Number of victims: 14+
Date of murders: 1955 - 1976
Method of murder: Stabbing / Strangulation
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
A cannibalistic German sex killer, Kroll preyed on girls and young women, raping and strangling them to death before cutting flesh from their bodies for later consumption.
His first victim was 19-year-old Inngard Strehl, raped and murdered in a barn near the village of Walstedde in February 1955. Thereafter, Kroll embarked on a decades long campaign of terror, during which he claimed at least 13 more victims, although by his own admission the number is probably much higher.
In 1959, Kroll added cannibalism to his repertoire when he raped and murdered 16-year-old Manuela Knodt. The victim was found with flesh sliced from her thighs and buttocks. This would become a pattern for the man the police were calling “The Ruhr Hunter.”
But despite the police efforts to catch him, Kroll remained at large. He was not an intelligent man but he was clever enough to commit his murders in different locations and to leave long gaps (sometimes years) between the crimes. He also sometimes varied his M.O. to confuse the police.
Kroll was eventually caught in June 1976, after he abducted and murdered 4-year-old Marion Ketter. A massive search was launched for the child and her mutilated corpse was found in Kroll’s apartment. When apprehended he was cooking a stew of potatoes and carrots that also contained the little girl’s hand.
Sentenced to 9 terms of life-imprisonment in 1982, Kroll died in prison on July 1, 1991.