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A.K.A.: "
The Beast of the Black Forest"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Serial rapist (31) - Necrophilia - Robberies
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: February 26-June 9, 1959
Date of arrest: June 10, 1959
Date of birth: July 6, 1937
Victims profile: Hilde Conther, 49 / Karin Wädle, 18 / Dagmar Klimek, 21 / Rita Waltersbacher, 16
Method of murder: Beating with a rock - Stabbing with knife
Location: Germany
Status: Sentenced to six life terms with 140-year minimum on October 22, 1960. Died in prison December 27, 2008

photo gallery


A loner since he was a child growing up in the German village of Bentwich, Heinrich Pommerencke started his life of sexual assaults early in life. He claimed to have his first sexual encounter at the age of ten, while also stating that, "When I was a boy I never had a friend in the world."

Continuously obsessed with sex, his frustration finally got to him by the time he reached fifteen, when he started hanging outside the local dance halls propositioning young girls as they left. If they objected, and they usually did because of his blunt, crude manner, he would follow them and attack when they were in a secluded area, raping and beating them. He managed to put together a string of rapes and assaults in the town of Mecklenburg, as well as a vicious string of robberies and rapes in Hamburg, but police never had a clue who the perpetrator was, except for a single charge of attempted.

In 1953, he took off for Switzerland because of the rape charge pending against him, only to be imprisoned there for yet another rape charge. For the rest of the 1950's, Pommerencke spent time in and out of prison for numerous charges, such as assault, robbery and more rape. Still a loner, he was now roaming around committing crimes as he went along, getting charged with criminal activities not only in Germany and Switzerland, but in Austria as well, where he assaulted two English women.

Back in Germany the following year, Pommerencke attacked and raped student Dagmar Klinek as she slept in an empty railway carriage. When she began to resist, he pushed her out of the moving train. Not finished yet, he then pulled the emergency stop cord, and leapt off to run back and continue the assault. Finding her battered and bruised body, he raped her, before stabbing her repeatedly in the back, killing her.

According to one account of his crimes, Pommerencke was driven to murder after watching, of all things, the movie "Ten Commandments", where he later told police, "I saw women dancing around the golden calf and I thought they were a fickle lot. I knew I would have to kill." Although he was clearly on the road to a criminal career, it wasn't until now that he killed his victims.

Upon leaving the theatre after seeing the movie, he purchased a razor and walked around until he spotted a young women. He followed her until they were on a secluded street, and he attacked. Luckily for the girl, a taxi drove by, and Pommerencke took off into the night. But it wasn't long before he found another girl, this time knocking her down and dragging her to a nearby park where he raped and killed her, slitting her throat.

Over the next few months Pommerencke killed, or attempted to kill over a dozen women, with authorities scrambling to catch "the beast". Then in 1960, Pommerencke was passing through the town of Hornberg, where he had previously placed an order with a local tailor for a new suit. When he returned to pick it up, he decided to wear the new cloths, leaving the old suit behind, along with a suitcase. The tailor immediately noticed that there was a sawed off shotgun if the case, and contacted the police for fear that the young drifter may return and rob him.

Police were able to link the gun to a string of robberies in the area, but they had a hunch he was more than just a common thief. When they took him into the station, they first had him confess to the robberies that were linked to the weapon, but then they tricked him into thinking that they found and matched blood from his old suit to one of the "Black Forest" murders. Thinking that he was done, Pommerencke confessed to ten rape-murders, as well as numerous robberies and other felony charges.

At his trial, Pommerencke, now 23 years of age, was convicted of four of the murders, as well as twelve attempted murders, and twenty one rapes, and he was sentenced to a minimum of six life yerms and 140 years in prison, leading one state prosecutor to say, "Human language is inadequate to describe the horror and misery that Pommerencke had brought to so many people."



"I saw women dancing around the golden calf and I thought they were a fickle lot. I knew I would have to kill."

Pommerencke on the film The Ten Commandments

BORN : 1937

DIED : ???? (I think he's still kicking)

VICTIMS : 4 rape/murders, 12 attempted rape/murders

"When I was a boy I never had a friend in the world."

