Hinterkaifeck was a small farmstead situated between the Bavarian towns of Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen, approximately 70 kilometres north of Munich, Germany. On the evening of March 31, 1922, the six inhabitants of the farm, a father and mother, their daughter, two grandchildren and their maid, were killed with a mattock. The murders were never solved.
A few days prior to the crime, the father Andreas Gruber, who was a farmer, told neighbors about discovering footprints in the snow leading from the edge of the forest to the farm, but none leading back. He also spoke about hearing footsteps in the attic and finding an unfamiliar newspaper on the farm. Furthermore, the house keys went missing several days before the murders. None of this was reported to the police prior to the attack.
Six months earlier, the previous maid had left the farm, claiming that it was haunted; the new maid, Maria Baumgartner, arrived on the farm on the day of the attack and was killed hours later.
Exactly what happened on that Friday evening cannot be said for certain. It is believed that the older couple, as well as their daughter Viktoria, and her daughter, Cäzilia, were all lured into the barn one by one, where they were killed. The perpetrator(s) then went into the house where they killed two year old Josef, who was sleeping in his cot in his mother's bedroom, as well as the maid, Maria Baumgartner, in her bedchamber.
The bodies were discovered a few days later, when neighbours began to find it suspicious the family hadn’t been seen in public for a while. The postman also noticed that the post he delivered during the weekend was still in the mailbox.
Over the years over 100 suspects had been questioned by the police, but none yielded any results. The police first suspected the motive to be robbery, and they interrogated traveling craftsmen, vagrants, and several inhabitants from the surrounding villages. This theory was abandoned when a large amount of money was found in the house. It is believed that the perpetrator(s) remained at the farm for several days – someone had fed the cattle and eaten food in the kitchen, and the neighbors saw smoke from the chimney during the weekend – and would have easily found the money if robbery had been the intention.
The last investigation into this case was done in 2007 by the police academy of Fürstenfeldbruck. They used modern criminal investigation techniques to examine the case. As it was almost 80 years later a lot of evidence was lost and a lot of people who were involved in the case weren’t around anymore. Despite these setbacks the students claim they did come up with a prime suspect, but decided not to name this person out of respect of its still living relatives.
The farm was demolished in 1923. Close to where it was located a shrine has been placed, commemorating the victims.
The art of trepanation
This might become a new category in the Scary stuff comp series: medical procedures. Throughout the years people have used a lot of ****** up procedures on one and other in order to cure different diseases and illnessess. While its morbid nature can’t be denied, it did help us better understand the human body and how it functions. The procedure described here is called "trepanning ", or "trepanation". Drilling a hole in a human’s skull in layman’s terms, the predecessor of the lobotomy.
The idea behind trepanning was that by drilling a hole in a person’s skull, it would alleviate the blood pressure in the skull, curing things like migraines and stress. It was also believed it allowed ‘’evil spirits’’ to exit the human body and it was seen as a way to cure psychological disorders.
Evidence has been found that indicates trepanation has been around for a long time. Skulls foundfrom around 6500 BCE show that prehistoric men performed trepanation on one anther.
One of the most famous documentated case of trepanation comes from the painting above made by Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch called The Extraction of the Stone of Madness. The painting dates from the 15th century.
Obviously this procedure, though continued for a long time, was stopped after a while. This was mostly because the patients would die from a massive infection from having a hole drilled into their skull before the invention of sanitation.
Strange as it may sound, there is a bright side to this procedure. This was some of the first indications that people viewed the brain to be in control of things like mood and mental health. At the time these were performed, it would've been incredibly radical to think that a part of the body was responsible for these, and not the patient’s soul.
The Wendigo is a creature that can be found in the legends of the Native Americans, most notably amongst the Algonquian peoples.
Roughly translated, the word ‘Wendigo’ means ‘the evil spirit that devours mankind’. Another translation, said to be made by a German explorer around 1860, equates the word ‘Wendigo’ with ‘cannibal’. Wendigo are said to have an insatiable hunger for human flesh - no matter how much flesh they eat, they remain hungry.
