The Most Gruesome Killer You’ve Never Heard About

I think I’ve found one of the worst killers in history.

**Trigger warning**

The following material is extremely graphic.

About the case:

“A 26-year-old Polish man killed his father by multiple puncture wounds to the chest and neck using a sharpened screwdriver. He lured his father into the cellar and, before inflicting the fatal strokes, he tried in vain to electrocute him using a stun gun. After this he hung his father by his legs in a cellar window and decapitated him using a surgical scalpel and shovel. Additionally, he made deep incisions across the popliteal fosse to bleed the corpse and collected the blood from the cervical stump vessels in a bucket.

He then took the separated head and neck upstairs to his room and scalped it through the whole night. Afterward, he threw the head into the garden. Next, using a thread he sutured together the soft tissues of the head, additionally trying to repair them with a prosthetic plastic mass. He then dried the skull using salt, thus preventing putrefaction. Subsequently, he placed the scalp-mask over his head, previously shaved and layered with stick tape. He put on his father’s clothes, hat, glasses, and scarf and left home to sit on a bench. When his grandfather came by, he started a conversation with him pretending to be the father. The grandfather did not recognize him and was sure that he was talking with his son. After a while they even had breakfast together. Finally, the grandfather, surprised by the unnatural voice of his “son” and suspicious of his interlocutor, went into the cellar where he found the body and departed for neighbor’s house to call the police. The grandson, finding that the crime had come to light, left home, taking garments his father wore on the day of his death and found a hiding place nearby. He observed the scene and investigation carried out by the police. He then sat on a bus stop bench, where he was later arrested.”

The authors were only able to find a few cases where perpetrators used the skin or organs of their victims. These included Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer.

They also noted that during World War II, the Nazis skinned murdered concentration camp prisoners.

At trial, the perpetrator testified that the murder was to be “a work of art, illustrating extreme human meanness” and “an act with no holds barred.”

He had modeled his crime from a killer in the movie Seven.

He wore the scalp-mask on his head to see whether his grandfather could recognize him.

He hanged the decapitated body in a position with the lower limbs up to symbolize crucifixion on “an upturned cross” because “the head of this kind of scoundrel should not hang even on a devil’s cross.”

There was no discussion about whether or not the killer was declared legally insane.

Psychiatrists diagnosed the killer with “borderline” schizoid personality. Schizoid personality disorders are characterized by difficulty expressing emotions, detachment from social relationships and a lack of desire for intimacy.

People with schizoid personality disorders are often considered loners. They also have unusual perceptions. They might see objects or shadows that aren’t there and they are superstitious. It is similar to schizophrenia but not as severe.

This is one of the most bizarre cases I’ve ever read about. It is the stuff of horror movies.

Source: Kunz, J., & Cross, A. (2001). Victim’s scalp on the killer’s head: An unusual case of criminal postmortem mutilation. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 22 (3), 327-331.

The Rush to Diagnose The Colorado Shooter

Dave Cullen, author of the New York Times bestseller Columbine was part of a roundtable discussion this morning on MSNBC with Chris Hayes. The topic was the media coverage of the latest mass shooting. When conducting research for his book, Cullen reviewed the early news reports regarding the “facts” about the two shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. In the several days after the shooting, the media interviewed many acquaintances of the two boys. What Cullen ultimately realized was that those early “facts” about Eric and Dylan, (proffered mainly by acquaintances) what essentially became the media narrative, were untrue. Despite that media narrative being untrue, many people still continue to believe those “facts.”

The same thing could easily happen in this case.

Another interesting element of the Columbine shooting media aftermath, mentioned by Cullen, was the leading questions asked by reporters to the acquaintances being interviewed about Eric and Dylan. Those leading questions included (paraphrasing): “we heard Eric and Dylan were loners, is this true? We heard that they were part of the “trench coat mafia,” what do you know about this? We heard that they were bullied, what did you see?” and so forth. Those leading questions by reporters could have easily swayed those being interviewed into giving an answer that they may not have given otherwise.

The Psychological Status of the Colorado Shooter

At this time, we know virtually nothing about the shooters’ mental health history. News outlets are reporting, based mainly on interviews with acquaintances, that Holmes was quiet and shy. With regard to a psychiatric diagnosis, it is impossible to know what diagnosis he has, if any. Only after extensive evaluations and interviews, with trained mental health professionals, could a reliable diagnosis be determined. Short of that, every diagnosis is simply guess.

In time, we will learn a great deal of information about the shooter’s mental health status. Being quiet and shy, liking Guitar Hero, and possibly setting up a profile on Adult Friend Finder are not the actions and behavior of any identifiable mental illness. In the meantime, resist the urge to diagnose the shooter. Critically evaluate the media’s message and don’t jump to conclusions based on a very limited amount of information that is currently available.

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Suicide Survival Story

Some individuals attempt [amazon_link id=”0375701478″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]suicide [/amazon_link]and live. Studies have shown that those who have lived are often thankful they survived. Many were able to receive help and never considered suicide again.

A blog reader was kind enough to share a [amazon_link id=”0375701478″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]suicide [/amazon_link]survival story. This story has the power to be inspirational to others who may feel hopeless or that their life can’t improve. This story is a testament to the fact that life can be better.

If you would like to share your suicide survival story, please click here for submission. All personal information will be removed and your post may be slightly modified.

Disclaimer. This is not a substitute for psychological advice. If you are feeling suicidal then you should get help immediately. Call 911 or go to the hospital. 

