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Home > Journals > Minerva Medicolegale > Past Issues > Minerva Medicolegale 2005 September;125(3) > Minerva Medicolegale 2005 September;125(3):153-70



A Journal on Forensic Medicine

Frequency: Quarterly

ISSN 0026-4849

Online ISSN 1827-1677


Minerva Medicolegale 2005 September;125(3):153-70


Two homosexual pedophile sadistic serial killers: Jrgen Bartsch (Germany, *1946 - Ý1976) and Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos (Colombia, *1957)

Benecke M., Rodriguez M., Zabeck A., Mätzler A.

From a criminalistic and legal perspective, we report 2 cases of homosexual pedophile serial killers who share certain characteristics. Sources are first hand accounts only: a) Meetings with Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos, and with the investigators in Colombia (in July 2002), and b) the yet unreleased original files of the trials against Jürgen Bartsch, as well as letters written by him. These resources were never used in scientific investigation and publications until now. Between 1992 and 1999, Luis Alfredo Garavito killed more than 300 children in the core age span between 8 and 13 years (as an exception, 6 to 16 years). His modus operandi remained stable. The children were tied up, tortured, raped, and killed by at least one cut in the lateral part of the neck, or by decapitation. During the killings, Garavito was drunk. During his still ongoing confessions, he directs the investigators correctly to all scenes of crime spread over large parts of Columbia. It is formally well possible that Garavito will be released out of prison within the next 10 to 20 years, i.e. even before the maximum sentence of 40 years will be over. In 1966, then 19-year old Jürgen Bartsch (1946-1976) was arrested after an unsuccessful attempt to torture, kill and dismember a young boy. Before, i.e., between 1962 and 1966, Bartsch had killed 4 young boys aged 8 to 12. He estimated to have undertaken more than 100 further homicidal attempts. The method of actual murder was beating and strangulation. He dismembered most of the bodies, pricked out the eyes, decapitated the bodies, and removed the genitals. He also tried but failed to perform anal intercourse with the victims. His actual goal was to slowly torture the final victim to death. His wish for dominance, control, and sexual gratification but also his strategies of avoiding prosecution were topics that Bartsch openly discussed. Under the influence of psychiatric consultations, Bartsch's views on his parents, as much as memories of sexual abuse performed by a teacher, changed. In a psychiatric hospital, Bartsch managed to marry a woman who had written letters to him. During a voluntary castration operation, he died due to an error in the anaesthetic procedure.

language: English


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