Germany · Serial Killers

“The Vampire of Düsseldorf” arrested

June 23, 1924
Hanover, Germany
Fritz Haarmann is arrested for murder

Haarmann committed at least 24 murder between 1919 and 1924, primarily targeting young male vagrants between 13 and 22 years old. His trial became sensationalized due to the graphic and animalistic nature of the murders, including biting through the necks of his victims, sometimes as he was raping them. One rumor at the time also stated Haarmann had cut flesh from his victims and sold the meat as black market pork, but there is no evidence of this.

Haarmann was arrested when the skeletal remains of victims washed downstream from the river Leine. Police searched the river further and discovered over 500 human bones from 22 separate people. Haarmann confessed during interrogation to murdering “somewhere between 50 and 70.” During his trial, as the term “serial killer” had not yet been coined, Haarmann was referred to as a vampire, werewolf, and The Wolf Man. He was found guilty, executed by beheading on April 15, 1925, and his head preserved. His head is currently kept in the Göttingen medical school.


Haarmann on trial


Haarmann’s head on display

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