Friday, 6 March 2009
Peter Kurten - The Dusseldorf Vampire.
Peter stands out among the German serial killers and has a particular fascination for me. Unlike Fritz Harmann, there was no element of gain concurrent with the pleasure of his murderings. Nor was he extremely psycopathic like Grossman. In fact Peter killed purely for the thrill of it, in "cold blood", as it were, and in pretty much complete control of his faculties. He chose to kill. I think he justified his actions to himself as revenge on a society that had let him down, not showed him the proper respect. And indeed had punished him with prison sentences for his "lesser" crimes.
Germany between the wars was a fairly disorganised place, and was in a state of political and social flux, so it is partially possible to see why he got away with so many killings without being caught. Also he appeared on the surface to be quite normal. He married a lady with a resentful attitude similar to his own, possibly the one person in his life that he ever treated a a human being rather than an object to be subjugated to his will. He attended church regularly.
As the soubriquet suggests, there was a cannibalistic element to his murders. That usually suggests a killer who has tried everything and has reached the ultimate degredation. When the sexual appetite has become jaded enough to break this final and deep rooted taboo, it's generally a culmination of a lifetime's experimentation with all things "perverse", and after that, apart from becoming more abandoned in his actions, there was really nowhere left for Peter to go.
That, subconsciously, is when he became careless; the desire to be released from being driven by insatiable appetites making him vulnerable to errors of judgement that simply wouldn't have happened earlier on in his serial killings. Killers of this type have often to be "opportunist"" and grab their victims where they can, but to take one into his home, then allow her to leave unharmed, was definitely a sign that his reign of terror was becoming wearying to him. After all, being born in to a dysfunctional and abusive family, he had been practising sexual perversions since early childhood, starting with attempted rape and bestiality, and culminating in the first of his serial killings, the sexually motivated mutilation and murder of an eight year old girl.
His final intended victim kept her word not to say anything verbally, but a letter she wrote to a friend describing her experience was misdirected to a lady who was so shocked by the contents that she immediately reported it to the police. Thus the victim was contacted and asked by the police to show them where this person lived. She was able to remember his apartment in the Mettermanstrasse and took them straight there. That was the end of Peter Kurten's serial killings, based loosely in fantasy on the "Jack The Ripper" murders, for whom he had a great admiration.
Kurten was guillotined for his crimes in July 1931. His final wish was that he would hear his blood gushing out of his neck when his head was severed. Well, they do say that the sense of hearing is the last thing to go. That was his idea of the ultimate thrill.
The chap you're thinking of goes by the name of Harvey Glatman. he used to pretend to be taking girls off to the desert for the privacy to take glamour shots of them, but when they arrived he would tie them up first then abuse them, taking pictures at each stage of abuse. Then when he was done he'd leave them to die or kill them himself. He didn't kill very many girls, indeed he often took them out and didn't do anything at all, and as you pointed out one of them got away, so he wasn't an awfully effective serial killer.
Glatman was committing crimes in the fifties when a car and a camera and a spot of cash in the pocket would have been an indication of a good character and he was an intelligent chap, so probably had no problem seeming sincere. By all accounts he was very unattractive physically and didn't have a good time at school, which left him with a great deal of resentment. He found his victims by advertising in a lonely hearts column.
He was finally stopped in his tracks by one of his victims who managed to gain control of his gun, despite already being wounded!
He ended up in San Quentin's gas chamber in August 1959.
Posted initially as a response to an enquity elsewhere.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Did you know that mediaeval murderess Elizabeth Bathory was first recognised and encouraged as a sadist by her husband?? He liked her to be firm with staff and get good results from them, and as he was away so much, he thought it would do her good to have a little hobby, having also recognised her lesbian tendencies. By all accounts it was a good marriage, although Elizabeth outlived him.
To a certain degree I think she DID believe that bathing in blood was a good anti-ageing remedy, but it was also rather convenient given her tastes!
She had a specialised room for torturing girls that her two servants "in the know" helped her to operate, and a male servant to procure said girls. She liked to tie them helpless and flay, beat, bite and generally hurt them until they died of exhaustion and blood loss, allegedly gaining a great deal of sexual pleasure from doing so. Sometimes she had more than one tied up to torture at once, I think seven at one sitting was the record, but don't quote me on that.
