Laar is a suburb of Duisburg, a town in the industrialized Ruhr Valley situated in the northwestern part of Germany. The children who played in the vicinity of number eleven Friesenstrasse (#24 according to John Dunning, author of Strange Deaths) knew a short, balding man there as "Uncle Joachim," because he gave them treats and often defied the building rules to let them into his apartment. He lived alone, but had a collection of dolls and always bought the latest in electronic gadgets. He kept dolls specifically for the girls, because they liked dolls, and he liked little girls. He was a strange man, with a round face, large mousy ears, and glasses, but the children seemed to like him. He had a great sense of humor and knew how to make them laugh.
What they did not see were the more sinister inflatable dolls he kept there for sexual purposes, choking them while he gave himself sexual pleasure. Sometimes he used them to practice his strangling technique. He had a difficult time approaching adult women, and while he did think about them, he knew he made a bad impression. He'd only had one relationship, and it had quickly failed. So even as a young man, he'd turned to rape.
He seemed uninterested in news reports over the past two decades about women and girls who had been murdered in the area, possibly by an unknown individual they called the "Ruhr Hunter." He himself knew of more than a dozen. Generally he roamed away from his own neighborhood when the restless "tingling" feeling came on him, but as is often the case with compulsive drives, he finally made a mistake that terminated his long (and lucky) spate of violence.
On Saturday July 3, 1976, four-year-old Marion Ketter disappeared from a Duisburg playground (some sources refer to her as Monika). She was a sweet little blond girl who often played with other children, and her parents had never been worried when she went with them. But on that day, she had not come home. Her frantic mother looked everywhere for her, but failed to find anyone who had seen her. She and her husband went to the police, and by the next day a group of officers was going around the neighborhood to ask people there what they might have seen. No information was forthcoming, so they started going door to door to canvass the entire area. It was just at that moment that someone else in #11 Friesenstrasse emerged to look for an officer.
The accounts of this series of murders often conflict on specific details, so the following narrative will note where significant details remain unclear.
A Strange Diet
Moira Martingale tells the most complete story of what happened next in Cannibal Killers, and it plays out similarly to what would happen in England to serial killer Dennis Nilsen six years later, in 1983. The residents of the apartment building on Friesenstrasse shared a lavatory, and one of them, Oscar Muller, was on his way to use it. In the hallway, he encountered his neighbor Joachim Kroll, who warned him that the toilet was all stopped up. He said it shouldn't be used.
"Was ist los?" Muller asked him, and Kroll responded that it was plugged up. Muller wasn't quite certain that he'd heard correctly when Kroll added that it was full of "guts."
Muller thought it was a joke, so he went into the lavatory. To his horror, he saw that the water in the bowl was blood-red and it had a foul odor. Holding his nose and looking more closely, Muller believed he could see some sort of wet tissue floating to the top, although if his neighbor had not tossed off such an odd comment, he wouldn't have recognized it. The stuff did resemble guts, and he could not imagine who would toss their butcher scraps in here. If that's what it was. The blood-red color looked disturbingly fresh.
Running down the stairs and out to the street with the intention of going to the police, Muller encountered one of the officers searching for little Marion. Muller stammered out what he'd seen in the toilet and several officers accompanied him to the lavatory to see for themselves what was in the toilet. Knowing they had a missing child and aware that several children had been killed in the general area, they feared the worst.
It appeared that something once living had certainly been cut up and dumped into the toilet bowl, and was stopping up the pipes, but the dark water made it difficult to see, so they sealed off the room, shut off the water and called a plumber and the medical examiner, just in case. When the right personnel arrived, several officers moved a large bucket into place. Lifting the bowl and sealing it, they poured the contents into the bucket, and for the first time were able to make out what was in it. Along with the water were what appeared to be the internal organs of a child: lungs, kidneys, intestines, and a heart. There were also pieces of flesh that appeared to have been cut from the fatty part of the victim.
