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Regarding the Fate of Peter Kürten,
the Düsseldorf Vampire




German serial killer Peter Kürten committed a long series of murders and assaults, lastly in the Duseldorf area, until his capture on May 24, 1930. Tutored in brutality by a disfunctional family as a child, he graduated to abuse of siblings and torturing animals while still very young. Always perverse and brutal, his murder weapons included knives, hammers and scissors. His victims were male and female, most often helpless children. His crimes invoked a nation-wide hysteria, with fervent citizens reporting as many as 900,000 people to police as potential vampires.

Following his capture, he was tried for 68 (of an estimated 79) crimes, studied, and finally executed by guillotine in Cologne, Germanany. His decapitated head was dissected and mummified for study, and eventually came into the collection of criminologist Arne Coward. A rare relic indeed.

How odd, then, that it languishes now in its own ghastly carousel, amusing the saucer-eyed children of fanny-packed sandal-wearing suburban drones, who stare agog at the dessicated surfaces without hearing the echoes of its true horrors. Yes, mouth breathers, it can be seen, gently spinning, in the collection of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.