the authorities
decided to search the rest of the house, and found shallow graves
outside that contained even more bodies of young women.
The police and army officials were confused.
What were they uncovering here? Did they accidentally stumble
onto a multiple murderer?
Inside the middle-aged Kiss' home they found
papers that seemed to lay out what the man was up to in the years
leading into the First World War. These papers clearly showed
that Kiss was finding women through personal ads he had placed
in local papers.
Because of the war raging, officials didn't
put their greatest effort into finding out exactly what happened
in the small house of horrors, but some of the facts that emerged
were as follows:
Bela Kiss moved to the town of Czinkota in
1912 at the age of 40. He was married to a woman 15 years his
junior who ran off with a painter four years later. This enraged
Kiss, and he later tracked her down and killed her, storing her
in a metal drum in his basement.
Now, from here on in it was speculated that
Kiss discovered a murderous impulse inside himself that led him
to lure other young women to his home, where he most likely sexually
assaulted them, then killied them in the same manner as his wife.
Some women were lured with the prospect of
marriage, arriving at the apartment he kept in Budapest, only
to be killed once inside. From there, he drove the bodies to his
home in Czinkota where he would store the bodies in the drums
until he dug a grave for them. All told, he murdered 20 to 30
women in this manner.
The kicker in this case is that it has been
widely argued that Kiss did not die in the war as reported, and
that he switched identification with a dying soldier in the battle
field before fleeing to an unknown location.
This theory came about when a nurse who said
she cared for the dying "Bela Kiss" could not have been
older than 20 years of age. She swore time and time again that
he was a "young boy".
Did Kiss escape his inevitable fate and live
the rest of his life in another country? Later on there were reported
sightings of the elder Kiss in New York City, Budapest, and in
France. No one ever knew for sure what happened to the mysterious
killer of up to 30 women.
PAUL JOHN KNOWLES
"The Casanova Killer"
Paul Knowles was one of those guys who could charm the pants
off of anyone. Always able to pour on the charm when needed, he
eventually used that talent in a life of crime that left over
18 people dead, most of whom were taken by the young drifter.
Knowles grew up in numerous foster homes as a child, and was
drawn to petty crime at an early age.
Serving a sentence for burglary and kidnapping at the Raiford
Penitentiary in Florida in the early 1970's, Knowles was able
to convince a woman named Angela Covic to marry him while incarcerated,
and to even hire a lawyer to fight for early parole.
On May 14th, 1974, he was granted his freedom, and he traveled
to San Francisco to be with his new bride. It wasn't too long
after his arrival that Covic saw that the charming man she met
and came to love through letters was not what she thought he'd
Gone was the charm, gone was the sweet words that she grew
to love. What was left in it's place was a gruff, dark man who
left Covic no other choice but to break off their engagement.
According to Knowles, it was then that he decided to walk the
streets of San Francisco and "kill three people." In
a statement before his death, Knowles said that he was devastated
by her reluctance to marry him.
Although there weren't any murders attributed to Knowles in
San Francisco, it all began to unfold when he went back to Florida
in late July. He planned to simply rob an elderly woman of her
cash and car, but the gag he left in her mouth suffocated her
as she lay in her home.
Clearly not intentional, Knowles wasn't too far off of that
when just a couple of weeks later he strangled two young girls,
aged seven and eleven, just because they knew Knowles and his
family, and he was afraid that they would mention that they saw
From this moment on he became a death machine, beginning in
the Jacksonville area, then moving upwards, through Georgia, and
to the Mid-West, and back again. He wandered aimlessly and killed
along the way. Sometimes he would force his way into a house,
where he'd rob and then strangle his victims. Or maybe he'd pick
up a hitchhiker along the way.
In Connecticut he raped and strangled a mother and her teenaged
daughter. In Neveda he happened to come across an elderly couple
camping, and he strangled them as well. The killings ecame almost
a casual occurence as he made his way around the country. During
the month of August he killed three people, while in the following
month he managed to kill five more.
Always able to talk his way into any situation, he once began
talking to a businessman in an Ohio bar. Shortly afterwards, the
man was dead in the nearby woods, and his car was heading west
with Knowles behind the wheel. In another incident, Knowles met
yet another man in a bar, this time in Macon, Georgia, and he
soon strangled the man and his teenage daughter.
About a month later, Knowles was in Alabama and talked his
way into the life of a beautician who had some money to spend.