One Reader’s Story

In this moment is hard but reassuring to write about my story. I have Bipolar Disorder. When I was a child and a teen, did’t know it, just was sad most of the time, and had days, weeks or months when everything was possible. Mi grades reflected it so good, some months I failed or got 6 (I live in Mexico and the grades are numbers, it will be something like D), and some others straight 10 (like an A). I always thought, and I guess my parents too, that it was my will. Like just made an effort when I wanted to.

I grew up, and started medicine school, ’cause I wanted to become a neurologist since I remember, I was doing ok, but like 5 or 6 months after I entered, I started having trouble concentrating, I did’t want to do anything, and was tired all the time, I thought I didn’t like my choice of career, so I quit. Mi parents got scared at first, because it was all of sudden. The thing is I lost my purpose, and my way in life with this. I didn’t know what to do.

Since that moment, everything was like black, I was sad most of the time, did a major in Communication studies, but did’t like it. I was hospitalized like 3 times in a psych ward, and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and whatever, and I tried to kill myself 3 times, the last one, almost got it. I was in the hospital for a week, and unconscious like 5 days. That one, was really significative for several reasons: 1. It wasn’t planned, or like I was feeling sad for long time, or something, I just feel so bad that night, and wanted to ended everything. 2. I regreted, after I took the pills (a lot, of everything, antipsychotics, antidepressant, etc), I realized what I have done, and that I didn’t want to die yet, so I call my doctor, and she send an ambulance, I guess that’s why I can tell my story now. 3. I realized I didn’t want to die, just to stop the feeling of sadness and emptiness, so I promised myself I wouldn’t do it again.

Since that moment, (like 3 years ago) I have accepted I have a disease, that there is a part that might not be completely in my hands, I really work very hard not to feel too depressed (not so hard not to be manic, honestly I like mania), I swim, do yoga, play tennis, eat correctly, sleep well, take my meds, have a routine, and that helps me a lot. But there are days, like today, when everything is black again. The difference, and what I would tell someone who wants to kill him/herself, is that today I know is not forever, maybe today everything is black, but maybe tomorrow everything will be colorful again, and the thing with bipolar is, that some other day everything will be so bright, and beautiful, that I will understand life, death, love, the universe, everything, for a moment (and honestly I love when that happens).

I would say that, it passes, everything passes (I know it sounds like a Hallmark card but is true). And, maybe, what have worked for me, has been to concentrate on beautiful things, stuff that makes me happy and laugh. For instance, I refused watching news, and watch cartoons on TV, although I am 33 years old, and I know is not a grown up thing to do. I worked at home doing something I enjoy so much, working in an office made me very nervous, and then I had hallucinations, so it was not cool. Uh, I have a dog, and enjoy walking with him in the park, I have an organic garden. I don’t know, for each person is different, but try to do things that make you feel happy, that make you laugh.

Mi point is, in my case I know I suddenly feel very depressed, and in that moment, I want to die (even today). But now I know is not forever, also when I don’t feel so sad I work in finding activities I enjoy and love, so in my blue moments, when I feel like doing nothing, I do it, and out of sudden I don’t feel that bad.

I am happy I survived, because I feel sadness, and emptiness, since I was a kid. I mean, it didnt’ know what it was, but I feel so bad most of the time. And there was a time when I believed I will never feel ok. I remember one day I said to my best friend (when she was depressed) that I didn’t want to die without feeling happy, really happy not manic, (is different) one day. That would be the saddest thing in a life (I believe). Now I have experienced happiness and peaceful of mind for months, and is awesome,  I can’t wait to be there again.

Maybe, my experience is a little bit idiotic, I know, is not very amazing, is just a struggle of a mind that goes to extremes trying to find balance, but I hope it helps someone else. I just want to finish saying that I get it, I feel it, when is hard to open your eyes and get out of bed. When you walk on the street with sunglasses so people can’t see your tears, when smiling is painful. When you would like to beg someone, anyone, to take away your pain ’cause you feel you can’t stand it anymore, but words won’t come out of your mouth. Actually, I’m in there right now, and all I can tell myself, and others like me, is tomorrow everything will be bright again, I (and you) will be able to enjoy music, trees, swimming, my (your) pet, etc, all we have to do today is hang in there, and get out of bed even though it hurts today.


Just a little epilogue. Today everything is colorful again. I don’t feel a 100% yet, but I feel so much better. I was depressed for 5 days, that kind of depression where you want to be death, but I was able to stop it in 5 days instead of months. It used to take me months and lots of meds to get over it. What I do (and hope it work for others) is simple:

1) get out of bed in the morning (even though I really don’t want to)

2) try not to skip or cancel any activity or appointment (I know is hard I cried everyday in my commute, and a lot)

3) eat well, not skip meals (even though I wasn’t hungry)

4) not sleep more than usual (8-9 hours per day, I know I sleep a lot, but I need it, haha!). Although I might need a short nap, because let’s admit it being depressed is exhausting. But keep it short, not all afternoon.

5) go out for a walk, and try to say hi to people you usually meet, and help someone.

6) talk to others about mundane topics. (it helps to distract your mind)

7) do something that kills hours, and help you forget everything. (In my case is paint my nails, cut the damaged tips of my hair, drawing or coloring something)

I think is the most important, I remember my former therapist always telling me that I needed to do things when I was depressed, and I was like “come on, you are not feeling this pain, how come can I do any activity.” And as a result I ended overdosing with pills, or having an accident, or in a hospital without doing anything for myself. Now I do what she said. I know is the complete opposite, I mean, one feels like can’t do anything. And I won’t lie, it hurts like hell. Is harder than staying in bed or try to kill yourself, but always works. Doesn’t hurt less, but certainly the feeling that something is killing your soul, lasts less.