I wonder why?

When 22-year-old Pommerencke seen Cecil B. deMille's The ten commandments he knew what he had to do - KILL. Up until that time he had been content with assaults on females, a couple of attempted rapes and a robbery or ten. But this was it, he'd found his calling. The Bitches Must Die. After viewing the biblical film he went out and bought himself a razor. He then stalked the streets until he found himself a nice little victim. Unfortunately he was interrupted mid-rape by a taxi and had to flee. This turned out to be bad news for a poor young lady in the next street. He beat her, dragged her to the nearest park, raped her, then slit her throat.

From this point on Pommerencke centred all his attacks on the nearby Black Forest area, and eventually earned the nickname 'The Beast in the Black Forest'.

For the next few months Pommerencke continued on his merry way, brutally raping, sometimes killing, young women.

In the Summer of 1960 Pommerencke picked up a new suit he had ordered. He chose to wear this suit when leaving the shop and left behind an old bag. Inside the bag was a sawn-off rifle. It seems the rifle had been used by Pommerencke not long before to hold up a railway station the day before. Pommerencke was arrested the next day.

He admitted to the robbery, and three others, but denied the murders. Unfortunately for him he was also a dickhead. The cops told him they had bloodstains from one of his victims on his old suit, so he confessed all. It turned out they were bullshitting, but it was too late for Pommerencke. He was convicted of 4 murders and 12 attempted murders. I think he still serving out his 140 year sentence.

Other suspected crimes of Pommerencke's include 6 other murders.

"Human languageis inadequate to describe the horror and misery Pommerencke had bought to so many people."

or so the state prosecutor says.

The Wacky World of Murder


Pommerenke, Heinrich

Dubbed "the Beast of the Black Forest" by sensational journalists, Pommerenke was born at Mecklenburg in West Germany, in the village of Bentwich, near Rostock. 

Driven by violent sexual appetites and frustrated by his own introversion, he boasted of seducing his first girl at age ten. By fifteen, he was waiting outside local dance halls, knocking girls down and attempting to rape them before he was driven away by their screams. Fearing prosecution on a sex charge, he fled from Germany to Switzerland in 1953, but was deported after serving time in a Swiss jail. 

From 1955 to 1957, he lived in Hamburg, committing at least seven rapes before he was jailed on a robbery charge. A year later, in Austria, he assaulted two English tourists, but the women were saved when bystanders intervened. 

Pommerenke killed his first woman in the spring of 1959, after sitting through a screening of The Ten Commandments. Disgusted by scenes of women dancing around the golden calf, he decided that females were the root of all worldly evil. Exiting the theater intent on "teaching them a lesson," he met 18-year-old Hilde Knothe in a nearby park, raped her there, and finished his lesson by slashing her throat with a razor.

On June 1, 1959, Pommerenke assaulted 21-year-old Dagmar Klimek on a German train, pushing her off and leaping after her, stabbing his victim to death as she lay beside the tracks. A week later, he strangled 16-year-old Rita Waltersbacher, afterward raping the body. While sex remained the root of his problem, Pommerenke also dabbled in other crimes, including burglary and robbery, with the latter leading to his ultimate arrest.

In the summer of 1960, he accidentally left a parcel containing his pistol at a local tailor's shop, and the gun was delivered to police, who matched it with the bullets fired in a recent bank robbery. 

On arrest, Pommerenke was charged with ten sex murders, 20 rapes, and 35 other felonies, all of which he freely confessed. According to his testimony, racy films made Heinrich feel so tense that he "had to do something to a woman." He had initially intended killing seven, but the game got out of hand and he could not restrain himself. 

On October 22, 1960, he drew six life terms in prison, amounting to a minimum term of 140 years behind bars.

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


Pommerenke, Heinrich

(1937- )

AKA: Beast of the Black Forest


DATE(S): 1959-60

VENUE: Germany

VICTIMS: 10 confessed

MO: Religious fanatic rape-slayer of women

DISPOSITION: Six life terms with 140-year minimum, 1960.



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