Thursday, September 22, 2011

Irmgard Swinka, German Serial Killer - 1949

FULL TEXT: Cologne – Irmgard Swinka, former Berlin waitress, was sentenced to death yesterday for poisoning five women.

The 37-year-old woman had offered poisoned cigarets and drugs to elderly spinsters and robbed them of their belongings.

Two accomplices were given prison terms of three years and life.

It is not certain whether Miss Swinka will be executed since Western Germany’s constitutional assembly at Bonn has voted to abolish death sentences under the new West German government.

[“Ex-Berlin Waitress Sentenced to Death For Poisoning Five,” syndicated (UP), Stars and Stripes European Edition, May 9, 1949, p. 11]


Swinka was also tried for an additional 10 attempted murders. Preceding her trial, she frightened her cellmates, claiming, "I have dedicated myself to Satan!” She talked of conversations with her evil lord, describing him as "bone man with long, wobbly legs and a rattling head."

It was thought by prosecutors that the murderess was merely paving the way for an insanity defense. If so, she failed. She was sentenced to death but capital punishment was already being phased out in Germany so the sentence was reduced to life in prison one day after her conviction.

[Source for this information: “Gespräch mit Satan,” Der Spiegel, 09.04.1949]


For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits

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