Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

This gentle-looking, benevolent grandfather cleverly lured children to their death, then devised recipes to eat them. This cannibal model for Hannibal Lecter is a study in criminal psychology and a true enigma. His wife thought him to be a wonderful husband and his children believed him to be a model father. What inner torments caused him to drive many spikes into his pelvis and tell people that he looked forward to his execution?

John Borowski's film about the demented child killer is an engaging piece of visual art that has raised the bar on this type of subject.

Did this 1870s Colorado guide rob, murder and eat the five prospectors in his party or were they cannibalized after death? Recent forensics clarifies a convoluted story.

Why do doctors kill? New chapter on Linda Hazzard who became rich off the deaths of her patients.

Arsenic Anna: Sweet young woman lures older benefactors to their deaths.

The still unsolved mystery of the phantom who for many years stalked the people of the Big Easy, killing them in their sleep without any consistent pattern or motive.

Three appalling cases of individuals and even a family that were hired by unwed mothers to take care of their infants while they worked. Instead these "baby minders" either sold the children to childless couples, starved and neglected them, and even murdered the infants.

Kiss was a rather handsome man with blond hair and remarkable, vibrant blue eyes. Not only had Kiss taught himself his trade as a tinsmith, but he was a voracious reader and was highly conversant on art, literature and history. He struck his fellow villagers as an amiable and hard-working fellow with a penchant for throwing parties at a local hotel. Known as a generous person, everybody liked him and he was considered by the women of the town to be its most eligible bachelor.

His town had a limited choice of female companions, so Kiss kept an apartment in Budapest and took out advertisements in newspapers there.

Over the years a steady stream of lovelies from Budapest spent short periods of time at Kiss's home in Cinkota, but no one in the town was introduced to these young women who came and went so quickly.

Many of the facts about Bela Kiss will never be known, except that he murdered 24 of the women who came to see him, and that he has to a large extent passed into myth and had grown into a figure larger than life.

This Black Widow may have set the record in the killings of her husbands, lovers, and children. A new update explores how in her youth a boy's brutal treatment of her might have influenced her violent streak.

Irish convict shipped to Australia went around the countryside murdering people with an axe, sometimes just for amusement, sometimes because they stood in the way of his criminal enterprises. What makes him unusual is that he believed that God was protecting him while he robbed, raped and murdered. He figured that since he had killed at least eight people and had not been caught, he had somehow earned divine favor.

The methods and motives of this special brand of female serial killer. Includes a new chapter.

The world's first crime family

Part one of a two-part feature on Carl Panzram: a remorseless, vicious killer, a child rapist, a man with no soul who was the essence of evil. The shocking two-part story of this monster who hated the human race, one of America's most ferocious, unrepentant serial killers.

Part two of a two-part feature on Carl Panzram: a remorseless, vicious killer, a child rapist, a man with no soul who was the essence of evil. The shocking two-part story of this monster who hated the human race, one of America's most ferocious, unrepentant serial killers.

The freight train rumbled to an agonizing stop on the rails inside of the Auschwitz compound. The human cargo that was packed tightly into its bevy of cattle cars continued to groan and clamor, suffering as they were from a four-day journey without food, water, bathroom facilities, or even fresh air.

When the journey ended, the Jewish prisoners were led before an SS officer. His handsome face was set with a kind smile, his uniform impeccably tailored, cleaned and pressed. He was cheerfully whistling an opera tune, one of his favorites by Wagner. He carried a riding crop to indicate which direction he selected them to go in left or right. Unbeknownst to the prisoners, this charming and handsome officer with the innocuous demeanor was engaging in his favorite activity at Auschwitz, selecting which new arrivals were fit to work and which ones should be sent immediately to the gas chambers and crematorium.

Mengele occupied his time with numerous acts of extraordinary cruelty, including the dissection of live infants; the castration of boys and men without the use of an anesthetic; and the administering of high-voltage electric shocks to women inmates under the auspices of testing their endurance. He is most famous for his monstrous experiments on sets of twins, resulting in their death and mutilation. Mengele's imagination knew no bounds when it came to devising physical torments for his victims.

Physician, mayor of his town, hero of the French Resistance -- so who were those 27 dead, whose dismembered and burned bodies were found in the slaughterhouse that was his Paris home? Nazis & Nazi collaborators as he claimed or Jewish refugees looking to escape the Gestapo?

Diabolical, cruel and cold-blooded serial killer hunted women in North America and Britain. Because prostitutes were often his victims, he was suspect in the famous Whitechapel Ripper case.

For more than a year, this specter roamed the United States slipping in and out of boarding houses and suburban homes, murdering dozens of landladies and raping them brutally post-mortem.

