Vampires are scary, dangerous ideas. In the midst of this vampire craze, it’s easy to forget that. The stories and shows and movies about them have grown to glamorize them. Even the tragically haunted ones are alluring. But vampires are monsters. When the idea is brought to real life, the brutality of vampirism is horrifying.
Fritz Haarman was a monster. He would prey on the most vulnerable, the most weak, the most afraid. His main victims young runaways. He would wait for them, find them in railway stations.
He would look for the boys who looked lost or homeless, and be kind to them. He would lure them in. He would offer them food and a warm, safe place to stay. And the scared child would be lured in by this act of such kindness. And once Haarmann had the child in his home, he would do horrible things to him. He would bite out the throat of the child, while raping him. He engaged in cannibalism as well.
Haarmann was investigated during the search for a missing boy named Friedel Roth. The police had come to question him, but when they arrived they found Haarmann in the act of sexually assaulting another boy. They arrested him, but did not search his house. Haarmann admitted later that Friedel Roth’s head had been hidden behind the oven when the police had arrived.
Haarmann earned his living by being an illegal butcher and selling contraband meat. He would use the meat of his victims, chop it up, and sell it. In a time of scarcity, his business was booming.
It’s almost like something out of a macabre fairy tale. Heads in the oven, human meat for sale. Haarmann was eventually arrested and convicted for his atrocious crimes. He was executed on April 15, 1925, for the 27 murders the authorities knew about. Scientists found him “tremendously interesting” and decided to preserve his brain, the brain of a serial killer, which still remains at Gottingen University.