Peter Kurten and 12 of his other siblings were born into poverty in Mülheim am Rhein, Germany and raised by alcoholic parents. His abusive father forced his surviving children to collectively witness him having sex with their mother and was later jailed of having incest with his oldest daughter.
At 5, Kurten already attempted to drown a playmate (and later on successfully drown two others his age). At 9, he would join his dog-catcher neighbor to assist him in torturing and killing animals, then later run away from home to assimilate with the city’s social misfits and deviants. His formative years consisted of bestiality, breaking and entering, theft, and other petty crimes; even achieving the height of climax right after killing animals for the best effect. It was one month after having a relationship with a sexually-submissive prostitute that he would be first arrested.
Through time served for fraud and attempted murder, his condition became even worse when he deserted his own army draft and began committing arson on top of many burglaries, resulting in more time spent in military jail. After release, Kurten would then commit many stabbings, slashings, rapes, hammerings, and burning of his victims, climaxing again to the sight of blood and fire. He would even suck the blood from his victims, earning the reputation as The Vampire Of Dusseldorf. After many anonymous letters to the precinct (from himself) and confessing to his wife, Kurten was finally arrested and put on trial for his killings.
He was handed the death penalty for nine killings and seven attempted murders which he accepted total responsibility for with no remorse or excuses in doing so; a sadist who lashed out against society for being mistreated, neglected, and consistently being punished of his crimes for the end result of sexual gratification. He was finally executed on July 2, 1931 by guillotine, not before he asked the psychiatrist if he’d hear the sounds of his own blood gushing out of his neck, “the pleasure to end all pleasures.”
No wonder that knowing Whitehouse, who always sought to push the envelope of noise and subject matter, chose to dedicate their fourth record to a serial killer. Peter Kurten’s likeness would be found on various early Come Organisation releases as its’ label sleeve, made all the more terrifying with its’ coarse, grainy nature and his violent, heartless, unforgiving lore.