December 1, 1924
Fritz Angerstein kills 8 to cover his embezzlement from his employer

Angerstein’s murder spree took the lives of his wife, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and five others, all of whom were killed with an axe or knife. He then set the bodies and the building on fire, ran to the garden to cut himself in the chest, and screamed for help, telling those who came to his aid the family had been attacked by bandits.

When confronted with evidence supporting blood found on the murder weapons belonged to Angerstein himself, he confessed to the killings. The motive behind the murders and arson was to claim a robbery to conceal the fact he had been embezzling from the firm which employed him.

Angerstein was convicted of murder and executed on November 17, 1925 by decapitation with an axe.

Pittsburgh Daily Post. December 8, 1924


  • “Paralytic Slayer of Eight is Beheaded.” The Austin American [Austin, Texas]. November 18, 1925
  • “Slayer Is Condemned.” The Philadelphia Inquirer [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. July 14, 1925
  • Spewack, Samuel. “Murder Victims’ Eyes Yield Slayer’s Image, Ax, on Camera Plates.” Pittsburgh Daily Post [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania]. December 8, 1924
  • “Scientist Solves 8 Ax Murders and Killer Confesses.” The St. Louis Star and Times [St. Louis, Missouri]. December 4, 1924

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