When the money was no longer in abundance, he strangled her. This
went on for another four months until he met a British journalist
named Sandy Fawkes in Atlanta.
Deciding that he liked her, he spared her life and had a six
day affair with the woman. However, like Angela Covic before her,
Fawkes soon realized this man was dangerous, and she decided to
break things off with him. The event that triggered the reak up
was when Knowles pulled a gun on her, joking that he may be a
mass murderer. When told she was breaking it off with him, Knowles
was furious, and it triggered all that murderous rage once again.
Without thinking, he tried raping a friend of Fawkes, but
she was able to get away and call police. Even though Knowles
was able to get away, the police were on his trail, and Knowles
would do anything to stay a free man.
In Georgia he car jacked two vehicles, one belonging to a
policeman, and he shot both drivers in the head. At a nearby roadblock,
he was forced out of his car after it hit a tree, and Knowles
was now on foot, running through nearby woods. Inadvertantly he
ran into a hunter, who kept Knowles at bay with his shotgun until
the police caught up.
In the time he was out of prison, Knowles managed to kill
at least 18 people, but he wasn't done yet. The next day, as he
was being led by two officers, he tried to grab the gun of one
of the men, but was immediately shot dead by an F.B.I. agent.
Sandy Fawkes later went on to write a book of her experiences
with Knowles called "Killing Time", drawing criticism
for such an undertaking.
Before Knowles died he did make a statement to his lawyer
that he in fact was responsible for about 35 murders, but authorities
were never able to pin any unsolved cases on him.
Books: Killing Time
Honestly one of the most sadistic fucks I've ever come across,
Randy Kraft was operating at the same time as two other homosexual
sadists, William Bonin and Patrick Kearney, sure to be profiled
here in the future as well.
Young men were turning up dead along the highways and by-ways
of the Golden State, and local officials were continually at a
loss when these bodies kept turning up even after they apprehended
Bonin and Kearney in seperate cases.
Kraft, a former Marine and successful computer programmer
up and down the California coast, started his murderous "career"
as early as 1972, where his first known victim, a 20-year-old
marine named Edward Daniel Moore was found in the Seal Beach area
in December. He was sexually assaulted, and was strangled to death.
In 1975 and 1976, four more men were found dead, strangled
to death, along with various injuries that led authorities to
understand that this was the work of someone who got their thrills
from the sadism involved rather than the sex or domination of
his victims. The victim from 1976 for instance, was found to be
Although area law enforcement was already putting together
an investigation into the murders, it wasn't nearly as comprehensive
as it should have been. Obviously homosexual in nature, this was
the mid-seventies, and crimes committed against the gay community
was not priority #1.
In 1978 there were four more cases attributed to the "freeway
killer", although this moniker was later coined on behalf
of Bonin, the true stalker of the highways. These four cases also
included the same M.O., with mutilation of the genitals, strangulation,
and their bodies dumped at random on the side of some road. What
was interesting was that the killings were now getting even more
and more hideous, with mutilation taking on almost a game-like
For example, with one victim, police discovered what appeared
to be long glass rods that were stuck deep inside the penis, while
his scrotum was seemingly "chewed" off. The focus was
obviously the genital region, leading police to believe that the
killer was a closet homosexual who hated himself for it.
In actuality they were wrong, as it was later learned that
Kraft was not at all embarrassed of his lifestyle, and embraced
it quite openly. It was later speculated that Kraft was genuinly
a sadist who thrived on the torture of his victims, plain and
Two more bodies were discovered in 1980, with no end in sight,
all with the same tell-tale signs that the same killer struck
again. As with all the other victims, beside the strangulation
and torture, there was also traces of drugs found in their system.
Nothing else turned up until 1983, when in January and February,
three more bodies turned up, strangled and castrated, off the
side of some California road, literally dropped like trash.
In May of 1983, police spotted a car that seemed suspicious.
It was swerving back and forth and the driver seemed to be concentrating
on his passenger rather than the road. When they pulled the car
over, the driver immediately got out, even though the officers
demanded that he remain inside the car.
When the officers looked into the car, they found the body
of yet another victim, Terry Lee Gambrel, a marine. Kraft was
finally stopped, and police would later learn that there was much
more to this case than earlier suspected.
