Jack The Ripper Arrested 1930

Peter Kuerten, who was known as “The Vampire of Dusseldorf” and “The Dusseldorf Monster” was a German serial killer who committed a series of murders between February and November, 1929.

According to an article which appeared in The Aberdeen Press and Journal on Monday 26th May, 1930, his arrest came about as a result of a misdirected letter which was sent by one of his victims:-


The arrest at Dusseldorf of the alleged Ripper murderer has brought a feeling of intense relief to the city.

A servant girl’s letter falling into wrong hands owing to a wrong address has brought about the arrest after months of intensified and baffling search of a forty-seven-year-old German labourer whom the police believe to be the “Jack the Ripper’’ who last year murdered eleven women and girls, and attacked twenty-one others.

The man was arrested at Dusseldorf.


The letter from the servant girl was written to friend.

In it she gave details of how she had been assaulted by a man whose chance acquaintance she had made.

The letter was wrongly addressed, and was delivered to a resident of Dusseldorf, who opened it in error, and, on reading the contents, placed it in the hands of the police.


Detectives found the girl, and she helped them to find the man’s residence, but when the police approached they found that the man, Peter Kuerten, had fled.

Smart detective work resulted in his being traced in another part of Dusseldorf.

Scores of police surrounded the house. Kuerten prepared to resist arrest, but when he saw the strength of the police surrendered. He was taken to the office of the chief of police and immediately questioned.


Sullenly, he confessed to the criminal assault on the young girl and then relapsed into silence.

For hours the police applied severe questioning and just when the officers believed they could get nothing from the man he broke down and said that he was the man who had become known as the slayer of Dusseldorf and had murdered ten women by stabbing them to death.


Just before midnight a gruesome scene took place. Kuerten was taken to the scenes of the various crimes and he re-enacted in the most minute detail every one of his crimes.

He was taken back to the police station where, according to the police, the most convincing evidence, that of identification, was obtained from one of his victims.

This was a pleasant, shy, good-looking girl, Fraulein Gertrude Schulte, who was attacked on August 24 while walking along a river bank and stabbed fourteen times by a neatly dressed, well-spoken man. After the attack she spent many months in hospital, and tonight definitely identified Kuerten as the man who had walked with her along the river bank and had then attacked her.


The police have now successfully traced the movements of Kuerten for the past eighteen months, and these coincide with the movements of the man for whom a widespread hunt was made as the slayer.

Tomorrow Kuerten will be confronted with the survivors of other attacks on the scenes where the murderous attempts took place.


Kuerten was again closely examined by the police this evening, and startling disclosures were made.

Kuerton confessed to the murder of a girl and a labourer.

Early 1929 a man named Johann Stausberg had been charged with those two crimes, found guilty, and sent to an asylum.


Kuerten’s attitude amazes the police and the officials of the Public Prosecutor’s office. He does not appear to be mentally afflicted, and during his questioning he remained calm and smoked cigars. “It would suit me best to have my head chopped off at once,” he is said to have told the officers.

In reply to a question from the chief police as to the motive for the murders, Kuerten is said to have replied quietly:-“I wanted to avenge myself on mankind, which has been persecuting me.”