We all know that serial killers are bad people, but little do we know that they are highly-intelligent and uniquely functional beings. In fact, some of them are great artists too!
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Johann “Jack” Unterweger was a valued television host, journalist, and writer, but in the dark, he was a ruthless killer who killed at least 10 women in Vienna and several other countries, making him one of the most ruthless serial killers of his time.
Dubbed as the “Poet of Death” and the “Vienna Ripper,” his impeccable writing abilities and personable nature allured several people into supporting him, even after he was a convicted murderer.
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Netflix’s latest true-crime docu-series “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” delves into the Cecil’s unsettling and dark history of serial killers, including Jack Unterweger, who resided in the hotel during the summer of 1991. If Netflix’s Cecil docu-series is the first time you have heard about the notorious serial killer Unterweger, then you know nothing!
Here are 5 shocking facts about Jack Unterweger and his grisly murders and crimes:
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His mother may have been a sex worker
Tell us at least one serial killer who hadn’t have any mommy issues!
Born in August 16, 1950 in Steiermark and died on 29 June 1994 in Graz, Johann “Jack” Unterweger was a product of a one night stand between his teenage mother Theresia, and his father, who was an American soldier. Theresia got pregnant after visiting the unknown American soldier in Trieste, Italy. His father neither met him nor got involved in his life.
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The serial killer was guilty of nine murders.
Unterweger claimed that his mother was a sex worker, but other reports suggested that she was only a bartender and a waitress who had a history of frequent conflicts with police officers. In fact, his mother was serving jail time for fraud while she was pregnant with him. He also claimed that his aunt was also a prostitute who was killed by her customer. According to him, her death had a significant impact on his life.
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Jack Unterweger was raised by his alcoholic grandfather
Obviously, his mother wasn’t emotionally and physically fit to raise a minor, so she sent him to live with his maternal grandfather. Unterweger claimed that his grandfather was a violent alcoholic, who used to abuse him while being drunk. A troublesome childhood drove him to crimes from a very young age.
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He mostly targeted sex workers and killed at least 10 Viennese prostitutes
Unterweger was convicted of killing at least 10 women in Vienna and abroad. Most of his victims were prostitutes whom he would pick from red light districts, drive to the woods, and dump in remote areas after strangling to death with their own bra straps.
All his life he had been hostile towards women. In fact, some of his female colleagues said that he used to “hate women” and were confused why so many women still supported him.
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This sentiment of hatred against women might come from his rough history with his mother, who he believed was a sex worker. His possible impotence also might have driven him to commit these crimes against women. After his death, a psychologist diagnosed him with narcissistic personality disorder, which was the reason behind his desire to kill.
He committed his first murder at the age of 24
Unterweger kidnapped and killed an 18-year-old named Margaret Schafer in December 1974. He asked the girl to have sex with him but she refused, which made him angrier. He stoked her with an iron bar, strangled her with her bra, and left her nude body in the woods. He then, murdered women several times later on.
During the Austrian serial killer trial, he confessed that he was picturing his mother while strangling Schafer. He tried to convince the jury that he killed her under the influence of a psychotic episode.
He killed three sex workers during his trip to California
Unterweger traveled to Los Angeles to cover a story about crimes— most particularly prostitution— in the city of angels. He checked into the infamous Cecil Hotel, known for its sordid and creepy history.
During Jack Unterweger at Cecil Hotel, Unterweger interviewed several victims of prostitution with the help of a local police officer. While covering the story, he used this opportunity to kill at least three subjects of his story, mostly sex workers, strangling them all in the same manner.
If you want to learn more about the dark history of the infamous Cecil Hotel, don’t forget to stream the latest docu-series “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” available on Netflix.
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