There are those killers whose minds work in a very different way from the one, we, everyday people know. There are those criminals whose tastes are not the ones we are used to. And then, there is Fritz Haarmann, whose story is full of blood, sex, and perversion. Behold, madness in all its glory.
Fritz Haarmann was born on October 25, 1879, as Olle Haarmann’s and Johanna Claudius’ last child. His mother stayed disabled right after her last, spoiled son’s birth who was always by her side taking care of her until the day she died. Fritz and his father never got along with each other, and it is said that Olle Haarmann suffered from bipolar disorder, proving that, in general, his family was not the typical one you would meet at German suburbs since his older brother had been convicted as a child molester, and his mother dressed Fritz as a girl. This environment turned him into a disturbed child who enjoyed tying and abusing his sisters, and after many signs of problematic behavior and lawsuits for sexual abuse, the court locked him up in a psychiatric hospital from where he, later, escaped. Sadly, not forever.
After two years in Switzerland, Haarmann returned to Hannover convincing everyone he was healed. In September of 1918, Fritz Haarmann felt the thirst for blood for the first time and the fact that hundreds of people every day were moving to his hometown pursuing a better life, made him quite happy. And rich. And lethal. And a monster.
Fritz had a ritual that he never really changed. Every day he went to the train station looking for his next victim, took a young boy home offering a hearty dinner, and, when the boys were sleepy, he raped them while he was severing their carotids using his teeth. After pleasing his twisted sexual needs, he cut them into pieces and sold their meat, and Hannover used to eat his dirty, little secret. When he realized that he could double his revenue, he started selling their clothes as well. Fritz Haarmann quickly became a wealthy man.
In 1919, he met Hans Granz, a male prostitute he fell in love with, and made him his partner. Since Granz was a good looking man, he was the one to undertake to kidnap the boys at the station. The two men worked together at the local market selling the cheapest meat in the area, and when someone asked them why it was at a so low price, Haarmann claimed that it was horse meat. Of course, the whole city fed on the boys Fritz had raped and killed in his attic. Yummy.
In 1923, more than 50 young boys had gone missing, and Hannover’s public opinion demanded answers from the police authorities. In 1924, a human skull washed ashore in the Leine river and after investigation, 500 human bones were found. Haarmann was the main suspect. In June, policemen entered Fritz’s apartment discovering blood, a pile of clothes, and human bones. He got arrested and, after a while, he confessed. The game was over.
During his trial, 45-year-old Fritz Haarmann kept swearing and describing without remorse the procedure of the kills. As he later said, he would only reach orgasm after he tasted the blood of his victims. His lover, Hans Granz, remained silent and afraid. He was sentenced to life while Haarmann received a death sentence.
Fritz seemed to enjoy the whole process, and he was always polite and close to the guards he used to spend time with. He did not ask for forgiveness and all he wanted was to die at the very same square he used to work. Fritz Haarmann requested from the judge to be executed on Christmas Day to spend the holidays with his mother. The judge declined.
His last words were: “I will not petition for mercy, nor will I appeal. I want to pass just one more night in my cell, with coffee, cheese, and cigars, after which I will curse my father and go to my execution as if it were a wedding.”