Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Vampire Killers

A Most Vicious Vampire

Fritz Haarmann
Fritz Haarmann
One of the worst cases of clinical vampirism is that of Fritz Haarmann, also known as Germany's "Hanover Vampire."  Haarmann was actually institutionalized at one point during the late 1800s, but he managed to escape.  Eventually he became a homeless vagrant.  Then he learned to butcher meat, which allowed him to have a home and start a business. Having his own place protected his attack on boys.

Graf, sketch
Graf, sketch
He would seek wandering waifs in the train station and take them home.  Soon he teamed up with a good-looking male prostitute named Graf who had much better luck.  They'd take the boys to Haarman's home, feed them, and then Haarman would force them to have sex.  Often those victims would simply vanish.  Once the police caught Haarman in the act and arrested him for molestation.  They had no idea that he'd murdered another boy and had his head sitting there under some newspapers.

Together Graf and Haarman trapped and killed an estimated 50 young men over a five-year period. They were finally stopped when someone found a sack of skulls and bones in the Leine Canal and turned them into the police.  Since Haarmann lived near the canal and had been arrested before, investigators searched his home, They found clothing from missing boys and saw bloodstains on the walls. Again, they arrested Haarmann and he confessed. 

As he talked, he called his victims "game."  He described how he would grab the boys, sleepy from a large meal, and while sodomizing them would chew through their throat until the head was practically severed from the body.  As he tasted their blood, he achieved orgasm.  He would then cut the flesh from their bodies, consume some of it, and sell the rest on the open market as butchered meat.  The rest of the parts he dumped into the canal. 

Armed with grisly evidence for 27 of the murders, investigators ensured Haarmann's conviction and he was sentenced to die by execution. Moments before the blade fell, Haarmann announced that this was his wedding.


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