Peter Kurten

.. tter to a friend to tell her of the horrible incident, but since it was undeliverable, the letter was opened by a postal worker. The police were notified immediately. They questioned the young woman and then she led them to the Kurtens home. Kurten alluded police for a few days, in which he confessed his crimes to his wife and begged her to go to the police so she may receive the reward money for his capture.

On the 24th of May 1930 Kurten was finally arrested, offering no resistance. Once arrested Professor Karl Berg, a German psychologist, interviewed him and later wrote a book of the accounts in The Sadist. Kurten confessed to 79 murders/attempted murders, although during his trial he was only charged with 9 murders Vampire 6 and 7 attempted murders. During the trial the one thing that stood out was the appearance of the man known as The Vampire of Dusseldorf and The Monster of Dusseldorf. Dressed in an immaculate suit and with sleek, neatly parted hair, Kurten had the look of a prim and proper businessman (Gilbert, 1999). He was also said to be well-build, clean-shaven and fresh complexioned (1999).

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Yet even more astonishing was his lack of remorse for the atrocities he committed. Never have I felt any misgiving in my soul; never did I think to myself that what I did was bad, even though human society condemns it. My blood and the blood of my victims will be on the heads of my torturers. There must be a Higher Being who gave in the first place the first vital spark to life. That Higher Being would deem my actions good since I revenged injustice.

The punishments I have suffered have destroyed all my feelings as a human being. That was why I had no pity for my victims (1999). Kurten received the death penalty for each of the 9 murders and on July 2nd 1931 he was executed by guillotine. His last wish was to know 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 (1999). Overall, I would say this individual learned most of his behaviour through his role model, his father, whom he learned from for 9 years.

Although he may have inherited some mental disability from his father (what mental problems there were in the family was never mentioned) he mostly learned his behaviour from his father. His development probably began at birth and was fully developed by early childhood. Having been born Vampire 7 into poverty, being abused by his father, and watching the rape of his mother had to have had serious repercussions in his mental capacity as well as moral development. Then watching his brothers and sisters also be born into that situation and having seen them abused and molested may also have served to desensitize him to the cruelty of the situation. Most importantly, as his crimes were largely sexual in nature, one would have to speculate that as he sexually matured the only role model he had was a rapist and child molester. The other role model he had was into bestiality and torture, so the combination of everything apparently led him to have no feelings towards anyone, his only goal was sexual release which unfortunately had to be violent in nature. His victims were men, women, children and animals, apparently he saw no difference and that allowed him to kill all of them indiscriminately. The severity of the killings, however, would lead one to believe he did in fact rationalize the murders as a way of paying back society for the wrongs he experienced in prison.

What actually happened to him in prison was also never mentioned, but one can only imagine. Somewhere along the way he had to have developed such a hatred for his life, his situation, his imprisonment, that it all came out in the violent stabbings and beatings. It is clear he had no morals, was never able to develop or learn morals, so he was able to commit any crime and rationalize them. Frustration for being poor may have been a reason he stole or poverty may have been a rationalization. He killed because society made him do it, although his sexual need was probably the biggest driving force.

Kurten was described as a lust killer and also narcissistic. He was very clean, put Vampire 8 together, and seemed to take pride in his appearance. The fact that he let his last victim go probably was due to the fact that he believed he was invincible and no one could catch him. I think as far as serial killers go Peter Kurten fits into every characteristic. Child abuse, poor background, his father, his neighbor, the living conditions, pretty much every aspect never gave him a chance at a normal life. Although to say that is the reason behind his killings is questionable, as he chose to externalize all of his problems and blame everyone else.

Ultimately he got what he deserved, swift and capital punishment, as I do not believe Peter Kurten to be redeemable or fit for rehabilitation. At first when I began reading about his life I was shocked, but having by now read much worse crimes I wasnt in disbelief. However, in remembering the time period I had to realize how unusual these crimes were and truly appalling. More specifically, Kurten didnt have the copycat thing going on, he committed all of these crimes straight from his imagination and fantasies. Now, it seems like all current crimes have been done before, and that criminals are merely copying each other (although thats a bad way to put it). In viewing his crimes from the time period of the early 1920s, it would be hard to believe anyone didnt blame his upbringing and social surroundings for his actions.

However, like all serial killers there must have been something in him, something that truly made him a monster. Bibliography Chitolie, R. (1997). Peter Kurten (The Dusseldorf Vampire). The World Wide Serial Killer Homepage. Biographies.