Joachim Kroll

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Joachim Kroll
Joachim Georg Kroll

17 April 1933
Died1 July 1991 (aged 58)
Cause of deathHeart attack
Other namesThe Ruhr Cannibal (Ruhrkannibale)
The Ruhr Hunter (Ruhrjäger)
Rollstuhl Funf (Fifth Wheelchair)
The Duisburg Man-Eater (Duisburger Menschenfresser)
Uncle Joachim (Onkel Joachim)
Conviction(s)Attempted murder,
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
Span of crimes
8 February 1955–3 July 1976
State(s)North Rhine-Westphalia
Date apprehended
3 July 1976

Joachim Georg Kroll (17 April 1933 – 1 July 1991) was a German serial killer, child molester and cannibal. He was known as the Ruhr Cannibal (Ruhrkannibale), Ruhr Hunter (Ruhrjäger) and the Duisburg Man-Eater (Duisburger Menschenfresser). He was convicted of eight murders but confessed to a total of 14 which he committed in and around the Ruhr metropolitan region.

Early life[edit]

Born the son of a miner in Hindenburg (Zabrze), Province of Upper Silesia, Kroll was the sixth of nine children. After the end of World War II, during which his father was a prisoner of war, Kroll's family moved to North Rhine-Westphalia.


He began killing in 1955, after his mother died. Around 1960, Kroll went to Duisburg and found work as a toilet attendant for Mannesmann. Afterwards he worked for Thyssen Industries and moved to 24 Friesen street, Laar, a district of Duisburg. At that time he resumed killing people.

List of victims[edit]

  • 8 February 1955 – Irmgard Strehl, 19, raped and stabbed to death. Her disemboweled body was found in a barn in Lüdinghausen.
  • 1956 – Erika Schuletter, 12, raped and strangled in Kirchhellen which is now part of Bottrop.
  • 16 June 1959 – Klara Frieda Tesmer, 24, murdered in the meadows of the Rhine, near Rheinhausen. A mechanic, Heinrich Ott, was arrested for the crime. He hanged himself in jail.
  • 26 July 1959 – Manuela Knodt, 16, raped and strangled in the City Park of Essen. Slices of flesh were carved from her buttocks and thighs.
  • 23 April 1962 – Petra Giese, 13, raped and strangled in Dinslaken-Bruckhausen. Vinzenz Kuehn was arrested and convicted.
  • 4 June 1962 – Monika Tafel, 12, killed in Walsum, slices of flesh carved from her buttocks. Walter Quicker was arrested for the crime. He was later released, but was driven by neighbors to suicide in October.
  • 3 September 1962 – Barbara Bruder, 12, abducted in Burscheid. Her body was never found.
  • 22 August 1965 – Hermann Schmitz, 25, and his girlfriend Marion Veen were attacked as they sat in a car in a lover's lane in Duisburg-Großenbaum. Hermann—Kroll's only male victim—was killed, but Veen escaped.
  • 13 September 1966 – Ursula Rohling, 20, strangled in Foersterbusch Park near Marl. Her boyfriend Adolf Schickel committed suicide after being falsely accused of the crime.
  • 22 December 1966 – Ilona Harke, aged 5, raped and drowned in a ditch in Wuppertal.
  • 12 July 1969 – Maria Hettgen, 61, raped and strangled at Hückeswagen.
  • 21 May 1970 – Jutta Rahn, 13, strangled walking home from a train station. Peter Schay was arrested and eventually released. He confessed to the crime in 1976 after being hounded by his neighbors.
  • 8 May 1976 – Karin Toepfer, 10, raped and strangled in Voerde.
  • 3 July 1976 – Marion Ketter, 4. Parts of her body were in the process of being simmered when Kroll was arrested.


Kroll was very particular about where he killed, only killing in the same place on a few occasions years apart. This, and the fact that there were a number of other killers operating in the area at the time, helped him to evade capture. Kroll would surprise his victims and strangle them quickly. Afterward he would strip the body and have intercourse with it, often masturbating over it again. He would then mutilate and cut off pieces to be eaten later. Upon returning home, he would have intercourse again with a rubber sex doll he had for this purpose.[1]


On 3 July 1976, Kroll was arrested for kidnapping and killing a four-year-old girl named Marion Ketter. As police went from home to home, a neighbor approached a policeman and told him that the waste-pipe in his apartment building had blocked up, and when he had asked his neighbor, Kroll, whether he knew what had been blocking the pipe, Kroll had simply replied, "guts". Upon this report, the police went up to Kroll's apartment and found the body of the Ketter girl cut up: some parts were in the refrigerator, a small hand was cooking in a pan of boiling water and the entrails were found stuck in the waste-pipe. Kroll was immediately arrested.

Trial and death[edit]

He admitted killing Marion Ketter and gave details of 13 other murders and one attempted murder over the previous two decades.

Kroll said that he often sliced portions of flesh from his victims to cook and eat them, claiming that he did this to save on his grocery bills. In custody, he believed that he was going to get a simple operation to cure him of his homicidal urges and would then be released from prison. Instead he was charged with eight murders and one attempted murder. In April 1982, after a 151-day trial, he was convicted on all counts and was given a life sentence.

He died of a heart attack in 1991 in the prison of Rheinbach.


  • Stephan Harbort, "Ich musste sie kaputtmachen". Anatomie eines Jahrhundertmörders; Düsseldorf (Droste) 2004 (ISBN 3-7700-1174-0)
  • Dunning, John (1992). "Little Girl Stew". Strange Deaths. City: Mulberry Editions. ISBN 1-873123-13-2.
  1. ^ Dunning, John (1992). Strange Deaths. Mulberry Editions. pp. 218–219. ISBN 1-873123-13-2.

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