Operating like a sort of American Henri Landru, the Frenchman who seduced and killed women for their money, Johann Hoch, 44, abandoned his wife and family in Germany and scoured the US looking for German women to marry and con out of their money.

His technique was to poison his victims with arsenic, then remove their body organs before they were buried, so that if they were exhumed there would be no arsenic visible. He failed to remove all the poison traces, however, from the corpse of Marie Walcker, his last victim, who he killed in December, 1904, before “marrying” her sister.

When he was arrested it was estimated that he might have murdered more than a dozen women across the US. He was sentenced to die for the murder of Marie Walcker and hanged at Cook County Prison, Illinois, on Friday, February 23rd, 1906.