Germany · Serial Killers

Serial killer and cannibal arrested following the murder of 4-year-old whose hand was cooked and intestines clogged sewer

July 3, 1976
Germany
Joachim Kroll is arrested for the murder of a 4-year-old girl after investigators find the girl’s hand simmering in a pot

Kroll’s IQ was 76, putting him in the minority of serial killers. (Typically, those with lower IQs do not make successful serial killers as they do not possess the skills to avoid capture.) He started murdering and raping in 1955. In 1959, his third victim was raped, strangled, and had pieces of her buttocks removed; she was the first of his victims to be cannibalized. Kroll’s crimes spanned from 1955 to 1976, and his victims aged from 4 to 61, though the majority were 10-13.

On July 3, 1976, police were going door to door inquiring about 4-year-old Marion Ketter’s disappearance when Kroll’s neighbor approached them regarding a clogged sewer pipe. When questioned if he knew what was causing the clog, Kroll replied simply with “guts.” In his apartment police found the missing girl’s mutilated remains: some were simmering in a pot, others in Kroll’s refrigerator, and her entrails clogging the sewer pipe.

Kroll confessed to 13 murders, explaining his routine which included surprising his victims, strangling them, stripping their bodies, raping the corpses, masturbating over the bodies, mutilating the remains (often taking home strips of flesh to eat later), then having sex with a rubber doll at home when recounting the grizzly events.

Despite the 13 murders Kroll confessed to, he was convicted of 8 murders and 1 attempted murder. He was given 9 life sentences and died in jail in 1991.

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