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Peter Kürten (Mülheim am Rhein, May 26, 1883 – Cologne, July 2, 1931) was a German serial killer, better known as The Dusseldorf Vampire b> (Der Vampir von Düsseldorf). It reached world-wide fame by the serial murders and the sexual assaults that carried out between February and November of 1929 in the city of Düsseldorf, which also made this city famous outside of Germany. Kürten gained the reputation of “vampire” by claiming during his trial that he had drunk the blood of one of his victims.
Peter Kurten’s Biography
Kürten was born in the town of Mülheim (now district of the German city of Cologne) and was the third of thirteen brothers in an extremely poor family. Peter witnessed how his father, an alcoholic and violent unemployed worker, mistreated his mother and even raped some of his younger sisters with impunity. That’s how at the age of eight, Kürten escaped from his family home and directed his steps to the world of crime in the city of Düsseldorf.
At the age of 9, he carried out his first murders when he drowned two friends while bathing in the Rhine. Except for these two isolated cases, Kürten interspersed his small acts of delinquency with short steps in prison to pay for his misdeeds . He was also hired as a perrero where he experienced the “pleasure” of torturing, raping and killing abandoned dogs. It was not the only case in Kürten’s life where he would experience sexual experiences and torture animals.
His violent tendencies increased as he got older. In parallel, Kürten needed to transfer those bloodthirsty experiences from animals to humans. On May 13, 1913, Kürten prowled a house supposedly empty to steal, but in it was Khristine Klein, a thirteen-year-old girl who slept in her room. Peter, after checking that there was no one in the house, strangled the young woman to end up slaughtering her.
During the First World War, Kürten was convicted for his habitual crimes of theft and some other sexual assault. But in 1921, Kürten moved to Altenburg, where he married a woman of good reputation while getting a job as a truck driver.
The “Düsseldorf Vampire” is born
In 1925, Kürten returned to Düsseldorf to begin his series of crimes. One of his victims (Rosa Ohlijer, eight years old) was stabbed thirteen times with scissors and after drinking his blood, he burned his body with gasoline.
In 1929 the bloodiest year of Kürten arrived. On February 13, he murdered an eight-year-old girl. On November 7, he killed two sisters of five and fourteen years old. In September, he killed a woman with a hammer. And on August 29, he reached the height of his madness by killing a five-year-old girl and sending a map of the tomb of the murdered woman to a local newspaper.
These murders made the city of Düsseldorf live in a continuous state of hysteria. No one dared to walk alone through the streets of the city. The authorities offered a succulent reward for who gave clues about the identity of the murderer and the polizei got to receive up to 900,000 names of possible murderers.
The Vampire is hunted
In May 1930, Kürten made the blunder that would end up condemning him. Kürten tricked Maria Budlick, a domestic employee, into taking her to Grafenberger, a nearby forest. The malefactor strangled his victim to sexually assault her but left her alive after experiencing the orgasm. When the murderer left, Budlick went to the police where he was able to give precise information about Kürten. Soon after, the robot portrait of the most wanted man in Germany appeared.
Victim of a great fear, Kürten offered his wife the possibility of giving him away, with the belief that he would receive the succulent sum of money that was the reward for his head. Thus, on May 24 the vampire of Düsseldorf was located and arrested. Kürten confessed to having committed 79 crimes, although he would be charged with only nine murders and seven assassination attempts. In the subsequent trial (April 1931), he initially pleaded not guilty. But as the lawsuit went on, he changed his mind. In fact, psychoanalysts worked hard to undo any kind of alienation that could save him from the death penalty. The sentence was to die guillotined by nine murders, seven frustrated attempts and no less than 80 sexual assaults.
Peter Kürten was executed in Cologne on July 2, 1931.
Kürten’s last sentence, almost coinciding with the premiere of Fritz Lang’s 1931 film, showed the extent of his obsession with blood and his attraction to death: “Tell me, when I was beheaded, can I even hear a moment the noise of my own blood coming out of my neck? ” I remain silent and said “It would be the greatest pleasure, to finish all my pleasures” [quote & nbsp; required]
After its execution, its head was dissected and mummified, and at present it is conserved in a museum of Wisconsin Dells, in the United States.
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