In the trial that followed, everyone was shocked to learn
that Kraft's occupation demanded that he travel across the country
frequently. Along with this, police found an odd "list"
that had cryptic notes in Kraft's immistakable handwriting. Names
such as "Diabetic", "What you got", "7th
Street", and "Airplane Hill" littered the entire
page. It seemed to most that this was in fact a list of victims
Kraft was responsible for throughout the years.
Officially convicted of 16 murders, there is more than reasonable
evidence suggesting that Kraft indeed was responsible for over
60 murders, including open cases in New York, Michigan, Oregon,
Ohio, and Washington. All these suspected cases bear the same
method of murder and disposal as the California deaths.
Since his conviction in 1980, for which he was sentenced to
death at San Quentin (he's still under appeal-Amazing!), he still
claims he was innocent, and oddly enough spends his days playing
cards with other notorious serial killers, Lawrence Bittaker,
William Bonin, and the "Sunset Strip Killer" Douglas
Ahhh, to be a fly on that fucking wall!!!!
Angel of Darkness"-an awesome book!!
"The Ruhr Hunter"
In the summer of 1976, police in the Ruhr
district in Germany were notified of a missing four-year-old girl,
Marion Ketter. Since there were numerous reports of missing people
in recent times, the authorities moved quickly to gather evidence.
Canvasing the playground where the girl was
last seen, as well as area buildings, the police were coming up
with nothing, until they spoke to an old man who told them something
The old man said that a fellow tenant, Joachim
Kroll, had told him not to use the communal bathroom because the
toilet was, in his words, "Clogged with guts." Unable
to ignore such a story, the police called in a plumber and had
the toilet plunged. Within minutes, up came human entrails, as
well as human lungs, about the size of a young girl's.
They immediately went over to the apartment
of the 40-something men's room attendant. There, they discovered
a balding, meek mannered man who didn't even protest the officers
search of his freezer. Inside the freezer the police were stunned
to find bags of human flesh, neatly packaged for later consumption.
On the stovetop was a saucepan, with a child's
hand simmering inside with potatoes and carrots. All at once the
authorities realized that the elusive cannibal killer terrorizing
the area for over 15 years was caught, this the capture of what
newspapers dubbed "The Ruhr Hunter".
Kroll lived alone, collecting electronic gadgets
and inflatable sex dolls. He was too nervous to try having sex
with a real woman, so he enjoyed his time with the dolls, usually
masterbating while strangling the doll with his other hand. By
the age of 22, he turned to rape and murder, making it possible
for him to make love to a real woman.
Once at the police station, Kroll was more
than obliging. When asked if he was indeed the elusive cannibalistic
killer, Kroll readily admitted that it was he who murdered sixteen
year old Manuela Knodt in 1959, thirteen year olds Petra Giese
and Monika Tafel in 1962, and five year old Ilona Harke in 1966.
He freely spoke about the chunks of flesh he took out of each
victim, to be eaten later on in the comfort of his apartment.
Yes, finally the murders attributed to the
"Ruhr Hunter" could be put to rest. However, Kroll didn't
stop talking. There was much more to Kroll than the officers hoped
to find. He couldn't exactly remember the exact dates, but there
was nineteen year old Irmgard Strehl in the town of Walstede,
sometime around 1955. Then there was a twelve year old about a
year later in Kirchhellen, followed by another young girl in Burscheid,
and yet another one in Grossenbaum. Sometime in 1966, there was
also a girl in the town of Marl, he couldn't be sure of the season.
At first police were skeptical about the claims,
however, to their dismay, there were indeed unsolved murders at
every town Kroll claimed to kill. When pressed further, he gave
the authorities the correct "inside" information that
sealed any doubt.
When all was said and done, Kroll was evidently
responsible for 14 murders in the past 20 years, including one
man who was out parked with his girlfriend. He told police that
he would often confuse them by changing his M.O. with particular
victims. For instance, in the mid-sixties, with a few of his young
victims, he decided not to take any meat from them, assuming that
the police would dismiss them as "Ruhr Hunter" murders.
He repeatedly told the police that
he wasn't sure if there were any more murders, since there was
so much time to consider. Needless to say, he was found guilty
of multiple murder, and was sentenced to life in prison sinmce
Germany did away with the death penalty after World War II.
"The Monster of Dusseldorf"
As far as the 20th century and serial killing
is concerned, you can make a strong argument for Peter Kurten
as the most vicious, brutal killer recorded.
