Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

All about The Red Spider - Lucian Staniak

Asylum

Staniak had ridden the train to ód that morning, trolling for prey. He selected Bozhena Raczkiewicz, an 18-year-old student at the ód Institute of Cinematographic Arts, and walked her to the city's railroad station around 6:00 p.m. There, inside a shelter built for travelers stranded in foul weather, he stunned Raczkiewicz with a vodka bottle, cut off her skirt and panties, then hacked her to death in familiar fashion. In his haste, Staniak left a clear fingerprint on the broken bottle's neck.

A broken bottle and an artist's knife, weapons used by the killer
A broken bottle and an artist's knife, weapons used by the killer

He spent the night drinking in ód, then caught a late train back to Katowice. Detectives nabbed him at the depot and took him in for questioning. Staniak readily confessed, allegedly to 20 homicides, although the final charges filed against him listed only six. He told police that his first murder, in 1964, had been triggered by a family tragedy. His parents and sister were crossing an icy street when they were struck and killed by a speeding car. The driver, a Polish Air Force pilot's young blond wife, had been acquitted on a charge of reckless driving. Staniak had craved revenge but feared to kill the target of his rage, knowing that he would be the prime suspect. Instead, he had chosen a look-alike victim, picking his surrogate from a newspaper photo, and found that he enjoyed the act so much he kept it up for sport.

Convicted of six murders in 1967, Staniak was sentenced to die, that sentence later commuted after he was ruled insane. He is reportedly alive and well today in the asylum, a 60-year-old predator still fond of painting when he has the opportunity. The other 14 victims of his murder spree have not been publicly identified. The details of those crimes remain obscure and speculation continues that Staniak may be innocent in some or all of those cases. Whatever the truth of the matter, the Red Spider is unavailable for comment.

 

 

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