Famous Last Words
Peter Kürten
Cologne, Germany
July 2, 1931

“Tell me… after my head is chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be the pleasure to end all pleasures.”

Kürten was executed by guillotine for the murders of 9, though his suspected victim count is closer to 60, including children. He earned the nickname The Vampire of Düsseldorf after claiming to drink the blood of at least one of his victims, and admitted that his motivation for killing was to reach sexual climax by seeing blood, making his final words that much more disturbingly apt. (Officially, he gave no final statement. The quote presented here was a question he asked the prison psychiatrist just before his head was placed in the guillotine; when asked if he had any final words he smiled and replied “no.”)

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