The parish priest knew for some time what was happening up at the castle, but continued to bury the bodies while wondering what to do about it. The servants disposed of a great many of the bodies too, apparently they had to be put in the woods after the moat became too congested to hold any more.
The crunch only came for Elizabeth when she discovered that torturing the innocent, gently reared daughters of the nobility and other emminent citizens added a certain piquancy to the proceedings. Parents began to wonder why so many girls died off when taken into service at castle Bathory. Unlike the peasants who had too many mouths to feed, were unlettered and in the habit of putting their children out anywhere to work, or even selling them, the upper classes wanted to know what was happening to their valuable marriage tokens, and enquiries were made.
Under pressure the servants gave up their information and they were executed for their parts. However Elizabeth was too important to be executed so she was "walled up" in her own castle. A room slightly larger than an oubliette with no opening other than a small hatch for food and water to be passed in was her home for the last four years of her life.
The anti-ageing remedies must have been very good for her, she was obviously quite robust to last that long under those circumstances.
WILL be published, despite my personal misgivings. I have had a great deal of input over this problem, and have decided that while I intend to cease trying to do "social networking" on the internet, I will continue for now to produce this magazine. We've already got some fabulous material lined up, and are looking forward to getting more. It would be a shame to let down the readers and contributors who have worked hard to make TTMC successful, so keep the subs coming and we'll publish in June.
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
I've been looking at the nurture verses nature issue lately, and whether psycopathy that leads to violent physical or sexual offenses has any real biological basis. I've not quite assimilated all the information yet, but there definitely seems to be more of a "nature" problem than a "nurture" one. Serial killers brains do usually have faults from birth, or lesions from other later traumas on the frontal lobes, the "conscience" area that helps people modify their natural instincts.
Obviously an abusive upbringing can bring out the worst in a child, or maybe surface later on in life, but the predisposition seems to already be there for these types, after all not all abused people go on to become abusive to others, physically or sexually, or even verbally.
One "nurture" factor that does seem to have a bearing is whether the person in question was properly bonded as an infant. Serial killers have a much higher incidence of maternal non-bonding than other types of offenders. Perhaps the infant had to spend a great deal of time in a hospital or other institution, or was seriously neglected company-wise in the home. Infants that don't make a specific bond with their main carers have a much more difficult time connecting on an every day levelwith others.
I'm not sure there can be one standard simple explanation for why a particular person becomes a serial killer, but there does appear to be a core of basic factors, the majority of which are biological, one or more of which are present in virtually every case of psycopathic pattern offense, particularly of a sexual type.
Does anyone have more information on the study of the damaged frontal lobes, I'd be really interested to hear it
Albert is one of my personal favourites. I usually find the German serial killers more interesting than the British or American, but this guy's a real oddball amongst oddballs! Some facts about Albert that I found fascinating: He had children of his own and he got them to beat him up for masochistic pleasure. It took him nine days to completely consume the body of Grace Budd. When he was x-rayed, he was found to have a variety of metal objects (pins, nails etc) sunk in to the groin region of his body. I don't know if they went in too far and got "lost", or whether he embedded them fully on purpose. The mind boggles!
Monday, 2 March 2009
from the TTMC myspace blog, and ditto TTMC freewebs, and the two message boards I post at shortly...
Current mood: disappointed
Anybody want a magazine???
OK here goes.
Obviously this needs to be discussed with Caroline, my co editor, but unless she absolutely desperately wants me to continue with TTMC I don't think I'll be doing any more.
I'm not wimping it, really I'm not, when one has ptsd as severely as I do it's virtually impossible to function as a human being anyway, without the stress of trying to ineract with the rest of the world. And if you're going to publish a magazine, interact you must.
During the majority of the three years I have been using the internet I have managed to produce two vaguely shabby magazines that quite frankly shame the authors that have contributed to them, and have made the sum total of one, yes one!, friend. These are very poor batting averages.
The internet is full of nutters and arseholes, I realise that, and I've as much right to be here as the next emotional cripple, but I've become a liability to anyone associated with me, and that really pisses me off, because all I want to do is be useful, believe it or not.
Anyhoo, forewarned is forearmed. I'll keep you posted. I'll probably keep my personal blog to witter about childrens programmes and funny shaped vegetables, it's theraputic, but the rest of it seems likely to fall by the wayside. My appologies.
Someody just wished me a happy life. I'd laugh if I hadn't cried so hard my head fell off, so now I have nothing to laugh with!!!
Bye for now.