Only known photograph of Karl Denke, after his suicide
12 February 1860|
Oberkunzendorf, Münsterberg, Silesia, Kingdom of Prussia (now Ziębice, Poland)
|Died||22 December 1924
Münsterberg, Weimar Germany
|Cause of death||Suicide by hanging|
|Other names||Father Danke|
|Victims||At least 42|
Span of crimes
|21 February 1909–21 December 1924|
|Country||German Empire/Weimar Republic|
|20 December 1924|
Denke was born in Münsterberg, Silesia in the Kingdom of Prussia (now Ziębice, Poland), but little else is known about his early life. Denke ran away from home at the age of 12, and in adulthood he worked as an organ player at the local church, and was well-liked in his community. Denke quit his membership in the church in 1906.
On December 20, 1924, Denke was arrested after attacking a man at his house with an axe. Police searched Denke's home and found human flesh stored in huge jars of curing salt. A ledger contained the details of at least 42 people whom Denke had murdered and cannibalized between 1914 and 1918. It is thought he even sold the flesh of his victims at the Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland) market as pork.
- Béla Kiss, a Hungarian serial killer during the same time period. Also known to pickle victims.
- "Centipede: Nice enough to eat; Cannibals of the 20th century". The Guardian. May 20, 1993. p. 12.
- Corke, Jonathan (December 7, 2003). "Cannibal's victim in cold packs; Exclusive pleased to meat you". Daily Star. p. 21.
- "Cannibalism: Hard act to swallow; What drives some people to eat others? We examine the body of evidence". The Straits Times. Singapore. December 14, 2003.
- Robbins, Martin (September 8, 2010). "What does human meat taste like?". Guardian Unlimited.
- Blazek, Matthias (2009). "Karl Denke". Carl Großmann und Friedrich Schumann – Zwei Serienmörder in den zwanziger Jahren. Stuttgart. pp. 133–34. ISBN 978-3-8382-0027-9.
- Martingale, Moira (1993). Cannibal Killers: The Impossible Monsters. London: Robert Hale. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-7090-5034-8.
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