When Hans Schmidt was a child in Bavaria, other kids played sports, but he liked going to the slaughterhouse to watch animals being killed. “Ich seh gern blut!” he’d say (“I like to watch the blood”). The blood excited him—sexually excited him, noted his doctor. He also took to killing animals himself and carrying their heads in his pocket.
Then he decided to become a priest. This didn’t quite turn his life around, and he ended up committing all kinds of offenses, both heretical and sexual, till no parish would accept him. So in 1909, he moved from Germany to America. There, he started counterfeiting ten dollar bills, which was absolutely the mildest of his crimes.
He also pursued his housekeeper Anna. She wasn’t into it at first, but they started an affair and then got married. Sort of got married. As a Catholic priest, Hans wasn’t able to get married legitimately, but he showed her a marriage certificate that he forged and he performed a wedding ceremony for the two of them himself.
Then one day, while the two had sex on the steps of the church’s altar (he’d later tell prosecutors), Hans received a message from a God telling him to sacrifice Anna. He told her about this, which is the sort of thing in a relationship that counts as a red flag. But she stuck with him, became pregnant, and then Hans followed through on his vision and murdered her. He cut her throat open and drank her blood.
He pleaded insanity at his eventual trial, but the court concluded that he was faking it. When they sentenced him to death, he said, “I’m satisfied with the verdict. I would rather die today than tomorrow.”