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the Dusseldorf Vampire


Deaths:   9 +       Attempts:   7 +
1) Christine Klein / 10 / May 25,1913 / throat slit
2) Rose Ohliger / 8 / February 9,1929 / stabbed 13 times in various places
3) Rudolf Scheer / 45 / February 14,1929 / stabbed 20 times in head & neck
4) Gertrud Hamacher / 5 / August 23,1929 / throat slit
5) Louise Lenzen / 14 / August 23,1929 / decapitated
6) Maria Hahn / 20 / 1929 / stabbed 20 times in various places
7) Ida Reuter / 31 / September 29,1929 / beaten with hammer
8) Elizabeth Dorrier / ? / October 12,1929 / beaten with hammer
9) Gertrud Albermann / 5 / November 7,1929 / stabbed 35 times in various places


A) nymphomania brought on by sexual abuse from a young age
B) extreme apathy for human life due-to abuse sustained as a child/teenager in prison
C) suffered from extreme bouts of sado-maschism mixed with severe narcissium


(Kurten,when asked if he had any regrets for the murders)
"I have no remorse.As to whether recollection of my deeds makes me feel ashamed,I will tell you.Thinking back to all the details is not at all unpleasent.I rather enjoy it."
(Kurten,when he believes his nymphomania started)
"The whole family through his[Kurten's father],for when he was in drink,my father was terrible.I,being the eldest,had to suffer most.As you may well imagine,we suffered terrible proverty,all because the wages went on drink.We all lived in one room and you will appreciate what effect that had on me sexually."
(Kurten's excuse,as to why he shouldn't be liable for his actions)
"So I said to myself in my youthful way ' You just wait,you pack of scoundrels! ' That was more or less the kind of retaliation or revenge idea.For example,I kill someone who is innocent and not responsible for the fact that I had been badly treated,but if there really is such a thing on this earth as compensation justice,then my tormentors must feel it,even if they do not know that I had done it."
(Kurten in court,about the fantasies he would have)
"I thought of myself causing accidents affecting thousands of people and invented a number of crazy fantasies such as smashing bridges and boring holes in bridge piers.Then I spun a number of fantasies with regard to becilli which I might be able to introduce into the drinking water and so cause a great calamity.I imagined myself using schools or orphanages for the purpose,where I could carry out murders by giving away chocolate samples containing arsenic which I could have obtained through housebreaking.I derived the sort of pleasure from these visions that other people would get from thinking about a naked woman."
(Kurten on an attempted attack,and the most likely motive for the murders)
"The place where I attacked Frau Kuhn I visited again that same evening twice and later several times.In doing so,I sometimes had an orgasm.When that morning I poured petrol over the child Ohliger and set fire to her,I had an orgasm at the height of the fire."
(Kurten on his pyromania)
"Yes,when my desire for injuring people awoke,the love of setting fire to things awoke as well.This sight of flames delighted me,but above all it was the excitement of the attempts to extinguish the fire and the agitation of those who saw their property being destroyed."
(Kurten's last words)
"Tell me,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."


M starring Peter Lorre & Ellen Widmann (1931) [re-released in 2003]
Monster Of Dusseldorf:The Life And Trial Of Peter Kurten by Margaret Seaton Wagner (1932)
M [American remake] (1951)
Le vampire de Dusseldorf starring Robert Hossein & Marie-France Pisier (1965)
Lingard by Colin Wilson (1970) -fiction-
Conceptions Of Murder:Peter And Maria starring Nigel Green (1970)
Leben und Wirken des Peter Kurten:genannt der Vampir von Dusseldorf-Die Bresche Bd.2 by Elisabeth Lank (1974)
M [shorter version,new cast,and aired on French television] (1982)
Murder Casebook-Investigations Into The Ultimate Crimes:Three Crimes Of Sadism #15 (1990)
Les Sanguinaires by Jacques Verges (1993)
The Vampire Book:The Encyclopedia Of The Undead by J.Gordon Melton (1994)
M [BFI film classics] by Anton Kaes (2000)
The Sadist by Karl Berg
True Vampires:Blood-Sucking Killers Past And Present by Sondra London

Full Name: Peter Kurten
Alias(s): the Dusseldorf Vampire
Birthdate/Birthplace: May 26,1883 (Koln-Mullheim,Germany)
Died:July 2,1931 - death sentence carried out by guillotine

Spotlighted : January 2005
Kurten was called in for routine questioning by police for the murders going on around the town.After questioning,Kurten confessed to his wife of being the one whom commited all the murders,and then asked her to turn him in for the reward money.She did.
Kurten went to court on April 13,1931 where he pleaded not guilty and denied that he ever confessed to the murders,but two months later he agreed that he did indeed make the confession.It only took the jury one hour to find Kurten guilty of all charges-he was soon after sentenced to death.This sentence was carried out at 6 am on July 2,1931 by the guillotine.