A German chemist, born in 1964, Weidenbroeker lived in Broichweiden, while serving his apprenticeship in nearby Aachen.
As a student, he had dressed up in his sister's clothes before assaulting elderly women and stealing their purses. Arrested, he confessed but gave no motive for his crimes, earning a sentence of two years in prison.
The verdict was under appeal -- and Helmut was still on the street -- when a two-year series of sex-murders began terrorizing the vicinity.
On May 4, 1982, 19-year-old Marta Habermann, disappeared from a bus stop in Aachen, her body discovered at another stop along the line. Found nude, she had been raped and sexually abused with a beer bottle, then stabbed 17 times in the chest and abdomen.
Eleven months later, on April 19, 1983, 16-year-old Karen Fink disappeared on her way home from school, in Wuerselen. It took a week for searchers to retrieve her body from a nearby pond, where she was dumped after being raped and beaten, strangled, stabbed nine times, her vagina torn by penetration of a foreign object.
On August 30, 1983, 18-year-old Doris Schroeder stepped off a bus in the village of Breinig and promptly vanished. Her body -- raped, stabbed 19 times, and violated with a foreign object -- was recovered from a manmade lake near the Belgian border.
The official cause of death was drowning, indicating that she was alive when thrown into the water. Elke Braun, age 17, was next, abducted from the town of Rott -- two miles from Breinig -- on June 3, 1984. Beaten, raped and stabbed, sexually abused with a foreign object, she was still alive when her attacker threw her off a 40-foot cliff, but she was killed by the fall to a stone quarry below. On March 6, 1986, 18-year-old Beate Goertz disappeared after leaving her bus in Broichweiden.
Fished out of the Rur River, near Deuren, on March 18, she had been raped and stabbed, her skull fractured by stomping, before she was drowned. Bus passengers recalled that Helmut Weidenbroeker had disembarked at the same stop on March 6, and he was pulled in for questioning, swiftly confessing to Goertz's murder.
Sentenced to life imprisonment on April 10, 1987, the defendant was charged in only one case, but authorities were satisfied of his guilt in all five, noting that the serial slayings ended abruptly with his arrest.
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia
of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans
SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: T MOTIVE:
MO: Lust murders of women
DISPOSITION: Life sentence on one
murder count, 1987.