The product of an impoverished home in Western
Germany, Kurten grew up in an environment that by all accounts,
would have produced a killer no matter who the child was. He was
the fifth of 13 children of an alcoholic sand-caster.
His father taught him how to be out of control
sexually, while also teaching him the upmost butality. As a matter
of fact, Kurten's father often raped his daughter in front of
the whole family, being that they all slept in the same bedroom.
When he wasn't sexually abusing his daughter, he would beat the
entire family with anything he could find.
When his father was finally caught and imprisoned
for this offense, Kurten looked elsewhere for mature guidance,
and he found it in a local dogcatcher who tutored him in the torture
and masterbation of animals. They often shared the joy of having
sex with an animal, then stabbing the beast to death as the men
By the age of nine, Kurten was out of control
both sexually and socially. He lived on the street for the most
part, and even resented his sister for putting his father behind
bars. No one knows for sure, but around the same time, Kurten
went out on a rafting trip with two other young boys. By the time
Kurten came back, the other two drowned. No one ever suspected
Kurten, but when facts revealed themselves later on, those who
were there remembered quickly what had happened.
By the time he was a teenager, he was in and
out of prison on charges of burglary and robbery. As a matter
of fact, all told, in Peter Kurten's 47 years alive, he would
spend 27 of them in prison.
Before he began his sex-murders, he was responsible
for three deaths, all results of botched burglaries on Kurten's
part. One of his victims was an eight year old who was in the
home he was trying to burglarize. He slit her throat from ear
It wasn't until he reached his forties, in
1929, that the legend of the "Monster of Dusseldorf"
took hold. In that year alone, he was responsible for up to two
dozen sex murders. No one was safe from his attacks, he killed
men, women, and children. He began the year by stabbing a young
woman 24 times after raping her, and although she miraculously
survived, he never broke stride. Just ten days after that he killed
a young man. He ended that same year by murdering a five-year-old
girl, sexually abusing her as well.
The city was in mortal fear for over a year,
with no capture in sight. Police did everything they could think
of to catch the elusive butcher. They interviewed over 9000 people,
even consulted psychics, and nothing seemed to help.
What made everything so hard for the authorities
was the simple fact that they never suspected the same person
in all the crimes. They honestly thought that all the crimes were
unrelated, and the work of many suspects. Who could blame them?
Kurten failed to follow any pattern of killing
throughout his criminal career. The murders ranged from stabbings,
strangulation, bludgeonings with hammers, nothing was spared by
Kurten. To make matters worse, the rate of the killings were too
frequent for one person, police believed. There were sometimes
more than two killings a day.
The only similarity between the killings was
the obvious fact that the killer was drinking the blood of his
victims. Later on Kurten told authorities that he loved to stab
his victims repeatedly, and drink the blood from the wound as
it pumped out.
Kurten also had a little fun with the police
during their investigations. He even helped them, anonymously,
by sending the investigators a letter locating the five year old
he killed in 1929. He even mailed another letter telling them
where they could find the body of a young housemaid he murdered
after the young girl. He went onto explain that she was stabbed
20 times, and sexually assaulted. Police understood that the killer
was proud of his work.
Soon enough, Kurten began to get sloppy. He
was getting careless and began talking to people out in the open,
trying to snatch them up in front of anyone around. Eventually,
he lured a young woman into the woods one day with the hopes of
raping, then strangling her. However, she put up quite a fight,
and he let her go, thinking that she wouldn't say a word to anyone.
The police were immediately notified and were
at Kurten's home within the hour. Once arrested, Kurten stunned
everyone listening when he began to confess to everything that
he did. No one was ready for what they were about to hear. All
told, he confessed to over 70 crimes and over 13 murders. He even
went on to explain that he enjoyed drinking the blood of his victims.
If there was a favorite tool of death for Kurten, it was a pair
of scissors, which would produce a perfect hole from which blood
would pour out of.
Perhaps the most amazing story of all told
by Kurten didn't involve a human being at all. Kurten told police
that one early morning, feeling good after a murder, he was sitting
in the park, near a lake, when he spotted a sleeping swan. Without
thinking twice, he approached the bird and grabbed it by the neck.
He then proceeded to twist the swan's head off and drink the blood
as it poured out of the body.
When interviewed by a leading doctor in the
field of psychology, Dr. Karl Berg, he left a lasting impression,
leading the professor to claim that Kurten was, "the King
of sexual perverts."
