A Serial Killer in Nazi Berlin

A Serial Killer in Nazi Berlin

The Chilling True Story of the S-Bahn Murderer

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York : Berkley Books, 2014.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780425264140
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 SEL
Characteristics: xxii, 294 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 16, 2019

Set during WW2 - This book of non-fiction tells the brutal story of a sadistic German train worker named Paul Ogorzow, who took advantage of the Berlin air raid blackouts to attack women, particularly those traveling alone from factory shifts.

By December of 1940 he had graduated to rape and murder. Such crimes were, among other things, highly corrosive to wartime morale, and the Nazi command wanted them stopped quickly and quietly. This was the mission of Police Commissioner, Wilhelm Ludtke and his men.

For the most part - This book is a worthwhile read.

Jul 14, 2019

As if there weren't enough killings going on in Europe as a direct result of WW2 being in full-swing at the time - Yet - 28-year-old Paul Ogorzow went on a 9-month murdering spree of his own in Berlin, Germany where he brutally raped and killed numerous women during routine wartime blackouts.

This in-depth criminal profile of nearly 300 pages (written by Scott Selby) gives you all of the gory, blackhearted details of Ogorzow's murderous frenzy, which also includes the grim circumstances that led to his inevitable apprehension by the police.

Oct 15, 2017

Told in a somewhat dry and uninspired fashion - This true-crime book is still a fairly interesting read when you take into account its time and place in modern-day history.

This is the true story of mild-mannered, Paul Ogorzow who was a German serial killer and rapist. He was known as "The S-Bahn Murderer". And he was eventually convicted for killing a number of women in Nazi-era Berlin between October 1940 and July 1941.

During the height of World War II - Ogorzow (28 at the time) was employed by Deutsche Reichsbahn where he worked for the S-Bahn commuter rail system in Berlin. Using the routine wartime blackouts in the city as a convenient cover - Ogorzow committed several brutally vicious attacks of rape and murder over a nine-month period.

*Note* - This book also contains a 16-page photo gallery.

Nov 16, 2016

I agree with other reviewers that the writing style is a bit dry, but the info about practicalities of life for Berlin's residents during wartime was really interesting and not found elsewhere. Of particular curiosity is the paradox that the Nazis were killing, oh, millions of people at that moment yet had a hard time finding one murderer in plain sight. It's a bit grisly, but if you have been or plan to be in Berlin you will probably find it quite intriguing.

Oct 04, 2016

Good, but not great. While I found the sections dealing with press restrictions imposed by Nazi Germany that severely hindered police from arresting this serial killer, I wish more could have been devoted to the killer himself. Granted, information about him may be tough to come by, so the author relies of contemporary sources like John Douglas in attempting to put together this puzzle.

Jul 23, 2016

Not written as a police or mystery novel, this book is rather a dull display of repeated actions: Train-Woman-Attack-Kicked out of the Train. Again, again and again. Really dull repetitions. The sameness throughout the book. There should have been more insight from the murderer, like going inside is head while doing these acts. So, not very well written. More 'spice' or 'drama' should have been incorporated. Good idea poorly executed.

Jun 04, 2014

I have always been interested in stories about criminals who take advantage of exceptional circumstances to further their own ends, such as Erik Larson's excellent book Devil in the white city. The subject of this book, about a killer who used his position as a railway worker to attack women returning from their factory jobs, is quite interesting and the details of life in Berlin during the war are fascinating. However I found this author's writing style to be difficult to read. The writing is stilted and the tone quite pedantic. In the end, I found the writing so annoying that I gave up on the book.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at TSCPL

To Top