Case 197

The Austrian Ripper

In 1974, a young woman named Margaret Schafer disappeared from her hometown of Ewersbach, Germany. She was taken to deserted woodlands and strangled to death. It wasn’t long before a suspect was apprehended and the young man, Jack Unterweger, was found guilty of her murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

After Margaret’s murder, eleven further strangulation deaths occurred in Los Angeles, Prague and in two Austrian towns – Vienna and Graz. Investigators were flummoxed as the murders that spanned three different countries seemed linked. All victims had ties to the sex work industry, were dumped in woodlands or in water and all had been strangled by their undergarments, which had been tied in a complex series of unique knots. It wasn’t until a phone call to authorities from a retired police investigator who remembered a drowning murder in 1973 in Salzburg, Austria that the case began to come together. And amongst it all was a beloved Austrian journalist and writer.

CREDITS

 

Casefile Presents

 

EPISODE:

Research & writing – Jessica Forsayeth

Editing – Erin Munro

Creative direction – Milly Raso

Narration – Anonymous Host

 

MUSIC:

‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro – www.dl-sounds.com

Audio production – Mike Migas 

Scoring – Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn

 

OTHER:

Logo and website design – Paulina Szymanska

RESOURCES

 

WEBSITES

Jack Unterweger: Poet of Death

 

NEWS ARTICLES

Killer Prose – The Washington Post

Murderer’s ‘final freedom’: the bizarre life of Jack Unterweger, poet and killer of prostitutes, ends at his own hand – Independent

The deadly hunt for a malevolent poet – Muncie Evening Press

Famed prison writer on trial for murders – Associated Press

Austrian slayer of L.A. prostitutes kills himself – The LA Times

‘Austrian Ripper’ confounds police – Associated Press

International killer or reformed convict? – Associated Press

John Malkovich brings serial killer Jack Unterweger back to life on Vienna stage – The Guardian

 

INTERNET ARTICLES

Killer Abroad – The FBI Files

Jack Unterweger – A&E/Biography Channel

 

BOOKS

Entering Hades: The Double Life of a Serial Killer – John Leake

 

 

 

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