The Arrest

An evil killer who loved his wife

Throughout Kurten’s reign of terror he maintained a fond attachment to his wife and, recognising that he would eventually be caught for the rape of Budlick, now that the police knew his identity, he devised a plan to ensure her financial security following his arrest. He confessed to her that he was the “Dusseldorf Vampire”, detailing all the killings and attacks, and he insisted that she would be paid a large reward for turning him over to the authorities.On 24 May 1930, Frau Kurten reluctantly did as he had advised, and took the police to their designated rendezvous site, a local church, where Kurten surrendered quietly.

Once under arrest, Kurten provided an astonishingly detailed account of his string of crimes to Professor Karl Berg, a distinguished psychologist, who later published the confession in a book entitled “The Sadist”. He claimed 79 individual acts of crime in all, and went to great lengths to convince the authorities of his guilt, perhaps in the hope that his full cooperation would ensure the maximum financial benefit for his wife. His memory was near eidetic, and his own “action-replay” of each offence obviously provided him with great pleasure; less so the attending stenographers.