Native of Munsterberg, Silesia -- now Ziebice, Poland -- Denke operated a rooming house in his hometown between 1918 and 1924. His tenants affectionately called him "Papa," and Denke was also well-liked in the community at large, serving as the organ-blower for his local church. On the side, in three years time, he also murdered and devoured a minimum of thirty victims . On December 21, 1924, one of Denke's tenants, a coachman by the name of Gabriel, heard cries for help which seemed to emanate from Denke's flat, downstairs. Afraid the landlord might be injured, Gabriel rushed down to help... and found a young man staggering along the corridor, blood streaming from his open scalp. Before he fell unconscious on the floor, the victim blurted out that "Papa" Denke had attacked him with an ax. Police were summoned and arrested Denke, scouring his flat for evidence. They turned up identification papers for twelve traveling journeymen, plus assorted items of male clothing. In the kitchen, two large tubs held meat pickled in brine; with the assorted bones and pots of fat, detectives reckoned that it added up to thirty victims, more or less. In Denke's ledger, they found listed names and dates, with the respective weights of bodies he had pickled dating back to 1921. According to the record, he had specialized in slaying beggars, tramps, and journeymen who seemed unlikely to be missed around the neighborhood. No evidence of sexual assault was ever publicized in Denke's case, and homicide investigators were unable to explain his actions. Shortly after his arrest, the killer hanged himself with his suspenders, in his cell, permitting generations of historians to speculate in vain about his motives.