Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: 1971 - 2001
Method of murder: Strangulation / Stabbing
A rare Dutch serial killer, Willem van Eijk followed a familiar path to serial murder. Known for his eccentric behavior as a child, he graduated from there to animal cruelty and petty crime. Like most serial killers he also indulged in violent fantasies before he eventually acted out and killed someone.
His first victim was 15-year-old Cora Mantel, picked up while hitchhiking near Uithoorn in June 1971, raped and strangled, her body dumped in a ditch.
Van Eijk waited three years before he killed again. On 19 August 1974, the severely mutilated body of teenager Aaltje van der Plaat was found on a country road. She had multiple stab wounds, her belly had been ripped open and one of her nipples cut off. Van Eijk was living nearby on a houseboat, and several witnesses reported seeing him near the crime scene. Brought in for questioning, he quickly confessed to the crime, adding that he’d also killed Cora Mantel
Van Eijk was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment, and his time inside seemed to have quelled his murderous instincts. After his release, he married and appeared to live a normal life. But after the relationship broke down he once again began attacking women.
23-year-old prostitute Michelle Fatol was strangled to death in November 1993; Annelies Reinders, 31, was murdered in January 1995; Sasja Schenker died in July 2001. In between those dates there were eight more prostitute murders, all committed near van Eijk’s home.
Arrested eventually for the Schenker murder, Willem van Eijk was sentenced to life imprisonment.
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