d. April 15, 1925
Friedrich Heinrich Karl "Fritz" Haarmann, also known as the Butcher of Hanover and the Vampire of Hanover, was a German serial killer who is believed to have been responsible for the murder of 27 boys and young men between 1918 and 1924. He was convicted, found guilty of 24 murders and executed.
Haarmann victims largely consisted of young male commuters, runaways and, occasionally, male prostitutes who hung around Hanover's central station, whom Haarmann would lure back to his apartment and then kill by biting through their throats, sometimes while sodomizing them. All of Haarmann's victims were dismembered before they were discarded, usually in the Leine River. The possessions of several victims were either sold on the black market or retained by either Haarmann or his younger lover, Hans Grans. Rumor also had it that Haarmann would peddle meat from the bodies of his victims as canned black market pork. Although no physical evidence was ever produced to confirm this, Haarmann was known to be an active trader in contraband meat.
Haarmann's accomplice and live-in partner, Hans Grans, sold the possessions of several of the victims cheaply on the black market, and kept other possessions for himself, and Haarmann initially claimed that although Grans knew of many of his murders, and personally urged him to kill two of the victims so he could obtain their clothing and personal possessions, was otherwise not involved in the murders.
Haarmann was eventually apprehended when numerous skeletal remains, which he had dumped into the Leine River, washed up downstream in May and June 1924. The police decided to drag the river and discovered more than 500 human bones which were later confirmed as having come from at least 22 separate human individuals. Suspicion quickly fell upon Haarmann, who had convictions for molesting children and had been connected to the disappearance of Friedel Rothe in 1918. Haarmann was placed under surveillance and on the night of June 22, was observed prowling Hanover's central station. He was quickly arrested after trying to lure a boy to his apartment. His apartment was searched and the walls were found to be heavily bloodstained. Haarmann tried to explain this as a by-product of his illegal trade as a butcher. However, clothing and personal items known to be possessions of several missing youths were also found in his home. Under interrogation, Haarmann quickly confessed to raping, killing and butchering young men since 1918. When asked how many he had killed, Haarmann claimed "somewhere between 50 and 70". The police, however, could only connect Haarmann with the disappearance of 27 youths, and he was charged with 27 murders. It is interesting to note that only a quarter of the personal items found in his apartment were identified as having belonged to any of the victims.