Muller told the police what the pleasant little man known as "Uncle Joachim" had told him about "guts" in the toilet, so they went to his apartment and knocked on the door. He seemed unfazed by their presence. They asked him what he knew about the toilet and he admitted that he'd killed and skinned a rabbit for his stew and had tossed the internal organs into the bowl. He'd meant to flush them to get rid of them, but he'd apparently put too much into the toilet at once. While they could smell the stew cooking in the kitchen, they knew that what they'd fished from the toilet had not been from a rabbit. With the missing child on their minds, they insisted on coming in to look around.
Kroll allowed them to search his three-room apartment. As they moved into the kitchen, he showed them the stew, admitting that it contained pieces of the missing girl. The investigators were aghast at his confession as well as at his nonchalant manner. Yet when a detective used a spoon to stir the pot, he fished out what turned out to be a tiny hand that had cooked among the carrots and potatoes. Despite this repulsive find, the police continued to search. In the refrigerator on plates, they found more pieces of "meat," which Kroll apparently had expected to consume in the near future. The freezer contained a few more such packages, all nicely wrapped for preservation. Uncle Joachim, the beloved neighbor whom local parents trusted with their children, had a lot to answer for, not the least of which was his bizarre appetite. As he was prepared to be taken in for interrogation, he did not resist.
Becoming a Killer
Joachim Georg Kroll was born on April 17, 1933 into a mining family in Hindenburg, in the Upper Silesia area of Germany (now part of Poland). By some accounts, he was the last of eight children, while others place him at the number six spot among nine. He'd suffered from bed-wetting and had a weak constitution. He never managed to achieve much and had an IQ of 76, considered well below average and nearly at the cut-off score for being labeled as mentally challenged.
His father became a prisoner of war in Russia during World War II, and never returned home. After the war, the family moved to West Germany's North Rhine in 1947, finding a two-room home for eight of them to share. Young Joachim had to contend with six sisters (some sources say four), because his brothers had already left home. He went to school for about five years (Martingale indicates that it was three), and received the rest of his education on the farm. In fact, he would later attribute his grisly behavior to things he had witnessed there.
Then early in 1955, when Kroll was 22 and still living at home, his mother passed away. This may or may not have been traumatic for him, but it's probably related to the fact that only three weeks later, Kroll committed his first rape-murder. Perhaps he was acting out his anger and grief, but it could just as easily be possible that he had finally felt free enough to act on sexually violent fantasies.
In 1957, he moved to Duisburg, attacking several women. He found employment as a lavatory attendant for Mannesmann and then Thyssen Industries, eventually settling in Laar, a neighborhood of Duisburg. He would often take trips to outlying towns to hunt for victims, usually while walking in wooded areas. He used different methods to subdue his victims and erase them as witnesses, but generally preferred strangulation.
The Ruhr Hunter
Upon his arrest, says Michael Newton, the police believed they might have finally captured the elusive and brutal Ruhr Hunter, so they questioned their forty-three-year-old suspect about his activities during some of the area murders. He readily admitted to what he had done to Marion Ketter, but initially said no more, so he was placed in a cell to await further legal proceedings. The guards seemed to enjoy him and he likewise seemed to appreciate where he was. He kept up his good sense of humor. Within a few days, as he felt more comfortable, he revealed that he was responsible for a number of similar crimes, even taking credit for murders for which other men had been suspected — even convicted. Kroll showed the police where a few of them had taken place, apparently surprising them, as they had failed to link several as the work of a single offender. His confession was long, complicated, and often quite shocking.
Kroll had started to rape and kill women and girls when he was 22. He believed he had killed or tried to kill around fourteen people, but his memory was not so good. There could be more, he admitted. The first one had occurred on February 8, 1955. The woman, identified as Irmgard Strehl, had been only nineteen years old, and her body was discovered about five days after she'd been killed.
