Fritz Haarmann, also known as “The Vampire of Hanover,” or (“der Vampir von Hanover” in German), was a serial killer that terrorized the city of Hanover, Germany, in the early 20th century. He was convicted in 1924 for the murder of 24 people.
Haarmann mainly preyed on young men by luring them to different addresses, giving them food and drink, and finally murdering them by strangulation or by biting completely through their throats, which Haarmann gruesomely called a “love bite.”
The “vampire,” as he became called, was known to then distribute the victim’s possessions between friends and acquaintances as gifts or sell them on the black market, and he would discard their bodies in the nearby Leine River. Haarmann’s crimes were discovered in 1924 when some children found many skulls and bones on the banks of the Leine. When Haarmaan was apprehended, many victims’ possessions were found in his apartment.
Haarmaan confessed to the crimes and was found guilty of 24 murders (he denied committing three additional murders, but they have been attributed to him). Haarmann was executed in 1925 by guillotine at Hanover Prison. His last words were, “I repent, but I do not fear death.”
The remains of the victims were gathered and buried collectively in Stöckener Cemetery, where, in 1928, a large granite stone was placed by the mass grave to remember them.
Know Before You Go
A small map is displayed at the entrance to Stöckener Cemetery (Stöckener Friedhof in German), as the cemetery is quite large and the memorial is difficult to find by simply wandering around.