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Joachim Kroll
Birth name: Joachim Georg Kroll
Also known as: The Ruhr Cannibal (Ruhrkannibale)
The Ruhr Hunter (Ruhrjäger)
The Duisburg Man-Eater (Duisburger Menschenfresser)
Uncle Joachim (Onkel Joachim)
Born: 17 April 1933
Hindenburg O.S, Oberschlesien, East Germany
Died: 1 July 1991 (aged 58)
Reinbach, Germany
Cause of death: heart attack
Number of victims: Murders: 8
confessed 12
Attempted: 1
Sexual assaults: unknown
Span of killings: 8 February 1955–3 July 1976
Country: Germany
State(s): North Rhine-Westphalia
Date apprehended: 3 July 1976

Joachim Georg Kroll (17 April 1933 - 1 July 1991) was a German serial killer and cannibal. He was known as the Ruhr Cannibal (Ruhrkannibale), Ruhr Hunter (Ruhrjäger) and the Duisburg Man-Eater (Duisburger Menschenfresser). He was convicted of eight murders but confessed to a total of 13.


Early life

Born the son of a miner in Hindenburg (Zabrze), Province of Upper Silesia, Kroll was the last among eight children. He was a weak child and used to wet the bed. His education was poor, only reaching Grade 3. (Later psychiatrists found he had an IQ of 76.)

After the end of World War II, Kroll's family moved to North Rhine-Westphalia.


He began killing in 1955, after his mother died. Around 1960, Kroll went to Duisburg and found work as a toilet attendant for Mannesmann. Afterwards he worked for Thyssen Industries and went to 24 Friesen street, Laar, a district of Duisburg. At that time he resumed killing people.

List of victims

  • 8 February 1955 - Irmgard Strehl, 19, raped and stabbed to death. Her disemboweled body was found in a barn in Lüdinghausen.
  • 16 June 1959 - Klara Frieda Tesmer, 24, murdered in the meadows of the Rhine, near Rheinhausen. A mechanic, Heinrich Ott, was arrested for the crime. He hanged himself in jail.
  • 26 July 1959 - Manuela Knodt, 16, raped and strangled in the City Park of Essen. Slices of flesh were carved from her buttocks and thighs.
  • 1962 - Barbara Bruder, 12, abducted in Burscheid. Her body was never found.
  • 23 April 1962 - Petra Giese, 13, raped and strangled in Dinslaken-Bruckhausen. Vinzenz Kuehn is arrested and convicted.
  • 4 June 1962 - Monika Tafel, 12, killed in Walsum, slices of flesh carved from her buttocks. Walter Quicker is arrested for the crime. He is released but is driven by neighbors to suicide in October.
  • 22 August 1965 - Hermann Schmitz and his girlfriend Marion Veen were attacked as they sat in a car in a lover's lane in Duisburg-Großenbaum. Hermann - Kroll's only male victim - was killed, but Marion escaped.
  • 13 September 1966 - Ursula Rohling, strangled in Foersterbusch Park near Marl. Her boyfriend Adolf Schickel committed suicide after being falsely accused of the crime.
  • 22 December 1966 - Ilona Harke, aged 5, raped and drowned in a ditch in Wuppertal.
  • 12 July 1969 - Maria Hettgen, 61, raped and strangled at Hückeswagen.
  • 21 May 1970 - Jutta Rahn, 13, strangled walking home from a train station. Peter Schay was arrested and eventually released. He confessed to the crime in 1976 after being hounded by his neighbors.
  • 1976 - Karin Toepfer, 10, raped and strangled in Voerde.
  • 3 July 1976 - Marion Ketter, 4. Parts of her body were in the process of being simmered when Kroll was arrested.


Kroll was very particular about where he killed, only killing in the same place on a few occasions years apart. This, and the fact that there were a number of other killers operating in the area at the time, helped him to evade capture. Kroll would surprise his victims and strangle them quickly. Afterward he would strip the body and have intercourse with it, often masturbating over it again. He would then mutilate and cut off pieces to be eaten later. Upon returning home, he would have intercourse again with a rubber sex doll he had for the purpose. [1]


On 3 July 1976, Kroll was arrested for kidnapping and killing a four-year-old girl named Marion Kettner. As police went from home to home, a neighbor approached a policeman and told him that the waste-pipe in his apartment building had blocked up, and when he had asked his neighbor, Kroll, whether he knew what had been blocking the pipe, Kroll had simply replied; "Guts". Upon this report, the police went up to Kroll's apartment and found the body of the Kettner girl cut up: some parts were in the fridge, a small hand was cooking in a pan of boiling water and the entrails were found stuck in the waste-pipe.

Kroll was immediately arrested.

Trial and death

He admitted killing Marion Kettner and gave details of 14 other murders and one attempted murder over the last two decades.

Kroll said that he often sliced portions of flesh from his victims to cook and eat them, claiming that he did this to save on his grocery bills. In custody, he believed that he was going to get a simple operation to cure him of his homicidal urges and would then be released from prison. Instead he was charged with eight murders and one attempted murder. In April 1982, after a 151-day trial, he was convicted on all counts and was given nine life sentences.

He died of a heart attack in 1991 in the prison of Rheinbach, near Bonn.


  • Stephan Harbort, "Ich musste sie kaputtmachen". Anatomie eines Jahrhundertmörders; Düsseldorf (Droste) 2004 (ISBN 3-7700-1174-0)
  • Dunning, John (1992). "Little Girl Stew". Strange Deaths. City: Mulberry Editions. ISBN 1873123132.  
  1. ^ Dunning, John (1992). Strange Deaths. Mulberry Editions. pp. 218–219. ISBN 1873123132.  

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