Little is known about Großmann's early life, except that he was born on December 13, 1863, at Neuruppin, Germany, had sadistic sexual tastes, and was convicted several times for molesting children. During World War I, he began selling meat in the black market and also founded a hot dog stand at a trains station located near his home; it is presumed that the meat that he sold came from the remains of his victims. For reasons unknown, he began killing women in Berlin. On August 21, 1921, when he was in his early fifties, Großmann was arrested at his apartment in Berlin after neighbors began hearing screams and banging noises, which was then followed by silence. Investigating officers burst into an apartment that Großmann, where they discovered the body of a young woman who had recently been murdered on the bed. He was later taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder. In addition to the body of his final victim, bloodstains were discovered in the apartment, which indicated that at least three other victims had been butchered in the few weeks leading up to his arrest. After a trial, Großmann was convicted of murder, with the intention of being sentenced to death, but before the sentence could be issued, he hanged himself in his cell. He was 58 at the time of his death. To date (February 2014), the final body count of Großmann remains unknown, although many agree on a minimum of 26 victims. However, there were some suggestions that as many as 50 women were murdered by him, then dismembered and consumed by unwitting customers of Großmann's meat business.
Not much is known about Großmann's murders, since there are very few details. What is known is that he targeted "destitute-looking young women", all of whom were killed by unknown causes. He would then dismember the bodies afterwards, scavenge on the meat, and allegedly throw the bones and other inedible parts into a local river.
- Unspecified dates: Numerous unnamed children (all molested only)
- Unspecified dates: At least twenty-six unnamed victims
- August 21, 1921: Unnamed victim
- Großmann is similar to Fritz Haarmann, a.k.a. The Butcher of Hanover - Both were German pedophiles-turned-serial killers who were alleged to have dismembered their victims post-mortem and selling their flesh as pork, and also disposed of the remains of their victims by throwing them into local rivers.
- He also bares similarities to Karl Denke, a.k.a. The Cannibal of Ziebice - Both were German serial killers who killed dozens of victims and hung themselves in their cells before they could be properly convicted.
On Criminal Minds
Though Großmann has yet to be directly mentioned or referenced on the show: he appears to have been an inspiration for the following unsubs:
- Floyd Feylinn Ferell in Seasons Three and Thirteen - Both were cannibalistic serial killers who dismembered their victims post-mortem and sold them as meat to unsuspecting customers.
- Wallace Hines in Season Nine - Both were serial killers who fed their victims to unsuspecting customers.