The Most Mysterious Serial Killer Story: The Phantom Of Heilbronn


History has witnessed many serial killers and murder stories. Each serial killer story has its own unique aspects, but the story of the Heilbronn Ghost is much more amazing.

Let's get into the details of this long-running story that will make you say "if this was a movie, it would become one of the legends."


The serial killer "Heilbronn Ghost," the main hero of our story, is also known as "The Woman Without a Face."

Obviously, she has pretty cool nicknames. There is a very important situation that brings this killer a few steps ahead of all other serial killers: she gets involved in all kinds of suicide for years without any interruption.

Here we are talking about a full 16-year process and a wide range of crimes ranging from murder to robbery.

Moreover, it's not limited to this, the killer doesn't do all these in one country: Traces are found from many crimes in Austria, France, and Germany.

In other words, we have a serial killer who can't be caught for years, who is guilty of all kinds of crimes, traveling around the world. Imagine the horror she created.

Let's start with the details of the story: The first traces of the killer were found in 2001.

First, in Germany in May 1993, a 62-year-old woman was drowned and killed. After this murder, a long period of investigation into the killer is being launched; But no results are obtained and the case is closed. When it comes to 2001, DNA samples from a 61-year-old man who was strangled and murdered in Germany's city of Freiburg are compared with DNA samples on objects taken from the murder scene 8 years ago because of similarities. When the DNA is found to be similar, the cops understand that there is a murderer who has been around for 8 years.

Also in the same year, it was discovered that the DNA samples collected after a robbery were mingled with the killer. At the same time, a syringe containing heroin was found in a garbage container in that area; It appeared that the traces on it belonged to the murderer . After all this evidence, police officers understood that they were facing a criminal who had a drug problem, theft, and infectious disease, and killed older people.

During the follow-up period, the evidence about the ghost story continues to grow.

On a toy gun used in a robbery in 2004, traces of the killer were found on a stone that was used to break the glass during a robbery in 2006, and again on the glass of a dentist who was robbed in 2006. 

The case was not limited to that, between 2003 and 2007, the DNA traces of the ghost were being discovered in the case of exactly 20 car thefts. The police thought that the criminal went from killing people to robbery and then she started stealing cars. When things got really serious, many criminal profiling professionals across Europe had to try to find the criminal with exactly 16,000 hours of extra work.

In 2007-2008, ''the woman without a face" crime trend is once again changing.

During 2007 and 2008, the Phantom’s Modus Operandi changed once again. The Phantom’s DNA was found on the scene of a burglarized swimming pool and at four different home invasion scenes in Riol, Germany. When a woman was violently accosted and robbed at a club house in Germany, the tide appeared to be turning violent once again. That year, the Phantom of Heilbronn’s DNA was found in the car of a nurse who was found dead near her home in Weinsberg, on handcuffs of a 22-year-old murdered German police officer, and on a car used to transport the bodies of three dead Georgians near Heppenheim, Germany.

A 16-year process, more than 40 crimes, 6 murders ... No trace other than DNA traces!

Curiously, witnesses to the crimes sometimes said she looked like a man.  Newspapers across the area called her “the most mysterious serial killer of the past century” and authorities scratched their heads – how could a single woman commit so many crimes, using various methods of operation, and always manage to leave DNA evidence behind?

A special task force was formed in January 2009 in an effort to capture the clever criminal whose varying methods of operation greatly concerned, and confused the authorities. Three months later the task force was quickly shut down amongst a sea of red-faced policemen.

And after all this dark process, we come back to a surprising resolution of the incident.

In March of that year, police sought a DNA profile for an unidentified man that had died in a fire in France. To the police’s surprise, the profile returned was that of a female. They immediately suspected that the equipment used to gather the DNA evidence had somehow been contaminated and retested with a different swab.  This time the results were as expected – the burned corpse was indeed a man.  Could the Phantom of Heilbronn be just that – a ghost that existed only in the minds of the police?

I don't know if it hit you yet, but if it hasn't, let me tell you more!

After the embarrassing DNA-testing fiasco, an in-depth investigation of the equipment revealed that the Greiner Bio-One cotton swabs used to collect DNA had been contaminated accidentally by a single woman working at a cotton swab factory in Austria. The factory explained that although sterile, the cotton swabs are not certified for human DNA collection (sterilization kills bacteria and viruses but does not destroy DNA).  Newspapers asked, “Are the heads of our police stuffed with cotton wool?”  and the Phantom gained legendary status as the most embarrassing lapse in German DNA analysis to date.

So in summary; It is understood that all of these sticks were contaminated with the DNA of the woman.

Because the company sent them to many different police stations, it explains why the same traces were found in different countries. In summary, all the labor given for tens of thousands of hours of extra work for 40 different cases taking years is wasted as it is understood that the ghost killer is indeed a dream.

Thus, one of the most interesting criminals that history has ever seen "The Woman Who Does not Face" that does not even exist gets her name written in history.

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