Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Großmann (13 December 1863 – 5 July 1922) was a German serial killer who cannibalized his victims. He committed suicide while awaiting execution without giving a full confession, leaving the extent of his crimes and motives largely unknown.
Großmann mug shot
Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Großmann
13 December 1863
|Died||5 July 1922(aged 58)|
|Cause of death||Suicide by hanging|
|Other names||Jack the Slaughterer|
The Berlin Butcher
Span of crimes
|1918–21 August 1921|
|21 August 1921|
Little is known about Carl Großmann's early life, except that he had sadistic sexual tastes and had several convictions for child molestation. As a young man, he served a 14-year prison sentence for attacking a seven-year-old girl.
During World War I, Großmann sold meat on the black market and even had a hotdog stand at a train station near his home. It is believed the meat contained the remains of his victims, their bones and other inedible parts having been thrown into the river. Pieces of missing women were found in the canal near Andreas Square and off the Luisenstadt Canal.
On 21 August 1921, Großmann was arrested at his apartment in Berlin after neighbours heard screams and banging noises, followed by silence. The police burst into the apartment, finding on the bed the body of a young woman who had recently been murdered. Großmann was taken into custody and charged with first degree murder. Neighbours reported that he seemed to have had a steady supply of female companions, mostly destitute-looking young women, over the previous few years. Many went into the apartment, but few emerged from it. How many lives Großmann took is not known. Only the body of his final victim was found, along with bloodstains in the apartment that indicated at least three other persons had been butchered in the few weeks leading up to his arrest. One 1921 report claims Großmann had confessed to about twenty murders over twenty years. A 1922 report claims that Großmann had admitted to killing four women. Some have suggested as many as 50 women entered Großmann's apartment and ended up being murdered, dismembered and eaten by unwitting customers of Großmann's meat business.
- Matthias Blazek (2009), Carl Großmann und Friedrich Schumann – Zwei Serienmörder in den zwanziger Jahren, Ibidem-Verlag, Stuttgart, ISBN 978-3-8382-0027-9.
- Horst Bosetzky (2004), Die Bestie vom Schlesischen Bahnhof, Jaron-Verlag, Berlin, ISBN 3-89773-078-2.
- Peter Haining (2005), Cannibal Killers Murderers who kill and eat their victims, chapter: "The Bread And Butter Brides", Magpie Books, UK, ISBN 978-1-84529-792-3.
- Maria Tatar (1995), Lustmord: Sexual Murder in Weimar Germany, Princeton, NJ (English), ISBN 0-691-01590-2.
- Masters, R.E.L.; Lea, Eduard; Edwardes, Allen, (1963), Perverse Crimes in History: Evolving Concepts of Sadism, Lust-Murder, and Necrophilia from Ancient to Modern Times, NY: Julian Press
- "Butcher Held For Killing Twenty Girls And Selling Flesh". The Washington Times. Washington D.C.: Times Publishing Company. September 19, 1921 – via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
- "German Bluebeard Takes Own Life". East Mississippi Times. Starkville, Mississippi. July 14, 1922 – via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
- Blazek, Matthias (2009). Carl Großmann und Friedrich Schumann – Zwei Serienmörder in den zwanziger Jahren (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Ibidem-Verlag. p. 61. ISBN 978-3-8382-0027-9.