serial killers by name [s] amazon
  STANIAK Lucian POLAND ... ... ... 20
Red Spider

As a young man in Warsaw, Staniak lost his parents and sister in a tragic automobile accident. The driver responsible -- a young Polish Air Force captain's wife -- was cleared of criminal responsibility, but Staniak remained obsessed with "justice" in the case, and over time he hatched a scheme to punish young, blond women everywhere in Poland. He launched his campaign in 1964, with a letter to the Polish state newspaper. Writing in red ink, with a peculiar style that earned him the nickname of the "Red Spider," Staniak warned: "There is no happiness without tears, no life without death. Beware! I am going to make you cry." Employed as a translator for the official state publishing house, Staniak traveled widely in his profession, chalking up an estimated 20 female victims in the next two years. The first, a 17-year-old student, was raped and mutilated at Olsztyn, on the anniversary of Polish liberation from the Nazi occupation. The next day, one of Staniak's trademark letters declared, "I picked a juicy flower in Olsztyn and I shall do it again somewhere else, for there is no holiday without a funeral." His next holiday victim was a blond 16-year-old, who marched at the head of a student's parade on the day she died. An anonymous letter directed police to the body -- ravaged, with a spike run through the genitals -- in a factory basement not far from her home. On All Saints Day, Staniak murdered a blond hotel receptionist, mutilating her body with a screwdriver. Next day, he wrote the press that "Only tears of sorrow can wash out the stain of shame; only pangs of suffering can blot out the fires of lust." On May Day 1966, he raped and disemboweled a 17-year-old, dumping her body in a tool shed behind her home, the victim's entrails pooled around her thighs. Police were looking into fourteen other cases when the killer left another victim raped and mutilated on a train, that Christmas Eve. His letter to the press was simple and direct: "I have done it again." An artist of sorts, Staniak was finally traced by police in 1967, after he slaughtered a fellow member of the Art Lovers Club. Police became suspicious when they viewed his paintings -- mainly crimson, daubed on with a knife and focusing on scenes of mutilation -- and they found that Staniak's itinerary for the past two year precisely coincided with the string of unsolved crimes Arrested on the way home from his final murder, executed in a peevish bid for more publicity, Staniak readily confessed to 20 murders and was sent to an asylum, in Katowice, for life. [ReadOn]

Copyright 1995-2005 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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