Frederick Mors

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Frederick Mors
Born Carl Menarik
(1889-10-02)October 2, 1889
Vienna, Austria
Died After 1916
Other names "Herr Doktor"
Criminal penalty Involuntary commitment
Killings
Victims 8
Span of killings
1914–1915
Country United States
State(s) New York
Date apprehended
January 1915

Frederick Mors (2 October 1889 – after 1916) was an Austrian serial killer who, while employed in a nursing home in New York City, killed eight elderly patients by poisoning.[1] When questioned by police he was very cooperative, readily admitting to the murders. After being arrested, Mors was diagnosed as a megalomaniac and committed to an insane asylum from which he later escaped.[1]

Immigration[edit]

Born Carl Menarik, Mors immigrated to New York City from his native Austria-Hungary in June 1914.[1] Through the Immigrant Free Employment Bureau, the German-speaking Mors gained employment as a porter for the German Odd Fellows' Home in Unionport, New York (now the Bronx).[2] The home housed 250 orphans and 100 elderly men and women.[3] Soon after beginning to work there, Mors exhibited signs of megalomania: he would wear a white lab coat with a stethoscope around his neck, and insisted that the elderly residents, whom he terrified, address him as "Herr Doktor.[1]" Inexplicably, though he terrified the older residents, both the younger residents and visitors seemed to like him and enjoy his company.[1]

Murders[edit]

In the four-month period from September 1914 to January 1915, 17 residents—an unusually high number—died at the Home.[1] Mors had used arsenic and chloroform, to murder at least eight of the elderly residents, though he later claimed he was "putting them out of their misery".[1] He committed his first murder using arsenic, purchased from a local druggist.[1] Encountering some difficulties with this method, he later switched to the use of chloroform.[3] Fearing foul play, the administration called the police in to investigate.

Investigation[edit]

Early in the investigation, police learned of the fear the elderly patients and staff had for Mors. On these grounds he soon became the primary suspect of the investigation.[1] When questioned, Mors readily and calmly admitted to killing eight of the seventeen patients that had recently died.[1] He claimed that these were mercy killings and that they had been nuisances. In detail, he described his method as:

"First I would pour a drop or two of chloroform on a piece of absorbent cotton and hold it to the nostrils of the old person. Soon my man would swoon. Then I would close the orifices of the body with cotton, stuffing it in the ears, nostrils and so on. Next I would pour a little chloroform down the throat and prevent the fumes escaping the same way.[1]"

Mors also claimed that the home's superintendent had encouraged him to kill the more ill and more elderly patients.[4]

The district attorney declined to prosecute Mors, finding him to be criminally insane, and committed him to the Hudson River State Hospital, pending deportation to Austria.[4] Mors escaped from the institution in the May 1916.[4] His fate is unknown.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Lane, Brian; Wilfred Gregg. The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. Berkley Books. p. 265. ISBN 0-425-15213-8. 
  2. ^ Nash, Jay Robert (1992-07-10). World Encyclopedia of 20th Century Murder. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781590775325. 
  3. ^ a b Blum, Deborah (2011-01-25). The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York. Penguin. ISBN 9781101524893. 
  4. ^ a b c "Serial Killer Frederick Mors | Ephemeral New York". ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 

External links[edit]