Later on the authorities figured he murdered
at least 25-30 people, but at his trial he was convicted of nine.
Kurten tried to argue that he was indeed insane, and the court
should have mercy on his soul, but they were quick to dole out
their punishment-he was to be decapitated.
Once the sentence was handed down, Kurten
accepted the verdict and spent his remaining days wondering if
he would be able to hear his own blood gush out of his neck. He
said that if he could hear his own blood rush out at the last
second of life, he would die a happy man.
On July 2, 1931, he stepped up to the guillotine
at Klingelputz Prison.
BOOKS: THE SADIST; THE MONSTER OF
ROBERT JOE LONG
Supposedly a distant cousin of Henry Lee Lucas'
, Robert Long, or "Bobby Joe" Long can be considered
someone who was destined to be a serial killer if there ever was
Born in Kenova, West Virginia in 1953, Long
came from a family with a history of genetic disorders, most prominently
the disorder characterized by an extra "x" chromosome,
causing his glands to produce abnormal amounts of estrogen. Throughout
his teen years Long developed large breasts, whick led him to
surgically remove six pounds of excess tissue.
The genetic issue aside, Long also lived with
his domineering mother, sharing her bed until he was 13. He claims
to have been present on many occasion while his mother slept with
a number of men over the years, a charge she later denied.
If this wasn't enough to damage a young man's
development, Bobby Joe suffered numerous severe head injuries
while growing up. At five years of age he was knocked unconscious
when he was hit by a swing, also skewering an eyelid in the accident.
The following year he crashed his bicycle into a parked car, hitting
the car headfirst. This resulted in a severe concussion. At age
seven he fell off a pony onto his head, remaining nauseous and
dizzy for several weeks.
At 13, he met a girl who would later become
his wife. According to those who knew them, Long was now dominated
by two women in his life, his new girlfriend, and his ever-present
mother. Apparently the women cooperated with each other rather
By the time he reached 17, Long enlisted in
the Army, and not six months later crashed his motorcycle. The
crash was so severe, his helmet shattered on impact with the ground.
While recovering at the hospital, Long began to show signs of
violent outbursts and excruciating headaches. At the same time
he began to obsess about sex.
According to Long, when he was released from
the hospital, he was so obsessed with sex that he masterbated
five times a day while still having intercourse with his wife
twice daily. With all of this he was still not satiated, and that's
when he began to prey on the people of Fort Lauderdale, Ocala,
Between 1980 and 1983, Long trolled the streets
of those cities during midday, answering "For Sale"
signs posted around town. Usually meeting housewives alone during
the day, it was choice pickings for Long. Usually, Long would
show up about noon, and ask about whatever item he saw listed
in the paper. When the women let him inside, Long would produce
a knife, then bind them where he then raped them repeatedly while
robbing the home of valuables before he fled.
In November of 1981, he was caught by police
on a rape charge, but it wouldn't stick as the defense gathered
certain witnesses who testified that they consented to Long's
advances. Free to go, Long then added one more item to his list
of crimes, and that was murder.
Oddly enough, Long chose to troll the streets
of nearby Tampa for his murder victims, and unlike his rape victims,
who were all housewives, Long was killing prostitutes, nude dancers,
and other women who he viewed as "trash". To say that
Bobby Joe preyed on the "bottom of the barrel" of Tampa's
denizens would be an understatement. If you read the book, "Bound
to Die" you'll understand. He frequented a strip known for
it's proximity to Tampa's airport and it's fair share of nude
bars and pick-up spots for whores.
At first it wasn't noticed when local dancers
and prostitutes were missing, but police soon were uncovering
rotting corpses nearby, identifying them as the missing girls
and realizing they had a problem on their hands. One passage that
stands out in my mind from the book "Bound to Die" is
the description an officer made when he found the body of a local
dancer that was missing for a week. When he came upon the body,
he saw her with what he thought was a "burlap bag over her
head". When he looked closer he thought he saw the bag moving,
until he realized that it wasn't a bag over her head at all, but
thousands of maggots who were feeding on her, completely covering
her down to her shoulders.
By the time he was caught on November 17th,
1984, Bobby Joe claimed the lives of eight area prostitutes and
nude dancers, with two more victims who were not part of "the
life" adding up to ten murders. His M.O. was varied with
all the victims, as he stabbed, shot, or strangled them depending
on the situation. It's still up in the air, but many think that
Long wanted to end all the killing when he abducted a 17 year-old
off the street and kept her for two days, raping her repeatedly
before letting her go.
