History's most infamous werewolf, Peter Stumpf--sometimes known as Peter Stubbe or Stubb Peter--was born in the town of Bedburg, Germany, in about 1525.

According to histories of the time, a ferocious werewolf had terrorized the region until one day, a party of men set out to capture a wolf seen dragging a boy away. As they neared a thicket, they heard the boy screaming. When they investigated, they saw the wolf attacking the boy shapeshift into Peter Stumpf. Though skeptical, they took Stumpf to the authorities for questioning.

Stumpf was threatened with torture, but he startled his interrogators by immediately confessing to being a werewolf, a sorceror, a cannibal, a rapist, and an incestuous adulterer.

Stumpf spun a horrifying story for the court. He admitted practicing sorcery and necromancy and said he made a pact with the devil for the ability to change into a wolf. He said he enjoyed killing people who had angered him in some way, but his favorite victims were women and children. According to the old court records, he would "ravish them in the fields" in human form, then transform himself into a wolf to kill them.

Among Stumpf's other crimes, it was said that, in a short period of time, he killed 13 young women and devoured large portions of their bodies. He killed two pregnant women for the pleasure of eating their unborn children. He even killed his firstborn son and ate his brain.

Besides many acts of murder, Stumpf also confessed to sleeping with and impregnating his daughter. He also confessed to having sex with his sister.

At the trial, Stumpf's daughter and his mistress (believed by many to be a shapeshifting demon) were tried and condemned with him. On October 31, 1589, Stumpf was stretched on the wheel. His flesh was torn from his body in ten places by red-hot pincers. His arms and legs were severed with an axe. He was decapitated, and his body was burned.

For some time afterwards, the city of Bedburg erected a memorial of Stumpf's crimes. It consisted of a pole supporting the wheel on which the madman was broken, a plaque bearing the image of a wolf, 15 wooden portraits representing his verified victims, and, impaled at the very top, Stumpf's head.

Some research from "The Werewolf Book" by Brad Steiger, (C) 1999, Visible Ink Press, pp. 265-268.

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