During the 1970s, he was charged with five murders and several attempted murders, but never imprisoned on grounds of insanity: he suffered from schizophrenia, blaming the Devil for his actions. Instead, he was institutionalised in the Ştei psychiatric facility in 1976, following a three-year-long forensic investigation during which four thousand people were questioned.
Urban myths brought the number of victims up to two hundred women, though the actual number was much smaller. This confusion is probably explained by the lack of attention this case received, despite its magnitude, in the Communist press of the time.
- "Citeşte povestea celui mai temut criminal al Clujului: "Omul cu ciocanul"" (in Romanian). Clujeanul. 2008-02-17. Retrieved 2008-03-12.