This hunger is reflected in their appearance, which, according to some, is extremely thin. Despite their gaunt physiques, Wendigo are described by some as giants, measuring at about 4.5 m (14.8 feet) in height. Whilst there are slight variations as to the physical description of this creature amongst the different Algonquian peoples, it is generally agreed that Wendigo have glowing eyes, long yellowed fangs and long tongues. Most Wendigo are also said to have sallow and yellowish skin, though others say that they are matted with hair or have decaying skin.
Legends say that Wendigo were once human beings. According to the most popular version of the story, a Wendigo is formed whenever a human being resorted to cannibalism, even if it were done in order to survive. When a person consumes the flesh of another human being, he or she is believed to be overcome by evil spirits and is transformed into a Wendigo.
Some believe that the human person continues to reside within the Wendigo, specifically where its heart should be. This person is frozen, and the only way to kill a Wendigo is to kill the human within it as well. A few legends state that the frozen person is successfully rescued from inside the creature; in most cases, however, death is the only way to free a person from the Wendigo.
Wendigo are believed to roam around the forests where the Algonquians lived, and forest dwellers that disappeared over the years are rumored to have been eaten by these creatures. Many Wendigo sightings have been reported over time, not only by Native Americans, but by other people as well.
At the beginning of the 20th century, an 87-year-old man of the Cree tribe by the name of Jack Fiddler was tried for the murder of a Cree woman. Whilst he pleaded guilty to the crime, he defended himself by saying that the woman was on the verge of transforming into a Wendigo, as she was being possessed by the evil spirit. Therefore, she had to be killed before she murdered other members of the tribe. In addition to this woman, Fiddler claimed to have slain at least 13 other Wendigo during his lifetime. Fiddler committed suicide before the trial began.
If you’re interested in the Wendigo legend, allow me to suggest the PS4 game Until Dawn.
Arizona Cop Neutralizes a Threat
The video comes from an incident that occurred on February 19th, 2015 in Arizona. What you can't see is the suspect in the white shirt, Mario Valencia, holding a Winchester rifle that he stole from Walmart. Officer Michael Rapiejko, of the Marana Police Department, took matters into his own hands with a dramatic maneuver to neutralize the threat. Valencia was rushed to the hospital in serious condition, where he stayed for two days before going to jail. Rapiejko believed Valencia would've been shot to death or escalated the situation into a dangerous shoot out. Later, Rapiejko was accused of using excessive force, which the suit was settled out of court.
It was one of the most inspiring stories about weightloss at the time. I’m sure everyone is familiar with Jared’s story by now. For those who are unaware: Jared was a 22 years old student at Indiana University. During this time, Jared ate mostly "junk food" that generally consisted of fast food style meals of hamburgers, french fries, and other American drive-thru fare. Concerned about his weight (which at this point was around 425 pounds) Jared switched his diet from American-style hamburger food to Subway sandwiches with as few high calorie accouterments (such as mayonnaise) as possible. This diet eventually led to a stifling amount of weight loss, of which his former dorm-mate decided was worth writing about. His article in the "Indiana Daily Student" drew the attention of Men's Health magazine, which drew the attention of Subway. This led to the invention of "The Subway Diet", a somewhat spurious affair considering Jared's weight loss was, in part, because of his exclusion of American "drive-thru" cuisine. Regardless, this role as the Spokesperson for Subway brought a lot of fame and fortune to the then 23 year old college graduate. As he continued to promote Subway as a healthy alternative to other styles of fast food, Jared and Subway decided to create "the Jared Foundation" with a partner named Russell Taylor. Together the two of them aimed to help combat obesity in young people.
Jared Fogle on the left and Russell Taylor on the right
This is where the trouble started for both Fogle, and for Taylor. In late April/early May of 2015, police searched Taylor's home, working on the tip that Taylor had offered to text pictures of minors engaging in adult activities to different people. The authorities have police dogs, which are trained to find, by scent, hidden thumb drives or external hard drives, and these dogs were used in the investigation into Taylor and into Fogle. A search warrant was performed at Russell's home, which uncovered a vast amount of child pornography; some of which was recorded by Russell himself. Taylor and his wife had positioned hidden cameras in various places to record children nude; one such place was in a bathtub. Taylor claimed his wife was responsible for the placement of two of the cameras, as well as reviewing some of the footage.