Kroll remembered her as a blond who'd been wearing a green coat and carrying a book bag. She'd been a runaway, he recalled, and he had encountered her as he walked along the road. He invited her to walk with him into the woods, apparently promising her something, and then attempted to kiss her. When she struggled against him, he dragged her into a barn and stabbed her in the neck, then raped her. This incident took place near the town of Walstedde (some sources say Lüdinghausen). To ensure she was dead, Kroll strangled her and left her body there (some sources say she was left under bushes several hundred yards from a road). He also used his folding, long-bladed knife to disembowel her. However, an autopsy indicated that while he had raped her in a frenzy, this treatment had occurred postmortem.
A year went by before he killed again, in the town of Kirchhellen, and this time his victim was younger: twelve-year-old Erika Schuletter. Kroll had accosted her, raping her and killing her. Then in 1959, after moving to Duisburg, Kroll killed two women about five weeks apart, in different towns. One source indicates that in March that year before the murders he hit a twenty-three-year-old homeless woman named Erika, after following her from a Duisburg tavern to the Rheinbrucke in Rheinhausen. She was knocked unconscious and probably appeared to be dead, but she survived the attempted murder.
It seemed that Kroll was warming up for more, because on June 16, in the very same location, he went after another woman who was nearly the same age: Klara Frieda Tesmer was found murdered in a meadow not far from the Rhine River, raped and strangled. Kroll said that when she reacted to his attention, pulling away from his grip on her arm, he hit her hard in the head. She continued to struggle as he tried to remove her clothing, and they slipped together down the embankment. He grabbed her by the throat to stop her from resisting, and throttled her until she no longer moved. Then he finished undressing her and raped her corpse, leaving it there for a group of horrified boys to find the following day. It would not be the last one, as Kroll had a strong sex drive.
The Hunting Continues
A much younger victim was Manuela Knodt, sixteen, whom Kroll strangled and dumped in a wooded park in Essen on July 26. But with this murder, he added an extra thrill. After he stripped her of clothing and raped her, he then used his long-bladed knife to remove pieces of flesh from her thighs and buttocks. He had also masturbated over her, leaving a significant deposit on her face and pubic area, leading police to believe that a gang of perverts had attacked her. No one knew then that Kroll had taken the fleshy parts to cook and consume. While he would claim that the scarcity and expense of meat had been his motivation, he also said that he'd wanted the experience of tasting human flesh. (A young man did confess to this murder six months later, and while he soon recanted, he was convicted and given a sentence of eight years in prison, of which he served five.)
Since he was getting away with his crimes, and each success made him hungrier, Kroll developed a routine that he believed had few risks: he would take a train or bus to an area that seemed isolated, and then he would get out and walk until he spotted a lone female whom he wished to accost. And yet while he maintained the same pattern of attacking and killing, his timing of known murders became somewhat erratic. Newton suggests it was done to confuse the police, but there's little evidence to support the idea. It could also be the case that he killed more than he admitted to, so the pattern would then seem more erratic than it actually was.
A twelve-year-old girl, Barbara Bruder, was on her way to a playground near her home in Burscheid-Klein-Hamberg early in 1962 when Kroll spotted her and quickly sized her up as a viable victim. Although her remains were never located, Kroll admitted to sexually assaulting and killing her after dragging her into a field where no one could see. He'd left her there, but his confession fourteen years later was too long afterward to return to the scene to look for remains.
Also that year, he raped and murdered thirteen-year-old Petra Giese, as well as another thirteen-year-old, Monika Tafel. On the day after Easter, Kroll strangled Giese with her own scarf, removing large hunks of flesh from her buttocks, along with her left forearm and hand. Another suspect served six years for this crime.
With Tafel, who was killed on June 4, Kroll had grabbed her in Walsum as she was walking to school, and after he had finished with her, he removed pieces from her buttocks and thighs. One source, clubmoral.com, indicates that he might have eaten parts of her "on the spot." These two killings had occurred about two months apart in different towns, so they weren't linked as originating with the same predator, despite the obviously similar aspects of perversion. In fact, a local suspect in Walsum hanged himself in the woods, which indicated to some people that he was guilty of the crime.
