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Jack Unterweger – Poet of Death

Jack Unterweger was Austria’s most prominent serial killer who, while serving prison time for his first murder, wrote poetry, a novel and an autobiography. He received success and celebrity from his writing and was eventually given parole in 1990. After he was released he continued to attack and kill prostitutes both in his home country and America. Unterweger was eventually arrested and extradited back to Austria, where he was found guilty of nine murders. A twist to the tale is that he cheated final justice in prison when he hung himself less than 24 hours after being sentenced to life for a second time.


Looking back on Unterweger’s upbringing it was not difficult for the authorities to see a connection between the man’s early environment and his possible hatred of prostitutes. The killer was actually the illegitimate product of an Austrian prostitute and, it is believed, an American soldier.


Unterweger never knew the identity of his father and for seven years as a boy lived with his alcoholic grandfather. He developed a predisposition towards crime at an early age getting arrested at just sixteen for violently assaulting a prostitute. He also acted as a pimp to a woman he forced on to the streets.

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