This all took place prior to Fogle's arrest, so his initial court appearances didn't include any offers to help arrest Fogle for his activities, although later on Taylor admitted that he shared some of the photos with Fogle. Subway immediately distanced itself from Taylor after his arrest, and issued statements that they were outraged at his conduct. Curiously, Fogle released statements as well echoing what Subway had said, condemning Taylor for his actions.
This investigation, however, is what led to the investigation of Fogle taking shape. Naturally, if Fogle was in some way involved in the case against Taylor, he was sure to be investigated just as thoroughly as Taylor's wife. Fogle's involvement in this world of child exploitation had started even earlier than 2015.
Rochelle Herman-Walrond, one of the informants for the FBI on Fogle's behavior
The woman pictured above, Rochelle Herman-Walrond, came to the FBI when she had first heard Fogle make remarks about middle-school aged children, which were enough for her to start wearing a wire to record conversations she had with Fogle. According to sources she recorded him making several remarks about having sex with underage girls and asking her to install a webcam in her children's rooms so he could watch them.
Fogle's arrest on July 27th 2015
It was Russell Taylor's arrest that became the downfall for Fogle, as it was discovered that Taylor had been trading photos with Fogle, and according to the Wikipedia page on Fogle, some of the children were as young as 6 years old. But it wasn't necessarily the photos that got Jared into the immense amount of trouble he was in. The state also subpoenaed his text messages, which were horrible. Initially Fogle was texting a former Subway franchise owner, but then insisted on speaking to her cousin who was, well, what you could call a "procurer".
Fogle: "Is your Asian friend available?"
Procurer: "Are you going to pay me, too, or can I come back?"
Fogle: "I'll pay you big for a 14 or 15-year-old"
Fogle: “Do you have any access to any young girls? Like 15 or 16?”
Procurer: “Why, baby?”
Fogle: “Cause it’s what I crave.”
With a massive amount of potential charges against him, as well as a close associate convicted of 12 counts of possession of child pornography, Taylor, willing to testify against him, Fogle agreed to a plea bargain, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography, and one count of travelling (from Indiana to New York) to engage in illicit sexual acts with a minor. In the initial stages of the court case against Fogle, part of his defense involved a forensic psychiatrist's evaluation of Fogle which suggested that he had a compulsive eating disorder, which explained his weight problem when he was in his early 20's, and that when he began his "Subway Diet" the compulsive eating disorder led to a case of "hypersexuality".
Though it isn't uncommon for one type of compulsion/addiction changing into another form of compulsion/addiction (smokers who quit smoking often develop some kind of "oral fixation" where they feel compelled to have their hand near their face; this can often end up turning into some kind of eating compulsion), there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that an eating compulsion would lead to pedophilia. The prosecution made this point very clear in the rebuttal against the psychiatrist's evaluation.
Though the defense attorneys asked for a 12 year sentence, Fogle was actually sentenced to 15 years in prison, a term which started on December 18th, 2015. Jared Fogle was lucky that he was able to arrange that deal, however he was ordered to pay $1.4 million dollars in damages, specifically $100,000 to each of the victims, and well as register as a sex offender when he is released from prison. Furthermore, he is not allowed to be in the presence of a minor without supervision, which includes his own children. It’s a safe bet that Fogle agreed to the plea bargain quickly as a way to dissuade any others coming forward to testify against him in his initial trial. Given time, one can guess there will be more parents of minors coming forward to present evidence against him, possibly lengthening his sentence.
