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Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Epileptic
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: July 1907
Date of arrest: November 1907
Date of birth: 1885
Victims profile: Girls under 5 years old
Method of murder: Stabbing with scissors
Location: Berlin, Germany
Status: Confined in an asylum for the insane at Herzberge

An epileptic printer's apprentice, Paul Minow found it impossible to satisfy the demands of his mother and sister, with whom he resided in downtown Berlin. 

Together, they nagged him incessantly about his "laziness," provoking Minow to fits of rage directed at others. In July 1907, he exploded, briefly terrorizing the city with a series of attacks on young children. Selecting female victims, all below the age of five, Minow lured four into alleys and doorways, stabbing each repeatedly about the abdomen with scissors. 

Three of his victims died; a fourth survived to give police a vague description of the slayer. After one attack, a note was found nearby, pinned to the seat of a public bench with a single sharp scissor blade. It read: Away, away; in five minutes there will be a corpse. There is a child murderer in the neighborhood. Deliver this note to the police. I have killed children in Belforter, Preinzlauer, and Henserdorfer Streets. Detectives questioned twenty suspects in the case, but Minow was not among them. 

Confined to an asylum at Herzberge after the final attack, he surprised investigators in November 1907, with his detailed confessions to the crimes.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans


Jack the Ripper found in asylum; German Lunatic Confesses the Murders of Little Girls in Berlin.

Vented anger on them taunted by mother and sister with laziness, he went out and slew children.

The New York Times

November 9, 1907, Saturday

Berlin.- The series of crimes resembling the "Jack the Ripper" muders in London, only here the victims were little girls instead of women, has benn cleared up through the confession of a printer's apprentice named Paul Minow, an epileptic, 22 years of age, who was recently confined in an asylum for the insane at Herzberge.

The authorities of that institution were informed that Minow had been talking in a rambling manner of the murders. They encouraged him to talk, with the result that he freely related in an artless fashion how he had been taunted by his mother and sister with laziness, had gone out into the streets in a rage, and han vented his feelings by stabbing, without reflection, four little girls, one after the other. He them rambled about the city for a while and eventually returned home.

It does not appear whether the mother and sister of Minow were aware of what he had done, but his mind became so disordered that they sent him to the asylum a week later.

The police have confirmed the Minow's confession.

The so-called "Jack the Ripper" murders occurred in Berlin during July last almost in the centre of that city. The assassin successively enticed four girls under 5 years old into doorways and houses and stabbed them several times inthe abdomen with a sharp instrument. Three died.

Shortly after the crimes were committed a slip of paper with a death's-head sketched on it was found on a public seat near the scene. On it was written in a ramblig hand:

"Away, away; in five minutes there will be a corpse. There is a child murderer in the neighborhood. Deliver this note to the police. I have killed children in Belforter, Preinzlauer, and Hensendorfer Streets."

The note was fastened to the seat with a sharp, single scissorblade, and it was assumed that the girls were stabbed with the other half. Experts who examined the note came to the conclusion that it was written by a madman and the theory wich found the greatest favor among German medical men was that the assassin was an epileptic.

For some days after the murder children were kept indoors, while Berlin was searched for the culprit. In all about twenty persons were taking into custody, but it was not until Minow brought suspicion upon himself in the asylum that the authorities definitely established the identity of the murderer.


Minow, Paul

SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: S MOTIVE: PC-nonspecific

DATE(S): 1907

VENUE: Berlin, Germany


MO: Epileptic "ripper" of girls, all under five years old.

DISPOSITION: Confessed, Nov. 1907; sentence unknown.



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