Romulus Vereş (Cluj, January 23, 1929 -
Ştei, December 13, 1993) was a notorious serial killer, better known
as "the man with the hammer".
During the 1970s, he was charged with five murders
and several attempted murders, but never imprisoned on grounds of
insanity: he suffered from schizophrenia, blaming the Devil for his
actions. Instead, he was institutionalised in the Ştei psychiatric
facility in 1976, following a three year long forensic investigation
during which four thousand people were questioned.
Urban myths brought the number of victims up to two
hundred women, though the actual number was much smaller. This
confusion is probably explained by the lack of attention this case
received, despite its magnitude, in the Communist press of the time.