Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Marie Krueger’s “Man Trap,” Germany - 1924

Note: Presumably the proper German spelling is “Marie Krūger.” The following articles use the spellings “Kruger” and “Krueger.”


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): Berlin, Aug. 26. — A new “woman Bluebeard,” who, it is charged, maintained a regular “man trap” to which she lured victims through an extensive marriage advertisement campaign and then killed them in order to inherit their possessions, has been arrested by Berlin police. Police Commissioner Trettin, who has charge of the investigation, asserts that the evidence against her is so overwhelming and her denials so conflicting that he expects a complete confession in a short time.

The formal charge against her is that she murdered three husbands. Her name is Marie Krueger. She is 55 and lived at Hammer, a small town near Berlin. According to Trettin, her victims were old but wealthy men on whom she exerted a fatal fascination in spite of her age. Rendering them willing tools in her hands, she soon separated them from their relatives, induced them to change their wills in her favor, and then murdered them.

Her first victim, according to the police, was her own foster father, whom she married after the death of her foster mother. Her career, although she is, the owner of a palatial villa, has been traced by the police to the darkest recesses of the underworld. It is the study of the untrammeled play of her one dominating passion—greed.

~ On Way to Church ~

In her answers to the police she was sometimes very cynical. When she was arrested she was “on her way to church.”

Born as a “love child” she knew poverty in her youth until she was adopted by wealthy  foster parents named Deckel at Sonnenburg. When she was 18 she ran away from home and started a reckless career at Hamburg.

At Hamburg she was soon able to buy a hotel which became one of the most notorious of the busy harbor town. When her foster mother died, however, she returned home and married her foster mother. But she continued there her reckless life.

Inhabitants recall the wild orgies at her home with soldiers quartered there during the war to whom she was known as “Aunt Mary.” Her husband died within a few months and she became his sole heir.

[“Lady Bluebird Is Arrested in Murder Charge,” The Evening Independent (Massilon, Oh.), Aug. 26, 1924, p. 2]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of  2): Berlin, Oct. 4. – Marie Kruger, for two years personal housemaid of the Kaiser [William II], is under arrest charged with having murdered her three husbands and other men to whom she was at various times engaged.

Her arrest follows a sensational career since leaving the kaiser’s employ, a series of amazing adventures having been occasioned by her posing as a countess.

Frau Kruger, from her experiences at Berlin and Potsdam, was familiar with all the nobility of Prussia, and it was an easy matter for her to ape their manners and customs. She was known to have carried her pose successfully in Austria, Switzerland and other countries.

When her desire for a roving life left her she bought a small hotel in Hamburg but fell afoul of the police and was forced to serve a term in jail.

It was upon her release she began her hectic matrimonial experiences. The first man to whom she was engaged died a few days before the wedding. Soon after his death, she married a wealthy man of advanced age.

Police have learned that Frau Kruger attempted to kill her husband by hiring a young man to overturn a boat in which they were riding, but the young man refused, and the husband escaped his fate only to die by poison shortly afterwards.

The woman also used poison to kill her second husband.

A first attempt failed and Frau Kruger, believed to have a religious mania, is known to have paid a woman to “pray for his death.”

The prayers or a stronger potion were successful.

Herr Kruger, the third husband, was murdered by having his throat cut by a razor.

[E. A. Mathis, “Kaiser’s Former Housemaid Arrested; Charge Her With Murder Of Three Husbands,” syndicated (UP), The Pittsburgh Press (Pa.), Oct. 5, 1924, Additional Classified Section, p. 3]


For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.



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