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Karol Kot (December 18, 1946 - May 16, 1968) was a Polish serial killer. Kot terrorized Kraków, the city he was born and raised in, with monstrous crimes for two years before he was finally captured on July 12, 1966. Because of the accidental choice of the victims which included children and elderly people, as well as the horror his crimes evoked in the citizens of Kraków, Kot was remembered as the Kraków’s vampire and a monster. Before his detention, Kot acted as a normal young citizen, who passed the school-leaving examinations in high school and planned to become a student at an Officer Candidate School. After the trial, in which he pleaded guilty of the crimes he was charged with, the killer was sentenced to death, which was announced on July 14, 1967. The death penalty was executed on May 16, 1968.
Kot spent his whole life in Kraków. He and his 8 years younger sister were looked after by their unemployed mother. Kot had no problems at school, although there was an unsuccessful attempt at getting accepted into a technical college of communication. He also suffered from a nervous breakdown because of failing one of the subjects at college. Eventually, he became a student of the technical college of energetic, where he passed the school-leaving examinations. Apart from the school organizations he was a member of, including ZMS[disambiguation needed], LOK[disambiguation needed] and ORMO, Kot thrived in the shooting section in the “Cracovia” club.
Hobbies and interests
Kot’s inclinations were given away by his particular interest in every kind of weapon that could inflict pain and death on human beings. He was in possession of a substantial amount of knives, studied human anatomy and enjoyed the taste of animal blood as well as the act of killing the animals himself. In addition to that, Kot was versatile in the use of firearms and remained in close contact with the coach of his shooting section, who sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice in protest against Kot’s detention.
In September, 1964 Karol Kot attacked for the first time. The victim of this first, grave crime was an elderly woman whom he stabbed in church. He drove the knife from behind when, unsuspecting, she knelt down to pray. Fortunately, the woman survived. The second attempted murder occurred shortly after, on 23 September, when Kot spotted an old lady coming out of the tram. He followed her and stabbed her in the back when the time was right. This attack was unsuccessful as well. He finally managed to kill a person six days later, on 29 September. Similarly, his victim was an old lady whom he spotted near the church and followed her to Jan Street where he stabbed her to death, driving a knife from behind and aiming at the heart.
On 13 February 1966 Kot stabbed to death an 11-year-old boy near Kościuszko Mound where a toboggan contest for children took place. In April 1966 he attempted a murder of an 8-year-old girl. Kot came to the tenement in Sobieskiego Street and noticed a girl who came downstairs to collect letters from the mailbox. He grabbed her and inflicted 8 stab wounds to the stomach, chest and back. When he escaped, the girl managed to go home and shortly after was taken to hospital where the doctors managed to save her life.
Apart from that, Kot tried to kill people by poisoning. He bought some arsenic and went to a bar called “Przy Błoniach.” He ordered some beer and a jelly, took a bottle of vinegar from the counter and sat at the table. When he was certain that nobody was looking, he inserted some arsenic into the vinegar bottle hoping that somebody will use it later on and get poisoned. He would often leave bottles of beer or soda poisoned with arsenic in popular places but nobody would ever drink them. He also poured a large quantity of arsenic into his schoolmate's drink but the boy noticed suspicious chemical smell and did not drink it. During the trial, the expert witnesses stated that the amount of arsenic used by Kot was enough to kill anybody who would drink the beverage.
Trial and sentence
Kot was arrested before his matura exam but he was allowed to write the examination in order to prove that he was sane and he will not plead insanity during the trial. He was charged with 2 murders, 10 attempted murders and 4 arsons. A lot of expert witnesses were appointed in order to find the cause of Kot’s psychopathic behaviour. They discovered that Kot has shown strange inclinations since his early childhood. During the summer he would go to the slaughterhouse and watch the pigs being butchered. Watching it as well as drinking the pig’s still warm blood was a source of pleasure for him. Kot soon started to kill animals himself and he indulged in studying anatomy books and imagining wounds that can be inflicted on people.
After a series of psychological observations and examinations, the doctors asserted that Kot was completely sane and he can attend the trial with full consequences of his actions. The verdict was declared on 14 July 1967. Kot was declared guilty and sentenced to death as well as he lost citizen rights. The sentence was carried out on 16 May 1968.
When asked in an interview whether he was aware of the notion of murder being a crime and an evil deed, Kot shortly presented his moral standards. According to him, what determines moral appropriateness of people’s actions is the fact that they bring an individual satisfaction and a sense of fulfilled duty; he therefore considered himself a murderer, but not an evil person. Apart from that, he mythicized himself into being a chosen one, the rare person able to comprehend the act of drinking blood as something sacred and empowering.
- "Kot Karol" (in Polish). killer.radom.net. 1999. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
- Snopkowski, Andrzej (1982). Trzy wyroki (in Polish). Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza. pp. 194, 198, 229, 242, 254. ISBN 83-03-00170-1.
- A. Chwalba, M. Muzyczuk, „Seryjni Mordercy: Był Sobie Chłopiec,” Discovery Historia, 2008. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0Qv8Pp_WmE)
- Sygit, Boguslaw (1989). Kto zabija człowieka: najgłośniejsze procesy o morderstwa w powojennej Polsce (in Polish). Wydawn. Praawnicze. ISBN 83-219-0469-6.