December 13, 1863|
|Died||July 5, 1922(aged 58)|
Cause of death
|Suicide by hanging|
|Other names||The Berlin Butcher|
Span of killings
|1918–21 August 1921|
|21 August 1921|
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.
Little is known about Carl Großmann's early life, except that he had sadistic sexual tastes and had several convictions for child molestation. On 21 August in 1921 when he was in his early fifties, Großmann was arrested at his apartment in Berlin after neighbours heard screams and banging noises, followed by silence. The police did 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.
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. 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. 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
- Blazek (2009), p. 61.