His body count was in the high 20s, and unlike most serial killers, he rarely used a weapon. It seems he enjoyed choking the life out of his victims. His prodigious strength also earned him the nickname Gorilla Killer. Police began to think that like a real-life version of Edgar Allen Poe's Murder in the Rue Morgue murderer, this killer was inhuman. No normal man had the might to strangle a healthy woman and handle her body the way this killer did. Only a phantom could go unnoticed in such populated areas, and only a monster would do the things to the dead that this killer seemed to enjoy.

One of the most intelligent and complex killers in criminal history, his case brought up the issue of whether he should be executed or studied so that authorities could learn from his behavior and his brain.

This legendary countess is remembered for murdering women for fun and bathing in their blood to make herself more beautiful. Was there any truth to this heinous legend or was this a story concocted by her powerful political enemies?

The science of detecting poisons, the favorite weapon of Black Widows and women who kill. Dr. Katherine Ramsland presents the history of this science and the major cases it solved.

Loud, boasting and oafish, he bored everyone in the pubs to tears as they tried not to listen to his clearly fictional adventures in every part of the globe. His lies were so obvious and his behavior so outrageous.

Using many aliases, Frederick Bailey Deeming, robbed, scammed and cold-bloodedly murdered his way across three continents. In his native England he left behind a wife and four children dead and buried under the floorboards, they were. Then, when he landed across the world in Melbourne, Australia, he wooed and wed the lovely Emily Mather. But, once again he left his wife a bride of only one year under the floorboards by the hearth.

This lying psychopath thought it best to vacate Melbourne for Western Australia, where he found yet another woman to marry. Fortunately for her, he was captured before she met the fate of his earlier wives. While Deeming hardly deserved it, the clever young lawyer Alfred Deakin, a future Australian prime minister, was his defense counsel.

But even a clever young future prime minister couldn't save him. Deeming's behavior had earned him the full engagement of the general public and when he was executed, some 12,000 citizens of Melbourne cheered his final journey to the gallows.

Fritz Haarmann committed one of the most extraordinary series of crimes in modern times. Fritz' problems began with his unusual family. His mother spoiled and pampered him as a child and encouraged him to play with dolls instead of more masculine games. While the family was well-to-do, neurosis, sexual problems and depression galloped through its members.

On 17th May 1924, some children playing at the edge of a river near Hanover's Herrenhausen Castle found a human skull and, on May 29th, another washed up on the riverbank. The town was sent in to frenzy on the 13th June when two more skulls were found included in the river's sediment. An autopsy proved the first two crania to be that of young people aged between 18 and 20 and the last skull found from a boy of approximately 12. The body count finally reached 27 and there were rumors that he had sold the flesh of his victims.

Known as the "Butcher of Hannover," he seemed to enjoy his trial and turned it into a circus by serving as his own lawyer. German society was shocked as they learned the details of this thoroughly remorseless sexual psychopath.

Handsome nobleman was one of the most powerful men in France. Was he a psychopathic killer who killed hundreds of young boys for sexual pleasure or was he a hapless pawn in a political game he was ill-equipped to play?

Diabolical con artist and killer, he built a terror mansion in Chicago to lure female travelers.

These killing cousins raped, thieved and their way around frontier-era Tennessee and Kentucky with astonishing cruelty, cutting the throats of babies, bashing in the heads of children, killing more for pleasure than plunder.

Insane anger spurred Andrew Kehoe to secretly wire the Bath, Michigan school with over a 1,000 pounds of explosives, which he detonated May 18, 1927. Forty-two people, mostly children, were killed and 61 injured, creating the worst school massacre in the history of the U.S.

The French Bluebeard.

Jack the Ripper was the most famous serial killer of all time. Brutally murdering prostitutes in London's notorious Whitechapel district, he caused a panic in 1888.

Why does this long-ago killer who murdered a few prostitutes merit the attention he gets? Because Jack the Ripper represents the classic whodunit. Not only is the case an enduring unsolved mystery that professional and amateur sleuths have tried to solve for over a hundred years, but the story has a terrifying, almost supernatural quality to it. He comes from out of the fog, kills violently and quickly and disappears without a trace. Then for no apparent reason, he satisfies his blood lust with ever-increasing ferocity, culminating in the near destruction of his final victim, and then vanishes from the scene forever. The perfect ingredients for the perennial thriller.

A criminal profile by former FBI profiler Gregg McCrary and a penetrating analysis of the many suspects shed light on this legendary killer.

In post-war Britain, it certainly seemed for many that sex was something that was rarely seen and barely ever heard. Sex was a concept shrouded in secrecy. Yet society's suppression of it meant that exponents of the world's oldest profession were rarely short of customers.