Then Kroll's pattern radically shifted.
He let three years go by and then on August 22, 1965, he approached a couple making out in their Volkswagen near a lake outside Duisburg. Twenty-five-year-old Hermann Schmitz was with his girlfriend, Rita (other sources give the name Marion), when Kroll used his knife to flatten a tire to draw Schmitz out. Then he pounced, stabbing Schmitz several times directly in the heart. While spying on them, he'd apparently decided to disable Schmitz as a way to get at Rita, since he was not in the habit of killing males and his attack had been so abrupt — indicative of acting on opportunity. However, rather than being helpless, the girl reacted immediately, jumping into the driver's seat to honk the horn in a steady plea for help and to stomp on the gas. She nearly hit Kroll and managed to frighten him away. She thus survived what Kroll had intended for her, as he fled into the woods. Despite the girl's description, no one developed leads for Schmitz's killer.
Kroll may have been spooked by this near-capture, as he apparently kept a low profile for another year (at least according to his confession), but his next victim would have tragic repercussions. Other child killers had started up in the area as well, which made tracking a single murderous deviant even more difficult for the police.
On September 15, 1966, also near Duisburg, the body of twenty-year-old Ursula Rohling was found in some bushes, strangled. She had been dead for nearly two days, stripped from the waist down and provocatively posed. Since she had been with her boyfriend the evening she had been killed, eating ice cream, suspicion fell on him. He claimed that they had come together to discuss wedding plans that evening, and after parting to go their separate ways, he had watched her walk toward the very park where her body had been left. The strain on this young man was so great from the humiliation of being a suspect, the loss of his fiancé in such a violent manner, and pressure from police that he threw himself into the Maine River. Kroll later admitted that this victim had been his, describing how he had met her in the park, talked with her, and then dragged her into the bushes, where he choked and raped her. The act so excited him that when he returned home, he used his inflatable doll to masturbate.
However, thanks to him, Rohling's boyfriend died as well. Because he'd been falsely accused, his demise was a terrible side-effect of Kroll's devious work. In fact, thanks to the way the police had treated him, residents of the area had ostracized him, but all he'd done was treat his girl to ice cream. None of this meant anything to Kroll. He cared only about what fed his craving, so he continued to prowl the area, and within three months he struck again.
Satisfying His Curiosity
Five-year-old Ilona Harke was discovered in the icy water of a small stream in Wuppertal. An autopsy showed that she had been raped. About this murder, Kroll said that he'd encountered the child in Essen and decided to use her to satisfy his curiosity about what it would be like to drown someone. It seemed to him that she would be easy to subdue. He took her with him by train to Wuppertal, and then found an isolated area on that cold winter day. He made her walk with him until he found a ditch that had enough water to perform his gruesome act, and then forced her head into the water until she stopped struggling. From this child, since he anticipated that she would taste sweet, he also removed pieces to take home and cook. This time, he cut into her shoulder, as if experimenting with the taste of flesh from different areas of the body.
About six months later, Kroll tried again, but this time he was interrupted and nearly caught. He had moved temporarily to Grafenhausen, and in June 1967, outside town he'd come across ten-year-old Gabriele P. Some sources indicate that this occurred in a field and some say on a park bench. Kroll had some pornography with him, and he managed to persuade the girl to accompany him to a meadow, where he promised to show her a rabbit, but instead he flashed his book of erotic pictures. Alarmed, she tried to leave, but he detained her. Pulling her into a private area, he choked her. However, a nearby coal mine sounded its siren for a change in shifts, which startled Kroll, and he saw men streaming out to go home. Leaving the girl there, he fled, believing that she was dead. However, she was found and taken to a hospital, where she remained in a coma for more than a week. Upon reviving, she told her parents what had happened, but they declined to report the incident, perhaps afraid that the man would revisit his deed and try to eliminate the witness. (Martingale indicates that the girl escaped unharmed, which seems more likely, since it would be odd for parents to decline to report an attack of the magnitude that sources such as clubmoral.com describe.)