Many point to the fact that he was now preying
on girls who were younger, and "straight"; that is,
they were not prostitutes or exotic dancers, they were students
and waitresses who just happened to cross Long's path when he
was out trolling. However, Long later told those interviewing
him that it was not in fact true. He was just taking whatever
he could get his hands on.
He stated that the girl was the first victim
he ever "liked", and he couldn't bring himself to kill
her. Apparently, he and the girl talked a great deal while she
was captive, and she told Long that she was a victim of incest
at the hands of her father. Long then took pity on her and decided
to let her go.
When the girl went to authorities with her
story, they didn't act fast enough, as Bobby Joe managed to kill
one more girl, Kim Swann, killed two days after he let the other
girl go free.
Police finally caught up with Long as he was
leaving a movie theatre, not even bothering to put up a fight
when they introduced themselves. Convicted of nine counts of first
degree murder, as well as numerous counts of rape and robbery,
he was sentenced to die in the electric chair.
What made Bobby Joe Long so unusual as far
as serial killers go was the fact that he had two seperate criminal
lives. That of a serial killer in the Tampa area, and that of
a serial rapist in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. One other killer
who comes to mind as doing the same thing was Canada's Paul Bernardo,
who victimized the area of Scarborough as the dreaded "Scarborough
Rapist" in the late 1980's before moving onto serial murder
with his wife Karla Homolka in the early 1990's.
BOOKS: "SMOLDERING EMBERS";
"BOUND TO DIE"; "INSIDE THE MIND OF A MONSTER:THE
BOBBY JOE LONG STORY".
"THE MONSTER OF THE ANDES"
Perhaps the most prolific serial killer since
the days of Bathory and Bluebeard, only in the unorganized areas
of the third world can such a killer exist.
Pedro Lopez freely walked South America and
raped and murdered well over three hundred young girls, leaving
mass graves in places such as Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador.
Considering that it is in fact confirmed that
Lopez killed as many as he claimed, it's incredible that there
have yet to be any books written about his case. We can only find
mention of him in random serial killer "encyclopedias".
Born the seventh son of a Colombian whore,
Lopez was kicked out of his home at the age of eight when he was
found fondling an older sister.
Left to fend for himself, young Lopez wandered
all over Colombia, already sexually active both heterosexually
Along with this, Lopez was repeatedly raped
by men in his travels, and when he was later imprisoned at 18
for car theft, he was viciously raped by four men sharing his
It was here that murder became a part of his
life, as three of his rapists were killed by him in two weeks
time, using a crude homemade knife.
When he was released in the mid-seventies,
he wandered over to Peru, where he was now ready for murder at
He developed a usual method for murder. He
would go to an area marketplace and look for a young girl who
would satisfy his needs. When spotted, he would lure the girl
to an isolated spot.
First he would rape the victim, then he would
strangle her to death, preferring to kill in the sunlight so he
could "see the victim die more clearly."
By 1978 he had already killed over 100 Peruvian
girls, using the same method to catch his prey.
The large amounts of young girls missing in
three nations led authorities to believe that there was an organisation
at work, kidnapping local children.
Then, something incredible and absolutely
typical happened, he was caught, only to be released. But this
was a special situation. I'll let you read for yourself:
In an Ayachuco Indian village Lopez was caught
trying to lure away a nine year old girl. The tribes concept of
justice is not affected by this monster we call "political
He was immediatley beaten and tortured, ready
to die for his crime. However, an American missionary came upon
the tribe as they were about to throw Lopez in an open grave,
where he was to be buried alive.
In the great name of "compassion for
all human beings", she convinced the tribe to release Lopez
to her, where she would take Lopez to the authorities.
What the missionary did not know was that
the local authorities did not worry too much about the kidnapping
of a tribal child. Because of this, they felt the right thing
to do was escort Lopez out of the country, with a warning never
For Lopez, this was far from a problem. He
later stated that he actually preferred "working" in
Ecuador, where the girls were "more trusting, more innocent".
It was after killing about another 110 young
girls that Lopez was finally caught in the Ambato marketplace
Earlier in the year, the swollen river nearby
overflowed, and exposed the remains of four of Lopez' victims.
