Hans Gruyters

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Hans Gruyters
Born (1925-04-28)April 28, 1925
Boekel, Netherlands
Died October 24, 1980(1980-10-24) (aged 55)
Cause of death Fall from horse
Other names The Black Rider
Criminal charge Murder, bank robbery, burglary
Criminal penalty 15 years
Killed 2

Hans Gruyters (28 April 1925, Boekel – 24 October 1980) was a Dutch criminal.[1] In the 1950s, he was a car salesman in Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. His nickname was the Black Rider, because he once appeared completely dressed in black at a party.

On 15 November 1954, he fatally shot Jan van Dieten, a post office executive in Ravenstein. He was 29 at the time, and had already been convicted six times for smaller offences. On 16 November, he robbed a bank and on December 31 he broke into the vicar's house in Volkel, after which he ran over a man on a bike and killed him in the process. By then, the police were on his trail, but this did not prevent him from trying to rob the bank in Oss some days later. He was eventually arrested on January 5, 1955, and sentenced to fifteen years in prison in 1956. He escaped in 1957 but was soon found and returned to his cell. He was released in 1966. Gruyters died in 1980 after a fall from his horse.

Hans Gruyters in Popular Culture[edit]

The Ottawa-based band, Wise, Young and King made Hans Gruyters the subject of their song, The Black Rider [2]


  • J.H.H. Gaute and Robin Odell, The New Murderer's Who's Who, 1996, Harrap Books, London
  • Hans van Straaten, Moordenaarswerk, 1990, Amsterdam