Likewise, in the dimly lit back streets of England's capital city, married men were prepared to pay for the kind of services which "nice girls" such as their wives would not provide. Duke's Meadows, on the banks of the river Thames in Chiswick, West London, was one such spot, crudely nicknamed "Gobblers" Gulch' by locals in reference to the sexual practices said to be popular there. However, something considerably more sinister than the usual discarded prophylactics greeted police as they patrolled the towpath early on the morning of June 17, 1959. They stumbled across the body of a woman, sat up against a small willow tree, her blue and white striped dress torn open to reveal her breasts and some scratches on her throat. She had been strangled.

To find a dead body abandoned nearly naked in a public place was shocking even for experienced detectives, suggesting this was different to the crimes of passion, violence or avarice that police were used to. Yet despite house-to-house enquiries, interviews with prostitutes, pimps, taxi drivers, and night shift workers, no strong clues were found as to the killer's identity. As the case slowly went cold, Elizabeth Figg and the strange case of the semi-naked corpse were forgotten. It would be more than four years before anyone had cause to mention her name again.

Claiming as many as eight victims, Jack the Stripper, like BTK, after almost half a century may still be out there. Or like his namesake, Jack the Ripper, he may baffle crime buffs for many decades to come.

Barely a teenager, this warped boy got sexual gratification from torturing and murdering other children. Because of his tender years, he was not executed, but spent the rest of his 58 years in jail, mostly in solitary confinement.

Did this legendary serial killer, the inspiration for the cult thriller Eaten Alive, really feed his girlfriends to his pet alligators?

Richard Attenborough, Judy Geeson and John Hurt were only part of the all-star cast of this creepy thriller. Ten Rillington Place was the address of John Reginald Halliday Christie and his wife Ethel lived in one of the apartments. Above them lived Timothy Evans, his wife Beryl and their infant Geraldine.

Beryl became pregnant and wanted an abortion, which Christie told her he would perform. He then raped her and killed both her and Geraldine. Evans was arrested for the crimes and executed. This case had much to do with the abolition of the death penalty in Britain.

Christie went on to murder his wife and several prostitutes. He disposed of the bodies in his pantry.

Kingsbury Run cuts across the east side of Cleveland like a jagged wound, ripped into the rugged terrain as if God himself had tried to disembowel the city. At some points it is nearly sixty feet deep, a barren wasteland covered with patches of wild grass, yellowed newspapers, weeds, empty tin cans and the occasional battered hull of an old car left to rust beneath the sun. Perched upon the brink of the ravine, narrow frame houses huddle close together and keep a silent watch on the area.

Into this bleak industrial graveyard, walked the well-dressed, handsome and highly educated Eliot Ness, fresh from victories over Al Capone, playing a cat-and-mouse game with a most brilliant and diabolical serial killer.

Murdered between 15-21 of her close relatives by arsenic poisoning. Why? For money, personal dislike or they got in her way over something she wanted.

Famed psychic Peter Hurkos sheds light on the brutal serial rapes and murders by this handsome jazz musician.

The Vampire of Dusseldorf.

Two London area families are exterminated by stealthy phantom who struck with speed and brutality.

Texas bludgeoning and axe murders, mostly of servant women, shocks the quiet Victorian Era city of Austin, Texas.

Often resurrected in musicals and plays, the infamous London barber Sweeney Todd and his bloodthirsty girlfriend live again in a new BBC movie. Often thought to be an urban myth, evidence is plentiful that Sweeney Todd was a real murderer who went on trial for his crimes.

Long before Freddie Krueger or Jack the Ripper, theater-goers have been thrilled with the legendary exploits of Sweeney Todd, the murderous barber who dispatched his customers with a flick of the razor and then had his lover serve up the remains in a tasty meat pie.

Handsome medical student and Sunday school superintendent outrages the people of San Francisco in the 1890s with the murder of his girlfriends.

Dracula's real-life persona.

"It was an urge. ... A strong urge, and the longer I let it go the stronger it got, to where I was taking risks to go out and kill people risks that normally, according to my little rules of operation, I wouldn't take because they could lead to arrest." —Edmund Kemper.

Where does this urge come from, and why is so powerful? If we all experienced this urge, would we be able to resist? Is it genetic, hormonal, biological, or cultural conditioning? Do serial killers have any control over their desires?

We all experience rage and inappropriate sexual instincts, yet we have some sort of internal cage that keeps our inner monsters locked up. Call it morality or social programming, these internal blockades have long since been trampled down in the psychopathic killer. Not only have they let loose the monster within, they are virtual slaves to its beastly appetites. What sets them apart?

Enterprising Irishmen & their lovely wives "manufacture" cadavers from prostitutes for the local medical schools.

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