- Zdzisław Marchwicki
October 18 1927in Dąbrowa Górnicza- April 29 1977in Katowice, Poland) called the " Zagłębie vampire", was a Polish serial killer.
He was born in 1927 to a lower-class family. His father went through five marriages in which four children were born - three brothers and a sister - all of whom were later charged along with Zdzisław for criminal conspiracy, robbery and obstructing justice.
Marchwicki did all the killings in the following areas: in the neighbourhoods of
Czeladź, Będzin, and adjoining towns in Zagłębie Dąbrowskie and Upper Silesia. The murders started in 1964 and continued, with occasional breaks, until late 1970.
Having been arrested in early 1972, Marchwicki was charged with the murder of fourteen women and the attempted murder of another six, but one attempted murder charge was not proven.
After a highly publicized show trial which lasted for 10 months, Marchwicki received the death sentence in July 1975. His execution took place in 1977.
Zdzisław's brother Jan Marchwicki also received the death penalty, while his third brother Henryk was sentenced to 25 years for taking part in a conspiracy to commit murder. The half-sister, Halina, got a three-year prison sentence for receiving stolen things such as watches and pens that she knew came from Zdzisław's victims.
Criminal penalties were given out to Halina's son, also called Zdzisław, for failing to inform the police about the murder conspiracies.
In the course of the trial, and afterwards, there was much dispute whether Marchwicki was the real vampire. He did not show typical serial killer behaviour, remaining rather passive and demure during the criminal trials. While in prison waiting for the results of the appeal, he reputedly wrote a diary in which he described the killings in minute details, along with all the associated emotional ups and downs. It is firmly established today that the diary was dictated to him by police officers through a fellow prisoner. It seems barely possible that Marchwicki, who dropped out of school at an early age and had a low IQ, would write using a style that used complex sentences and included police slang terms.
One of Marchwicki's murder victims was the niece of
Edward Gierek, who was then the Upper Silesian communist party leader. However, the prosecution and the police investigators denied being pressured by political forces in the criminal prosecution of Zdzisław Marchwicki.
* [http://killer.radom.net/~sermord/zbrodnia.php?dzial=mordercy&dane=MarchwickiZdzislaw Zdzisław Marchwicki in Polish]
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