A Serial Killer in Nazi Berlin: The Chilling True Story of the S-Bahn Murderer [NOOK Book]


As the Nazi war machine caused death and destruction throughout Europe, one man in the Fatherland began his own reign of terror.

This is the true story of the pursuit and capture of a serial killer in the heart of the Third Reich.

For all appearances, Paul Ogorzow was a model German. An employed family man, party member, and sergeant in the infamous Brownshirts, he had ...
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A Serial Killer in Nazi Berlin: The Chilling True Story of the S-Bahn Murderer

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As the Nazi war machine caused death and destruction throughout Europe, one man in the Fatherland began his own reign of terror.

This is the true story of the pursuit and capture of a serial killer in the heart of the Third Reich.

For all appearances, Paul Ogorzow was a model German. An employed family man, party member, and sergeant in the infamous Brownshirts, he had worked his way up in the Berlin railroad from a manual laborer laying track to assistant signalman. But he also had a secret need to harass and frighten women. Then he was given a gift from the Nazi high command.

Due to Allied bombing raids, a total blackout was instituted throughout Berlin, including on the commuter trains—trains often used by women riding home alone from the factories.

Under cover of darkness and with a helpless flock of victims to choose from, Ogorzow’s depredations grew more and more horrific. He escalated from simply frightening women to physically attacking them, eventually raping and murdering them. Beginning in September 1940, he started casually tossing their bodies off the moving train. Though the Nazi party tried to censor news of the attacks, the women of Berlin soon lived in a state of constant fear.

It was up to Wilhelm Lüdtke, head of the Berlin police’s serious crimes division, to hunt down the madman in their midst. For the first time, the gripping full story of Ogorzow’s killing spree and Lüdtke’s relentless pursuit is told in dramatic detail.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Scott Selby’s recreation of the hunt for the wartime S-Bahn Murderer meticulously recreates one of the most horrific but fascinating murder investigations of twentieth century Germany.”—Paul French, Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China

“[A] gripping true account of a World War II serial killer. Onboard an electrified speeding train in Nazi Berlin, Scott Andrew Selby reveals an equally electrifying story of the railroad employee who could not stop murdering.”—Robert Graysmith, author of Zodiac, AutoFocus and Black Fire

“[A] darkly fascinating book... It's a story of determined detective work by a police officer with a surprisingly clear sense of justice given his surroundings. And it's a story of the ways that killers rise and fall on multiple levels, one that still resonates decades later.”—Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz-Age New York

“In a chilling, fast-paced narrative full of shocking twists, this book reveals the true story of Paul Ogorzov, the S-Bahn Killer, and his crimes in compelling detail. This is a unique and riveting historical account of a lone predator hunting in the shadows of World War II Berlin.”—Julian Rubinstein, author of Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts

“Scott Selby's true story is both intriguing and exciting - and made even more compelling because as the investigators search for a killer they are urged on by government officials committed to an official policy of mass murder.”—Howard Blum, bestselling author of American Lightning and The Floor of Heaven

Library Journal
In Berlin during World War II, nightly blackouts were necessary owing to Allied bombing raids. However, this total darkness protected criminals as well as citizens. One of the most horrifying—and most successful—of these was Paul Ogorzow, a mild-mannered railroad employee who at night became a sexual predator, raping and often murdering female factory workers who were coming home in the dark. Though he initially attacked them close to their homes, a near capture caused him to rethink his strategy, and he started to terrorize women in the cars of the S-Bahn commuter trains, taking sexual satisfaction in brutalizing them and then throwing them off the train. Selby (The Axmann Conspiracy; Flawless) follows the police investigation, noting that the police overlooked the Aryan and Nazi Party man Ogorzow, expecting a Jew or other undesirable to be the culprit. Nonetheless, the notorious case inspired Joseph Goebbels to commission a series of crime novels to inspire faith in the German police. VERDICT Information dumps about German law slow the story down, but the inherently interesting case should appeal to those who enjoy reading World War II history as well as to true-crime fans.—Deirdre Bray, Middletown P.L., OH
Kirkus Reviews
Straightforward account of the historical curiosity of a sadistic serial killer preying on women in the heart of Nazi Germany. Selby (The Axmann Conspiracy: The Nazi Plan for a Fourth Reich and How the U.S. Army Defeated It, 2012, etc.) notes that for Paul Ogorzow, an average-seeming railroad worker, "night had acquired new meaning in wartime Berlin"; with it, the entire city was his hunting ground. The historical record suggests Ogorzow was a fiend akin to Ted Bundy, a seemingly well-adjusted man (Ogorzow was married with children) secretly compelled to murder eight random women and assault others: "Giving up his attacks was not a consideration…[so] he focused on what he could do to become a better criminal." After some close calls, Ogorzow realized he could freely pursue women traveling on the blacked-out "S-Bahn" commuter line. Selby shifts perspectives between Ogorzow's grisly misdeeds--which culminated in his flinging his still-living victims from the speeding train--and the "Kripo" (criminal police) detectives, determined to catch him yet kept in check by Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels, who "wanted to project an image of Nazi Germany…as a place free from such problems as the predations of a serial killer." Old-fashioned detective work eventually snared the killer; neither Ogorzow's belated attempts to blame "a Jewish doctor" for mistreating his gonorrhea nor his request for leniency as a Nazi "Brownshirt" delayed his appointment with the guillotine. Selby creates verisimilitude by focusing on numerous details of daily life in the Third Reich, demonstrating how everything from rail travel to law enforcement was bent to the will of Hitler's henchmen. Yet, he rarely exploits the obvious historical irony of Ogorzow's small-scale evil against the grander backdrop of Berliners' complicity in conquest and genocide, only noting that some of his pursuers went on to participate in war crimes. The workmanlike telling of Ogorzow's pursuit and eventual capture lacks a certain impact, though fans of serial-killer narratives will surely be engaged.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101606391
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 226,876
  • File size: 14 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Scott Andrew Selby is the author of The Axmann Conspiracy: The Nazi Plan for a Fourth Reich and How the U.S. Army Defeated It, and coauthor of Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History. He has a law degree from Harvard Law School and a master’s degree in Human Rights and Intellectual Property from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute at Sweden’s Lund University, as well as a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies/Theories of American Culture from UC Berkeley.
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