Thursday, May 14, 2015


5/14/1930 - A series of horrific crimes finally comes to an end in Dusseldorf, Germany, with the arrest of a seemingly normal married factory worker named Peter Kurten.  By the time his trial his over he will be known by a different sobriquet ... the Vampire of Dusseldorf.
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Kurten - 1931

The first of 13 children born into a poverty stricken family in Mulheim am Rhein in May of 1883, growing up in a one-bedroom apartment, Kurten learns extreme deviancy from his alcoholic father, witnessing first hand the man sexually assault Kurten's mother and sister (in 1913 the man will be sentenced to three years in prison for raping his 13-year-old daughter).  Soon, Kurten is abusing his sisters too, along with participating in petty crimes, frequently running away from home, burglary, theft, arson, and when he is foolishly given a job as a dog catcher, torturing animals.  Murder inevitable as he shifts from animals to people, in his confession to authorities he will claim to have drowned two boys he was swimming with ... when he was only 9-years-old (there are no official records of this crime).  His first documented kill comes in 1913, when he strangles a 10-year-old girl, Christine Klein during the commission of a burglary.  Then his crimes stop for eight years ... while Kurten resides in prison for the crime of deserting the German Army during WWII.

Freed after the war, a nut job already, Kurten manages to find another whack case to partner up with in 1925, marrying a former prostitute who has spent four years behind bars herself for shooting a man that jilted her at the altar.  The perfect home for a madman, the monster begins killing again when he waylays 8-year-old Rosa Ohliger on a Dusseldorf street, and has an orgasm stabbing the young girl to death.  Behavioral constraints gone (except not getting caught), Kurten attacks a variety of people over the course of two years ... a middle-aged mechanic is stabbed 20 times, two foster sisters, age 5 and 14, are stabbed to death on August 21st of 1929, two days later a woman is stabbed in a park, a servant girl will be taken to a forest, raped, and beaten to death with a hammer, in October of 1929, he attacks two more women with his hammer, November sees him raping and stabbing to death (36 times with a pair of scissors) a 5-year-old girl, Gertrude Albermann.  Different weapons and types of victims, the police are at first baffled by the crimes, thinking there are numerous madmen in their city until they catch a break in May of 1930.

Hunting again, Kurten meets Maria Budlick, an unemployed domestic servant from Cologne in Dusseldorf seeking a job.  Not planning for her to survive, knowing his wife is away, Kurten takes Budlick home under the premise of finding the girl a place in town to stay ... there he tries to have sex with her, but Budlick refuses.  Acting as if it is no big deal, Kurten maneuvers Budlick into the local Grafenberger Forest.  Rape and murder the standard modus operandi for Kurten, for some reason this time he stops at rape when the girls pleads for her life and promises not to breathe a word about the encounter to the police, and lets her go.  And go she does, straight to the police, disclosing Kurten's home.  Aware that time is running out when he sees police come to his house, Kurten at first goes into hiding, but weary of running and constantly keeping his true self masked, he confesses his crimes to his wife and then gives himself up to authorities outside the St. Rochus Church of Dusseldorf.
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In custody, Kurten confesses to 79 different offenses and is charged with nine murders and seven attempted killings.  Brought to trial in April of 1931, the monster first pleads not guilty, but soon changes his plea to guilty and is sentenced to death by guillotine.  And as he lived his life, so he leaves it, nuts to the end ... after a last meal of Wiener Schnitzel, fried potatoes, and white wine, asking his waiting executioner, "After my head has been 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!"

On July 2, 1931, in Cologne he finds out about his hearing ... and the world is a better place for Kurten's leaving!

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