2 July 1931 – Peter Kürten

Peter KurtenThe Vampire of Düsseldorf got it in the neck on 2 July 1931.

Although he first killed in 1913, it was sexual sadist Peter Kürten’s murderous spree at the end of the 1920s that sent shockwaves around Germany. The Vampire, so called because of the nocturnal beastliness of his crimes, would prey on children and adults with acts so depraved the authorities demanded that the killer be caught and his brain sliced up and examined to help explain the insanity.

Hammered

Kürten would select his victims and viciously rape, stab or attack them with a hammer. Often he would orgasm during the throes of violence and many bodies were set alight when he was done. Returning to the scene of the crimes also elicited more sexual satisfaction so he did this time and again.

He was eventually caught when he accosted and raped a young lady called Maria Budlick, whom he did not kill, claiming she had consented to sexual intercourse.

Unfortunately for the Vampire, she remembered a somewhat different series of events and she also knew where he lived. He did have time to confess this ‘sexual indiscretion’ with his wife but eventually all she did was ensure he was arrested.

Although he confessed to scores of offences, he was actually only charged with nine murders and seven attempted murders.

Curtains for Kürten

He considered protesting his innocence for a short time but soon decided against it and was found guilty. Kürten was executed by guillotine in a prison yard in Cologne, aged 48.

Also on this day

2 July 1934 – Ernst Julius Röhm
2 July 1989 – Sandra Smith

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