In 1969 and 1970, Kroll raped and killed two more victims. Maria Hettgen was his oldest, at age sixty-one. (This is the one case on which there is significant disagreement. One source indicates that she was ten years old, and Newton and Martingale both state that she was attacked in the front hallway inside her home). Clubmoral.com describes the scenario thus: She was out for a walk in a tourist area south of Essen when she encountered Kroll, also out walking (his typical MO, and thus the likelier manner of encounter). Kroll later reported that he'd experienced a "tickling feeling all over" when he stopped to talk with her. She had not wished to tarry for conversation, he recalled, so he hit her. When she went down, he dragged her to some bushes to strangle and rape, leaving her there to be found a day later, on July 13.
Ten months later, Kroll followed thirteen-year-old Jutta Rahn as she disembarked from a train in Breitscheid and started to walk home through a wooded area. Like several cases before this, her boyfriend became a suspect and, as a result, even spent some time in a jail cell. Then, just before the 1976 murder that got him arrested, Kroll raped and strangled ten-year-old Karin Toepfer in another town that same year.
Finally, with his arrest, Kroll's twenty-one-year reign of deviant violence came to an end — and he gained the dubious reputation as the sex killer with the longest period of sadistic crimes in West Germany. Martingale notes that "it was truly astonishing that in an area less than fifty miles long by twenty miles wide Kroll could get away with his crimes for twenty years." He wasn't bright, and the crimes had many similar and distinct aspects, but the police had failed to link them to develop leads. It's true that he selected mostly strangers and that his journeys were unpredictable, so even with a sophisticated linkage analysis, he probably would have remained unidentified. Still, with his confession and supporting evidence, his career as a sexual murderer was over. However, for the police, the attempt to understand what lay behind his disturbing behavior had just begun.
The Compulsion to Consume
The "Ruhr Cannibal" or "Duisburg Man-Eater," as Kroll was often called in the press, was just one of a number of serial killers who have consumed parts of their victims, a fair number of them in Germany. Among the German cannibals are Karl Denke, who butchered and consumed more than thirty people; Georg Grossman, who dismembered, consumed and sold the flesh of an unknown number of women (perhaps fifty); and Fritz Haarman, who sold the meat of between twenty-seven and forty young men whom he'd raped and murdered by chewing through their necks. In America, Jeffrey Dahmer consumed parts of many of his admitted seventeen victims, all young men, and most of whom he'd lured to his apartment to drug, kill, and dismember. When the police entered to search it, they found a variety of heads and body parts in the refrigerator, freezer, and inside a large blue tub. For Dahmer, the act of consuming the flesh had been a sexual experience.
Indeed, cannibalism is counted among the paraphilias listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, and it appears on the lists of most experts in deviant crimes. In earlier centuries, such people were often viewed as werewolves, but in fact, they were suffering from an erotic disorder. While its causal mechanisms are still poorly understood, some experts are trying.
In Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation, Vernon Geberth, a former NYPD officer and currently one of the world's top experts in the protocol for homicide investigation, discusses the nature of sexual deviance. He states that sexual behaviors are classified according to socio-cultural norms as either acceptable or unacceptable, which makes the label, "deviant," essentially a subjective judgment. Some cultures, for example, consider the act of rubbing against a stranger for gratification marginally acceptable, while others view this behavior as sexual abuse. Human beings develop a wide variety of sexual needs and, thus, they develop a variety of sexual behavior. No matter what a culture might dictate about what's acceptable, the sex drive will often override these sanctions, although deviant behavior is largely performed in secret.
