How Many Victims Did The 'Vampire Of Hanover' Fritz Haarmann Have?

In the mid 1920s, human skulls and bones began turning up around the banks of the Leine River in Germany. Many young men and boys had recently gone missing from nearby Hanover, and so police dredged the river for clues. What they found were hundreds of human bones and other remains, many showing signs of dissection, and most belonging to young males between the ages of 15 and 20. The man responsible for these crimes was Fritz Haarmann, later known as the "Vampire of Hanover," according to The Lineup.

Fritz Haarmann had a long history of trouble. According to Murderpedia, Haarman had previously been arrested for petty crimes like burglary, theft, and fraud. At one point, he had even worked as an informant for the police, redirecting the attention of authorities away from himself. In 1924, a teenager named Friedel Rothe disappeared. He was last seen with Haarmann, and was later known to be his first victim. As part of the Rothe investigation, police raided Haarmann's residence, where they found a partially undressed young man. He was arrested for sexual assault and subsequently released. Haarmann had already killed, and he would kill again.

At least 24 men and boys

Fritz Haarmann came to be known as the "Vampire of Hanover," the "Butcher of Hanover," or "The Wolf Man" because of the grisly way he killed his victims, biting through their necks, often during sex acts. Those killed were also occasionally strangled. Many of the men and boys killed by Haarmann were unhoused at the time he picked them up at a nearby train station, dumping what remained of their bodies in the river. His lover Hans Grans was also an accomplice in the killings. It's known that Grans and Haarmann dismembered the victims, sold their possessions, and it's even rumored that Haarmann sold their meat as pork on the Hanover black market, although nobody knows for sure if that actually happened, per Murderpedia.

Once arrested and charged with these crimes, Fritz Haarmann stood accused of killing as many as 27 men and boys, although he was only convicted of 24. According to Haarman, he may have killed as many as 70. In 1925, the serial killer was sentenced to die by guillotine, a notion which he seemed to relish. "I want to pass just one more merry night in my cell, with coffee, cheese, and cigars, after which I will curse my father and go to my execution as if it were a wedding," he reportedly said. To this day, it's not known how many of the bones found in the Leine River belonged to victims of Haarmann, per The Lineup.