The Crimes

Crime Files

The Crimes

In 1969, Fritz met 40-year-old Gertrude Bräuer in a bar. She was a pretty woman with a friendly manner, trying to make ends meet working as a prostitute and a hairdresser. Fritz persuaded her to go with him to his apartment for the night, but in the morning the mood of the previous night had vanished and Gertrude was not so willing to carry out Fritz’s sexual whims. When Gertrude refused sex, Honka went berserk and strangled her. When the rage subsided Honka realized that he was in the apartment with the body of a woman who no one would search for. He had to get rid of the body. Due to his meager physical abilities he could not carry the body, so he decided to dismember the body. He wrapped body parts and then buried in the ground by a nearby rubbish disposal unit. However, he did not manage to carry all the body parts. To avoid the risk of being seen he hid the remaining parts of the body in the attic of his apartment building.

Over the next few days Honka expected his arrest, because he realized that someone could have seen him with Gertrude in the bar. But nothing happened. Not only did no one notice the disappearance of Gertrude Bräuer, but her body remained undiscovered. Her buried remains were discovered accidentally by a construction worker over a year after the murder, but with the absence of some body parts, the investigators had trouble identifying the corpse. Finally they identified the body as Gertrude Bräuer, but no one connected her disappearance with Honka.

It seems that Honka learned a very useful lesson from this murder. He realised that people he spent time with were of no interest to those around them. Cheap prostitutes, without family and friends proved to be an easy target that no one would miss. In addition, Honka realized that choking his victim in his apartment meant that he didn’t need a murder weapon, and the victim wouldn’t make enough noise to draw attention.

After his first murder, Honka began to fulfill his sexual fantasies. Prostitutes who decided to go with him to the apartment experienced aggressive and violent perversion. Once Honka nearly strangled one of the prostitutes - Ruth Dufner. It would have been a murder case if she hadn’t slipped her hand under the material that Honka wrapped around hers and his own neck. The woman managed to escape and soon Honka was accused of rape and found guilty, sentenced to a fine of 4,000 marks. Now, he was a convicted criminal and this may have had an impact on the development of Honka’s development into a serial killer.

In 1974, Fritz again began to hunt for victims. To make sure no one would notice and no loss would be reported, he followed his victims first and to check if they had friends or family. Women who did not became potential targets. In August 1974, Honka invited 50-yr-old Anne Beuschel to his apartment. She probably did not want anything to do with the perverse sexual and aggressive desires of Fritz. He then flew into a rage as he’d done before, strangled the prostitute and again faced the problem of getting rid of the body. This time he concealed entire thing in the attic. However, he wasn’t clever enough to foresee what happens to a body when it begins to decompose. Soon neighbours began to complain of a nasty smell in the building and after some time they called the police. Honka’s explanataion was that foreigners had lived on the top floor and sometimes the odour of their cooking would affect the rest of the building. The police accepted this. Afterwards, Honka started using deodorant to neutralize the stench of decaying corpses in the building.

In December 1974, a similar fate to that of Anna Beuschel befell 57-yr-old Frieda Roblick. This time Honka killed his victim because she tried to rob him, or she could just have been tryinmg top collect her payment, and wouldn’t fulfil his perverted requests. Her body was also hidden in the attic.

Another attack took place only a month later. In January of 1975, Honka brought 52-yr-old Ruth Schult . While they were sipping gin, the woman began to laugh at Honka. This time the attack was even more aggressive:  Honka took a bottle of gin from the table and hit her over the head. Then he strangled her. Ruth was larger and heavier than the other prostitutes, so Fritz unable to carry her body to the attic, and hid the it behind paneling in the apartment. With four undiscovered bodies, Honka could still enjoy his freedom and continue to commit  murder, as long as there were no problems in the house.