In July 2000, a married couple’s obsession with Satanism and vampirism led them to commit a horrific murder in Witten, Germany. This chilling case provides a sobering look into what can happen when fantasy and reality become fatally intertwined.
Daniel Rüdiger and Manuela Ruda first met through a personal ad in 2000. Drawn together by their mutual fascination with the Gothic lifestyle, the two quickly formed an intense bond. Daniel claimed he was a messenger of Satan, while Manuela said she had pledged her soul to serve the devil.
As their relationship deepened, Daniel and Manuela increasingly blurred the lines between dark fantasy and reality. They slept in a coffin, hung medieval torture devices in their home, and filed their teeth into fangs. Their macabre roleplaying escalated into digging graves to sleep in and attending blood-drinking rituals.
On June 6, 2001, Daniel and Manuela married, choosing the Satanic date of 6-6-01. To celebrate, they planned a gruesome “wedding gift” for July 6th – the sacrifice of a human to Satan. Their target was Frank Haagen, a mild-mannered 33-year-old baker and friend of Daniel’s.
On July 6th, Daniel and Manuela lured Frank to their home with the promise of a party. Instead, Daniel brutally attacked Frank with a hammer and stabbed him 66 times, while Manuela urged him on. After mutilating Frank’s corpse and consuming his blood in a depraved ritual, the newlyweds went on the run, hoping to continue their killing spree.
Three days later, police arrived at Daniel and Manuela’s home after a call from Manuela’s worried mother. Inside the darkened, blood-spattered house, they found Frank’s body rotting beneath a coffin. Daniel and Manuela were arrested shortly after in Jena, along with a chilling “hit list” of potential victims.
During their high-profile trial in 2002, Daniel and Manuela disrupted proceedings with threatening poses, devil horns, and tongue flicking. Unrepentant, they claimed they were mere instruments of Satan’s will. Ultimately found mentally incompetent, Daniel was sentenced to 15 years in a psychiatric prison, while Manuela received 13 years.
The case remains controversial due to concerns over their mental stability upon release. Daniel was freed in 2017 after serving his full sentence, while Manuela was paroled in 2015. Both were granted new identities. Daniel later went back to prison for allegedly plotting to kill Manuela, showing his violent obsessions may still persist.
The shocking murder committed by Daniel and Manuela stands as a sobering reminder of the potential dangers posed when violent fantasies become inseparable from reality. The uneasy question lingers – without adequate psychiatric treatment, could this darkly obsessed couple someday resurface to reenact their macabre desires?