Lucian Staniak - The Red Spider



From July 1964 to January 1967 a mysterious murderer known as the Red Spider killed 6 or more girls in and around Poland.  He would send anonymous letters to newspaper editors in a poetic style warning that he was going to murder.  The letters were written in a spidery red handwriting from which he earnt his name the Red Spider.

The Red Spider would attack his young female victims by strangulation or stabbing, he would then rape the victim, and mutilate the dead body.  Sometimes he would send a letter to the police telling them where to look for the body.

The letter for his first victim was - 'There is no happiness without tears, no life without death.  Beware!  I am going to make you cry'.  After he killed 17-year-old Danka Maciejowitz on Olsztyn, north of Warsaw, a day later he sent another letter - 'I picked a juicy flower in Olsztyn and I shall do it again somewhere else, for there is no holiday without a funeral'.

The Warsaw homicide squad finally got their man when they realised the killer was travelling on trains to his murder locations.  This led them to a town south of Warsaw called Katowice where the murderer was probably living.

Because the letters were written in an art style way and red art paint was used, the police decided to check out any art club in Poland with members from Katowice.  At one art club attention was drawn to 26-year-old Lucian Staniak who lived in Katowice.   His artworks portrayed murder and when he opened up his locker to detectives they found knives and red art paint. Police had finally caught the Red Spider.

Staniak confessed to numerous murders - over 20.  He was sentenced to death for the six known murders, but was reprieved and sent to an asylum for the criminally insane.



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Modus Operandi - Serial Killers