Russell Taylor, the man who led authorities to Fogle in the first place, was sentenced to 27 years in prison, and attempted suicide in his prison cell in early May 2015. At the time this will be posted, there has been one confirmed assault. on Jared Fogle in prison by a prisoner who hates child molesters. Jared Fogle will remain in prison until his earliest possible release date in 2029, however, there is hope that more of his victims will come forward and extend this sentence to a more acceptable length, considering the depth and depravity of his crimes over the course of up to 8 years.
Jared has already been assaulted in prison by this man, Steven ****, who hates child molesters and claims that Jared "is lucky to be alive."
The curious case of Ed Gein
Ed Gein was a murderer, but is mostly known to be one of the most infamous body snatchers. While technically not a serial killer because he ‘’only’’ killed two people, Gein was still a messed up person and had a messed up track record.
Gein was born in a small town in Wisconsin early 20th century, raised in a household that was ruled by his mother. His father was an alcoholic who had difficulty finding and keeping a job, working as a carpenter, insurance salesman, and a tanner. Gein's mother hated her husband, but it wasn't the husband who was the cause of Ed’s problems. The family lived on a farm, making for a very isolated life. This allowed Gein's mother to control the lives of her two sons to a frightening degree.
Augusta (the mother) was a fervent Lutheran. She preached to her boys about the innate immorality of the world, the evil of drinking, and the belief that all women were naturally prostitutes and instruments of the devil. She reserved time every afternoon to read to them from the Bible, usually selecting graphic verses from the Old Testament concerning death, murder, and divine retribution. After his father and brother died, Gein was left alone in his home with only his mother. She dominated his life more now more than ever, which eventually led to Gein claiming she was the only woman he had or would ever love, and when she died, he boarded up her room, keeping it in pristine condition, and then he went to extraordinary lengths to try to bring her back.
Using the tanning skills he likely learned from his father, Ed Gein exhumed the bodies of at least 9 women, creating entire suits, including masks, out of human skin so that he could literally become his mother. When authorities discovered Gein’s crimes, they searched his house and made a list of the things they found. This list includes: four noses, a pair of lips, masks made from the skin of female heads, a corset made from a female torso skinned from shoulders to waist, skulls on his bedposts, a belt made out of nipples and nine vulvae in a shoebox. The bodies of the two women Gein killed were found at his house as well.
On November 21, 1957 Gein was tried on one account of first degree murder in Waushara County Court where he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and was sentenced to a mental hospital where he would spent eleven years. In 1968 he was re-diagnosed and was sent back to stand trial. During the trial Gein was proven to be guilty of the first degree murder of Bernice Worden. A second trial regarding Gein’s insanity came to the same conclusion that he was not guilty by reason of insanity and was sent back to the mental hospital. He would spent the rest of his life there.
Probably one of the most famous cold cases (along with Black Dahlia back in comp #19) is the case of the Zodiac killer. There is A LOT of information regarding this case. Too much to cover it all here, where seven other stories share the spotlight. I might come back on the Zodiac killer case in a special comp somewhere in the future because it’s just so damn intriguing. Let me know if you guys would interested in that. For now I’ll give you a short version of this story.
The killer known as the Zodiac Killer started operating on December 20, 1968 when two teens, Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday were shot and killed on Lake Herman Road near Vallejo, a spot known to be a popular ‘’lovers lane’’. Because there was next to no evidence on the crime scene and the Zodiac killer remained silent, the authorities hit a dead end.
Zodiac's second confirmed murder and attempted murder took place at a different lover's lane in California late at night by someone whom it was believed the murderer knew prior to that evening. The girl, Darlene Ferrin was pronounced dead on arrival by the first responders, however the man she was with, Michael Mageau survived, and was the first person to give a sketch of the suspect. Shortly after the murder and attempted murder, the Blue Rock Springs sherrif's department 911 received a phone call from a man who claimed ot be responsible for the murders. After that, a letter was received by the San Francisco Chronicle from the Zodiac, detailing elements of the murder to prove he was indeed the perpetrator, as well as Zodiac's first (and only) confirmed solved cipher.
