Vampires have fascinated and frightened people for centuries, but there are many who have taken their love of bloodsuckers too far, and imitated them in gruesome crimes. This blood-drenched article is dedicated to the “real-life” vampires.
Vincenzo VerzeniHailing from Italy, Verzeni—like most serial killers—suffered abuse from a family member, in this case his alcoholic father. It wasn’t long before Vincenzo, himself, began to show signs of aggression; at 18 he attacked his young cousin in her sleep, attempting to bite her neck. By the age of twenty he had assaulted two more women and one man. He was arrested in 1873 and convicted for the murder of two women, whose bodies he left extremely defiled. Both victims were strangled to death, giving Verzeni one of his names, “The Strangler of Women”; both were found severely mutilated, with bites on their neck and thighs, strips of flesh torn off, and genitals and organs removed. It would soon be discovered that Verzeni was a cannibal, a piquerist, and a vampire. He would bite into the flesh of his victims and drink their blood, and admitted that he found immense pleasure in the act, thus giving him the name, “The Vampire if Bergamo”. He avoided execution by plea of insanity and died in prison in 1918.
Marcelo de Andrade
Marcela De Andrade only drank the blood of two of his fourteen victims, but it was enough to give him the name, “The Vampire of Niterói”. Sexually and physically abused at a young age, de Andrade led a horrifying life from the start. He became a prostitute at age fourteen, and engaged in a relationship with an older man two years later. At 17 he attempted to sexually assault his own ten-year-old brother. When de Andrade was 23 he began to attend the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, and it was there that he heard a sermon that lead him to believe that children who died before the age of 13 automatically went to heaven. In April of 1991 he began his killing spree of 14 boys between the ages of 6 and 13, all of whom he also sexually assaulted. Other atrocities performed on his victims included necrophilia, decapitation, and, of course, blood-drinking. He believed that by ingesting the boys’ blood he would obtain their youth and beauty. After being arrested in December of the same year, he was later declared insane and remains in custody to this day, but not after escaping once in 1997.
Born in 1879 in Hanover, Germany, Fritz Haarmaan was forced into the military by his poor parents. He began molesting children in 1898, while enrolled in the military, and was sent to a mental institution after being declared unfit to stand trial, but escaped. Although Haarmaan remained a criminal all his life and made his living through theft and trade on the black market, police never suspected him as he worked as informant for them. Fritz Haarmaan would commit his first murder in 1918, and would not stop until 1924, after he had acquired a suspected 27 victims. Haarmaan preyed upon young men between the ages of 10 and 22 who were runaways, orphans, or prostitutes. After luring his victims into his house, he would sexually assault them and kill them by biting down on their necks—he would call this fatality his “love bite” in trial. Afterwards he would dismember them, scalp them, and dump their remains in the Leine River. Haarmaan would place his victims skull around to city for people to find. He was dubbed, “the Vampire of Hanover” and arrested in June 1924, and executed a year later by way of the guillotine.
There are a number more known “historical vampires”, each as horrifying and intriguing as the last. I could go on, but I trust that I have ruined your appetite for the rest of the day. I’ll leave you time to recover for tomorrow’s post, but I advise bringing a wreath of garlic to bed.