During a criminal investigation that involves deviant behavior, the police often rely on such acts as biting, stabbing patterns, binding, and sexual abuse of a corpse to link crimes to a single offender. Perverse behavior is considered a signal to the type of psychopathology an offender may suffer, and because it fulfills a need for that individual, it often becomes ritualistic, repetitive, and unchanging.
"The seeds of sexual perversion are planted early in the psyche of a sex offender," Geberth states. "However, the sexual perversions do not manifest until the offender reaches puberty. The seed is nurtured through fantasy, masturbatory activities that reinforce and nourish the particular paraphilic imagery, as well as situational 'acting out' of these perversions with a willing partner." By the time the offender actually commits a crime, its thematic orientation may have been rehearsed mentally, and sometimes physically, many times. "The sexual event is the culmination of an offender's psychosocial and psychosexual conditioning and development."
During his confession, Kroll admitted that on a whim, he had tasted the flesh from one of his early victims, and had found that he liked it. Thereafter, he'd stalked women or girls that he thought would yield tender meat, and sometimes indulged his lust, leaving their bodies sans pieces of flesh. He accepted that he had some kind of sickness and he asked for a cure so that he could return home. Naively, he believed that now that he was caught, it would be a simple matter of changing him. He expected nothing less, and nothing more.
While Kroll was apparently none too bright, he was not so delusional as to be considered insane at the time of his murders. Nor did he show shame or remorse over what he had done to his victims, which places him in the category of psychopathy, with the addition of being sexually sadistic. A great deal of work is currently underway regarding the nuances of psychopathic manifestations, with the notion that there's more to it than earlier psychological models have revealed.
In The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain, Blair, Mitchell and Blair address the problems with neurocognitive systems that appear to be involved in the type of emotional learning implicated in repetitive aggression. They propose that something has gone wrong, developmentally, with the brain's ability to learn emotional responses to the world (which supports the evidence that psychopaths fail to learn from consequences). If an individual's neurocognitive system has been impaired at an early age, they state, he or she "will present with the emotional difficulties associated with psychopathy." Because these impairments interfere with the processing of appropriate socialization, such people are at risk for elevated levels of the type of aggression that serves their needs.
Nevertheless, psychopathy is not an explanation for behavior like Kroll's; it's only a frame. Martingale indicates that Kroll blamed his deviance on an experience he'd had during puberty, when he was sexually aroused upon witnessing the slaughter of pigs. Since he was not educated or clever enough to devise an explanation to please the forensic psychiatrists, an experience that linked his sex drive with blood, butchery, and death could be at least an influence on his aberrant behavior.
Something is certainly wrong when people become compulsive murderers, especially with such added behaviors as blood-drinking, dismembering, necrophilia, and cannibalism. Schlesinger takes up the notion of compulsive killing in Sexual Homicide. He makes a distinction between impulsive serial killers, who are generally disorganized and without a clear pattern to their homicides, and compulsive killers, who act from an intense drive and have a plan and a sense of purpose. Compulsive murders, he indicates, "are determined entirely by internal psychogenic sources, with little environmental influence. The urge to commit the act is powerful, and the offender may experience inner discomfort and anxiety if he attempts to resist action." Because compulsion is similar to addiction, compulsive killers tend to repeat their crimes, maintaining a similar method. In part this is because the fusion of sexuality and aggression have eroticized the violence. Since the male sex drive tends to be stronger than that of females, this is a pattern of crime almost exclusive to males.
In addition, Schlesinger adds, "compulsive offenders have a disturbance in the sexual instinct that results in aberrant sexual fantasies in which gratification is achieved through various forms of aggression. His satisfaction cannot be achieved with murder alone; it also requires some enactment of their fantasy." Generally, compulsive murder becomes a matter of dominating victims to feel in control.