This kept all the locals on hign alert, and when a young mother
caught Lopez leading her twelve year old out of the marketplace,
Lopez' reign of murder was finally over.
Once in custody, Lopez was tricked into confession.
Posing as a fellow prisoner, a police officer got Lopez to mention
a handful of his murders. Once Lopez realized what was done, he
figured there was nothing more to hide.
From there, Lopez began to talk, and he stunned
all who were listening when he explained how he killed over 100
girls in EACH of Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador.
To prove that he was telling the truth, Lopez
directed the police to mass graves in the area, uncovering over
50 bodies there alone.
Once found guilty, he was sentenced to life
in prison, where he sits today.
The Santa Cruz, California area was one happening place back
in the early 70's. While Edmund Kemper was roaming around killing
women, John Frazier decided to kill a whole family in the name
of "anti-technology", and a guy by the name of Herb
Mulling was "saving the state" by killing to prevent
a catastrophic earthquake that would have buried California under
the Pacific Ocean.
Mullin grew up normally enough. He was a very good student,
as well as an athlete. He dated and had good friends.
However, towards the end of the 1960's Mullin began to exhibit
signs of schizophrenia.
In 1965, his best friend died in an accident, and this seemed
to push Mullin over the edge. He began acting strange, and broke
off an engagement with his girlfriend, stating that he was homosexual.
He began to mix into the counterculture of the times, declaring
himself a conscientious objector to Vietnam and dabbling in hallucinogetic
Soon after this, he began to hear voices which told him what
to do, and, with his family clearly seeing the signs of schizophrenia,
had him institutionalized over the next two years.
In the Autumn of 1972, Mullin first began to have voices ordering
him to kill. And on October 13th, he acted for the first time.
Driving around around the Santa Cruz mountains, he spotted
a vagrant off the side of the road. Mullin pulled over and lifted
the hood of his car, acting as if he was having car trouble. When
the man came over, offering help, Mullin attacked him and beat
him to death with a baseball bat.
It took him just over a week to act again. On October 24th,
he stabbed Mary Guilfoyle, a college student nearby, to death.
He proceeded to cut open her body and pull out her insides with
On November 2nd, Mullin stabbed a Roman Catholic priest to
death in his confessional.
It was in December of that year that he purchased a gun. And
it was at this time that he also began to hear voices of people
"asking" him to kill them.
In January, 1973 alone, he went out and killed five people,
shooting them to death. One of the victims was a drug dealer that
Mullin knew, along with the dealer's wife. He then killed a woman
and three kids, who he called upon earlier by mistake.
On February 6th, Mullin crept up on four teenagers as they
camped out illegally in a local National Park. He shot them all
to death after telling them all to leave. He left their bodies
where they fell.
Less than a week later, Mullin walked over to a man working
in his garden and shot him to death. Again, he was "asking"
for Mullin to kill him.
Luckily for the authorities, Mullin was spottd by a neighbor
of the man, and police were at the scene in minutes, able to track
Mullin down from there.
He confessed freely, telling the authorities that it was up
to him to kill all these people so California would be saved from
certain catastrophe. He also told them how he was "chosen
by Albert Einstein to be the leader of his generation."
He was easily convicted of two counts of First-Degree Murder,
and eight counts of Second-Degree Murder, even though his defense
argued that he was not guilty by reason of insanity.
He was sentenced to life in prison, even though he is eligible
for parole in the year 2025, when he'll be 72.
Books: The Die Song; Sacrifice Unto
Me; Murder and Madness.
"The Gorilla Murderer"
Born in Philadelphia in 1897, Nelson was always
an odd looking boy. He had an unusual receding hairline for his
age, big lips, and giant hands, which later on would contribute
to the nickname he was tagged with, "The Gorilla Murderer".
When he was a year old, Nelson's mother died
of syphillis, caught from her husband. Earle was immediately fostered
out to his aunt, who was a devoutly religious woman. Needless
to say, she didn't spare Nelson the bible lessons and scripture
At the age of ten Nelson suffered a serious
head injury when he was hit by a moving streetcar. No one knew
it at the time, but the injuries he recieved in the accident would
stay with him for the rest of his life.
In his teens Nelson would often lock himself
in his room, talking to himself non-stop, mixing religious tracts
with foul-mouthed language. It was also at this time that he became
aggressive towards women.
In 1918 he was admitted to a mental hospital
after he tried to rape a neighbor's young daughter. While there,
he tried escaping many times, only to be caught and sent back.
