Archive for October, 2008

31 October 1589 – Peter Stubbe

Posted in Breaking wheel, Death penalty with tags , , , , , on October 31 by Last Writes

As it’s Hallowe’en, here’s a depraved individual for you to savour.

Breaking wheel fun for all the family

Breaking wheel fun for all the family

Peter Stubbe (Stumpp, Stubbe or however it’s spelled) had a pet name – the Werewolf of Bedburg – and not without reason.

Apparently he was executed in 1589, having feasted his flesh-eating way round Cologne, targeting children, pregnant women and even unborn foetuses, according to various sources.

Scores on the Bores

The basis for most of the reports come from one source – a transcript written by George Bores, which was unearthed in 19201. His translation dates back to 1590 and is one of two remaining copies – the original was in ‘High Dutch’ of which there are no known copies left.

So, with a leap of faith, we’ll take this tale on trust.


Indeed, it starts off sounding familiar – very much like Goethe’s ‘Faust’, which was published around 1587… For Stubbe was into black magic and devil worship too. But while Faust sold his soul for knowledge, Stubbe traded his for the opportunity to ‘work his malice on men, women, and children, in the shape of some beast, whereby he might live without dread or danger of life’.

And then the tale started to lose the plot a bit, describing how the devil transformed him into a wolf. But one thing was for sure – he sure sounded malicious.

If you’re squeamish look away now…

Brains of the family

In one such murderous act, Stubbe targeted his own son and when he had killed him ‘he presently ate the brains out of his head as a most savory (sic) and dainty delicious mean to staunch his greedy appetite’. Yum…

He was to target a variety of different people, from those who’d just got his goat to innocent children. It describes how he would rip out his victims’ throats and pull them apart limb from limb. Like old Freddie Krueger out of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, Stubbe methods were just as violent – he was described as having ripped foetuses out of the wombs of their dead mums, before eating ‘their hearts panting hot and raw’.

Stubbe carried out these acts in cahoots with his daughter, whom he had sexually abused. The report even goes as far as to say his daughter, in turn, gave birth to his child. Likewise his girlfriend was embroiled in his cannibalistic activities, which spanned 25 years.

No-one suspected a thing until fate intervened and in the guise of his wolfish alter ego, he targeted a young girl and failed to kill her. Now the town knew their adversary, they set a trap for the lupine lech. They eventually caught him and he transformed into a man before their very eyes.

The feral felon was found guilty of various murders and sentenced to death along with his sidekicks, but more of the girls in a bit…

The main man got a real pounding – Stubbe was strapped to a breaking wheel where his flesh was torn off right down to the bone in 10 different places, before his arms and legs were beaten to a pulp with the blunt end of an axe and finally he was beheaded.

He then joined the two girls on a pyre and they were burned to ashes. That is all except his head, which was apparently plonked on top of the wheel and dressed in a wolf’s fur as a taut reminder of his visceral and depraved activities.

1 Transcript source:

Also on this day…

31 October 1923 – Frederick Jesse

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