Nevertheless, fantasy itself is not a sufficient explanation. Many people have violent fantasies without acting on them. What's missing in such people, Schlesinger explains, is "a corresponding state of tension." Acting out frees compulsive killers from this pressure. They can exercise restraint if necessary, but they prefer the gratification, so they will plan a crime as well as act on opportunity. However, given the low incidence of compulsive killers around the world, compared to other types of murders, it seems that many things must go awry in a number of areas (biological, psychological, environmental) before the conditions will generate this type of dangerous offender.
Little has been written about the actual trial of Joachim Kroll, but it seems from its inordinate length that there must have been glitches. While in custody, Kroll stated that he hoped to receive a surgical procedure that would cure him of his sexual compulsions, because he hoped to be made safe so he could be released from prison. However, he forgot about punishment and retribution, and he was soon charged with eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Although he'd confessed to thirteen murders and one attempt (and suspected in more of both), it was difficult to work up evidence for several of the incidents so long after the fact. Some crimes were two decades old.
The trial, with all its media fanfare, took up one hundred and fifty-one days of courtroom time, from the initial attorney statements to the jury finding. It began on October 4, 1979 in Saal 201, in Duisburg, ending in April 1982. Despite his hope for a cure and release, Kroll was convicted of all counts. Since capital punishment had been abolished after the war, he could be sentenced to only a maximum of life in prison. But he received nine such sentences, to be served in the prison at Rheinbach. Nevertheless, as life sentences go, he didn't last very long.
The Hunter's Legacy
On July 1, 1991, at the age of fifty-eight, the notorious Ruhr Hunter died from a heart attack. However, while he's a little-known serial killer, mentioned in only a few encyclopedias devoted to serial killers, he's managed to inspire some people who know about him to keep the memory of his deeds alive.
Musician Chet Scott, for example, offers a musical project inspired by Kroll. The Ruhr Hunter, with CDs bearing such titles as Torn of This, reportedly bases lyrics and themes on true crime aspects of industrialized culture. Ruhr Hunter's instrumentation has been described as rich and dark, combining "lustmordian drones" with "ghostly harmonics" and "delicate piano melodies." One reviewer noted that the music "inflict[s] an extreme sense of desolation, almost pushing through to being depressive if it weren't for the fact that harsh power electronics come roaring upwards through the resonant atmosphere to keep you refreshed and anxious." Ruhr Hunter is apparently a favorite among fans of "black metal" music.
There's also a different kind of artistic venture devoted to Kroll. The author of the Website, "clubmoral.com" set up a "true crime art project" dedicated entirely to Kroll's series of murders. His bibliography of German magazines and newspaper sources is impressively packed (probably the most extensive in the world), and his dedication to the project is clear. This Belgian artist, who has also created exhibits of serial killer Ed Gein and the Manson Family (representing them as knife-wielding machines), says on the Kroll site that he hopes to place all the information on a CD for eventual distribution. Working under his own enlarged images of Kroll, painted on the walls of a remote studio in Germany, he spent months on "Project Jockel." Clubmoral provides a biography of Kroll, a description of the project, information about the crime scenes, a traveling art exhibit, and an extensive study in how the information about Kroll was acquired. The artist even photographed himself nude in one location and took souvenirs from where some of the murdered women and children had died.
Despite Kroll's relative anonymity as a serial killer, his crimes had far-reaching effects on the friends and families of his victims.
Moira Martingale. Cannibal Killers: The History of Impossible Murders. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1993.
John Dunning. Strange Deaths. Arrow Books, 1987.
Vernon Geberth. Sex-related Homicide and Death Investigation: Practical and Clinical Perspectives. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2005.
Michael Newton, The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. 2nd edition. New York: Checkmark Books, 2006.
Katherine Ramsland. The Human Predator: A Historical Chronicle of Serial Murder and Forensic Investigation.
Louis Schlesinger. Sexual Murder: Catathymic and Compulsive Homicide. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2004.
James Blair, Derek Mitchell, and Karina Blair. The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.
Colin Wilson and Donald Seaman. The Serial Killers: A Study in the Psychology of Violence. W. H. Allen, 1990.