When released a year later, Nelson befriended
an older woman, who he would marry after a very short courting
period. It was doomed from the beginning, as his wife, who was
also a religious woman, could not satisfy Nelson in bed. Then
again, no woman could, as he would masturbate all day long, as
well as require his wife to satisfy him at least twice daily.
She was appalled by his sexual needs, as well
as his lack of drive to find work, or to make something out of
himself. By the time she left him six months after they were married,
Earle was now calling himself Roger Wilson.
In and out of prison for sexual assaults,
Nelson would always find a way to escape. Between the years of
1923 and 1926, no one knows what he was up to to this day. He
In that time, it is believed that Nelson just
roamed around the country, picking up menial jobs, as well as
stealing what he could.
It was also at this time that Nelson began
a rampage hardly seen in this country, before or since. Between
February 1926 and June 1927, Nelson would prey on women who were
renting a room, sexually assaulting them, then killing them. All
told, by the time authorities caught up with him in Canada, he
was responsible for 22 deaths, all by strangulation.
His M.O. was the same in all the cases. While
the man of the house was off to work, Nelson would walk around
the area, looking for a "Room to Let" sign out front.
When he found one, he would knock on the door, checking to see
who answered. If it was indeed a woman, he would then ask if he
could see the room.
Once inside, he would quickly determine if
the situation was right, and he would strike. A large man, he
would almost immediately gain control of the woman, then begin
to rape her repeatedly, before using his hands to manually strangle
her. He would than try to conceal the body, usually under a bed,
or in a closet. Oddly, he would never just leave the body out
in the open. In many of the cases, he also had sex with the body
Always on the hunt, Nelson killed women all
over the North American Continent. Beginning with 60 year old
Clara Newman in February 1926 in San Francisco, he went on to
kill women in the following cities: San Jose, Oakland, Santa Barbara,
Portland, Oregon City, Seattle, Councill Bluffs Iowa, Kansas City,
Philadelphia, Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, and Winnipeg.
It was actually for this reason alone, his
wandering aimlessly from city to city, that the authorities were
not able to track a patterned killer. At the time, state to state
communication between police forces was hardly common, so Nelson
would just move on to another town, leaving a trail of blood everywhere
he went. And when the local police was catching up to him, he
was off to the next town, leaving the police empty handed.
Also attributed to Nelson, but never proven,
were three murders in Newark New Jersey in 1926. All three women
were landladies who were killed during the day, strangled by hand,
and stuffed underneath beds. Nelson was indeed in the region at
Never before or since has a serial killer
been so productive in such a wide area. All the while the police
were on his heels, never getting close enough to lay a trap. At
one point, in October 1926, Nelson managed to kill three women,
all on successive days.
In June of 1927, Nelson traveled across the
border to Winnipeg, where he first killed a fourteen year old
girl named Lola Cowan. The Canadian authorities were well aware
of this "Gorilla Murderer" running around, and were
quick to round up the adequate forces to catch the elusive killer.
Even so, the police would not have even caught
Nelson if it wasn't for a mistake he made. After killing his final
victim, a landlady by the name of Emily Paterson, Nelson also
took a number of clothing to try and sell at a local second-hand
shop. When police figured out the approximate hour of death, they
went around town looking for anyone who might have seen anything.
The shop owner remembered the odd looking fellow who sold him
some women's clothing earler in the day.
From there, police talked to a barber who
told them off a big, ugly man who asked for a cut and a shave.
The reason he was wary of the gentleman, he said, was that it
appeared that the man had blood on him. He didn't make anything
of it at the time, but now that the police were asking, this had
to be their man.
Without wasting any time, Police drew up flyers
that were circulated all over the area, both on the Canadian and
United States side of the border. On June 11th, 1927, Nelson,
who was on his way back to the states, walked into the post office
in Wakopa, Canada, a border town. He was immediately recognized
by the workers there, and they called the police.
Imprisoned on the spot, Nelson's case drew
more attention than almost any other case the nation ever saw.
His defense was not guilty by reason of insanity. His aunt and
ex-wife were more than willing witnesses to his insanity. However,
the jury found him guilty of the murder of Paterson, and he was
sentenced to hang.
On January 13th, 1928, with a bible in his
hand, he met his fate at the gallows in Winnipeg, but not before
stating to the audience watching, "I forgive those who have