Peter Stumpp was a German farmer, a serial killer and a cannibal, also known as the Bedburg werewolf.
He murdered 14 children and two pregnant women. He was arrested while preparing to commit another horrific crime. While trying to bite a little girl, while the latter had her neck protected by a piece of metal, Stumpp broke his teeth and the villagers caught him a little later while he was trying to flee into the forest. Legend has it that he still had his animal form shortly before his capture.
The Bedburg Werewolf
In 1589, Stumpp had one of the most sinister and most famous werewolf judgments in history. After being quartered, he admitted to practicing black magic when he was twelve. He claimed that the devil had given him a magic belt, which allowed him to transform by taking “the appearance of a greedy, very voracious and powerful wolf, with big and wide eyes, which shimmered like the fire at night, a large and wide mouth, with sharp teeth, a huge body, and powerful legs. The elimination of his belt has, he says, prompted him to return to his human form.
For twenty-five years, Stumpp had claimed to be “an insatiable blood drinker” who sated himself on the flesh of goats, lambs, and sheep, as well as those of men, women, and children. Being threatened with torture, he admitted to having killed and eaten fourteen children, two pregnant women, and their fetuses. One of the fourteen children was his own son, whose brain was devoured.
Stumpp was accused of being a periodic murderer and a cannibal, but also of having an incestuous relationship with his daughter, who was sentenced to death with him, and he added a distant relative, who was also considered incestuous according to the law. In addition to this, he admitted to having intercourse with a succubus sent to him by the devil.
His execution to the tune of his abominable crimes is one of the most brutal deaths that has taken place: he suffered the torture of the wheel. First he was skinned alive, then his limbs were broken with a mallet. He was eventually beheaded and was burned at a stake. His daughter Sybil (Beell) and his mistress Katharina were strangled and burnt with him. The sources do not reveal their crimes.
As a warning against this behavior, local authorities erected a pole with the torture wheel and the figure of a wolf above it, as well as the severed head of Stumpp. This modus operandi was intended to prevent him from resurrecting in his animal form.
Stumpp left behind a child, of whom we have no information.