The murder of cab driver Paul Stein
Zodiac's closest brush with the police department ever was with the murder of cab driver Paul Stein. After he had is taste of fame from sending codes to the police departments and newspapers, Zodiac broke his pattern of killing couples at lover's lanes in secluded lakeside areas and chose to murder Paul Stein one evening in the city of San Francisco, in a quiet neighborhood. Several kids saw a man wrestling with the cab driver and said it looked like the unkown man "he was wiping stuff". It later turned out that Zodiac had shot Paul Stein, then tore off a piece of his (Paul's) shirt to soak up some blood. Later, when the police and the newspapers received their next few letters, they included bloodsoaked pieces of Paul Stein's shirt.
Investigators Dave Toschi and Bill Armstrong matching pieces of Paul Stein's shirt
After Zodiac killed Paul Stein, he exited the cab, walked, or more accurately "lumbered" along the quiet neighborhood street where he was stopped briefly by a police officer who was looking to see whether or not he had seen any suspects. The original call out to the police officers was to look for a "negro male adult", and thus the patrolman didn't think to take him into custody. Zodiac later shoved this in the San Francisco police department's face.
Eventually he sent several other codes, made bomb threats, sent letters and ciphers to other members of the press as well as a prominent attorney. He threatened to shoot out the tires of a schoolbus and "pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out", which led to police officers being stationed on every school bus in the San Francisco bay area, in some cases, for up to 9 months. The ciphers Zodiac sent to the various newspapers and police forces were meticulously planned out, going so far as to include intentional spelling mistakes and the use of extra letters at the end in order to make them more difficult to solve.
A cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Graysmith, eventually quit his job at the Chronicle and began amassing all the information he could about this particular case. The crimes were committed in different counties, often close to county lines, so there were 4, 5 maybe even 6 different law enforcement agencies that had to share their information in an attempt to catch him. Graysmith believed that by putting all the data together, you could come up with a better picture of who the Zodiac killer really was. In the end however they never found him. The identity of the Zodiac killer remains a mystery to this day, though rumor has it he did run for president of the United States back in 2016.
The disappearance of Lars Mittank (thanks andnowducks and bigboipotato for the suggestion!)
In July 2014, there was a case about a 28 year old man from Berlin, Germany, named Lars Mittank, who visited Zlatni pjasatsi (Golden Beach) with his friends. This place in Bulgaria is a famous vacation spot for young people from Germany and England, kind of like Mallorca or Ibiza.
During his vacataion Mittank got involved into a barfight and hurt his ear. Nothing suprising for those places where many young people are partying. Sources say the fight was over soccer teams. Lars allegedly got into another fight later that night with tourists and disappeared from his friends' sight for a while, but came back later.
The group stayed in Bulgaria for about another week and Mittank enjoyed the rest of his holidays with his friends. After the fights Mittank visited a doctor because he felt something was off. After an examination the doctor told Lars that he had ruptured his eardrum. When the group had to leave, the doctor said that Mittank couldn’t travel by plane because of this injury. Lars decided to stay in Bulgaria a while longer while his injury healed and rented a room in a hotel while his friends left. He had assured them he would be fine.
From the doctor, Lars bought an antibiotic called Cefuroxim 500 which doesn't have a lot of side effects unless used with alcohol and drugs, which sounds pretty standard. At the first night after his friend went home however, Lars texted his mother panicking, saying he did not feel safe, despite what he told his friends. He felt restless. He told his mother she should cancel his credit card. He said he was hiding and four men were following him, then asked what Cefruoxim 500 exactly was.
Mittank left his hotel that night and hid in the streets to catch his next flight early. He went to a doctor’s office at the airport that morning, carrying all his luggage with him. Lars can be seen entering the doctor’s office on CCTV footage. A little while later he is seen running out from the doctor’s office and leaving everything behind. Eye witnessess claim they saw another person enter the office and that shortly afterwards they saw Lars running outside. People outside saw him as he climbed over a fence and disappeared in a nearby forest. He was never seen again. Lars' family says he has no history of mental illness. No one knows what happened or where he is. His family is still searching for him. One can only speculate what happened to Mittank during his vacation that made him go off the radar.