Tadeusz Kwaśniak (born January 24, 1951 in Lądek-Zdrój - July 24, 1991 in Poznań), known as the "Towel Strangler",[a] was a Polish pedophile and serial killer, who raped and murdered 5 boys all over Poland between April 1990 and April 1991.
|Died||July 24, 1991 (aged 40)|
|Cause of death||Suicide by hanging|
|Other names||"The Towel Strangler"|
|Criminal penalty||Died before he could be sentenced|
Span of crimes
|April 22, 1991|
He was first reprimanded for committing lecherous acts with girls,[b] spending a total of 12 years behind bars. After leaving Wronki Prison, Kwaśniak began a series of thefts, rapes and murders of young boys.
The first attempt took place on April 20, 1990 in Bytom on Budryka Street. Under the pretense that he had received an envelope from the 10-year-old victim's father, Kwaśniak managed to enter the child's apartment. There, he began to strangle the boy with a towel, but the boy pretended to be dead. After the perpetrator left the flat, the boy informed his parents about the event.
On May 7, 1990 in Radom, he robbed and murdered a 10-year-old boy. As before, he used a towel to strangle his victim.
On May 24, 1990 in Wrocław, he attempted to rob, rape and murder an 11-year-old boy. He accosted the boy on the street, and under the pretense of picking up an envelope from the victim's apartment, he managed to enter the apartment. There he explained that he was going to take revenge on his father because he got Kwaśniak fired. He raped the boy, and then began strangling him with a towel. The boy fainted, but managed to survive. The perpetrator sent a letter to the flat: "Revenge! I waited 14 years!"
On May 31, 1990, he carried out another murder in Szczecin. He strangled a 9-year-old boy with a towel, leaving a card next to the corpse which said: "Revenge, finally - Z."
On June 6, 1990, another boy was murdered in Kutno. Kwaśniak strangled him with a towel, after which he robbed the trap. After that, he wrote 'Revenge' on the bathroom mirror with lipstick.
On June 18, 1990, he robbed and then murdered a 9-year-old on Szymanowski Street in Oława. The boy was strangled with a towel, and found next to him was a card with the inscription "Finally, I made the expected revenge -B." was left.[c]
On January 3, 1991, he made a robbery on Topolowa Street in Zbąszyń. He tricked the boy into letting him into the apartment, and then stole money, a revaluation voucher and an insurance card. Thanks to the boy, a description of the perpetrator was established, which matched the descriptions made on the basis of witness testimonies from previous acts: a man aged 30-35, well-built, a height of 1,75 cm., dark hair and carrying a weapon.
On February 26, 1991, in Rataje, he robbed and murdered a 12-year-old boy. The boy was strangled with a towel. Witnesses who saw the man talking with the boy were quickly established, and it was possible to determine how the perpetrator dressed. The police action to catch the murderer had the code name of Revenge. On the basis of all data, in February 1991, it was possible to connect all murders to one man. The police in Poznań collected details from previous murders, and commissioned sexologist Lechosław Gapik to develop a psychological portrait of the perpetrator. The issue was publicized by the "997" publivision program, which reconstructed the murders and gave the perpetrator a modus operandi and portrait. Thanks to these actions, it was established that the perpetrator had accosted boys in Rataje for a few days, with whose help a facial composite was made and published on the media, as well as at bus stops and in taxis. For any help in catching the perpetrator, the Provinicial Police Chief of Poznań set a prize of 5,000,000 Polish złoty.
Despite this, on March 7, 1991 in Wrocław, Kwaśniak raped another boy. Under the pretext of giving the parents of the boy a letter from his aunt who lived abroad, he managed to enter the apartment.
On April 18, 1991, he attacked once again Sosnowiec, but his victim managed to survive.
On April 22, 1991, the police in Poznań received a signal from the headmaster of Primary School No. 6 on the Rusa Housing Estate about students who were being accosted by a suspicious man. Later, the same application was made by a woman who, during a walk around the estate, noticed that same strange man. As a result of this, the man was soon detained on one of the residential streets.
During the interrogation, the man, who turned out to be Kwaśniak, admitted to the murders in Oława, Kutno, Szczecin, Radom and Poznań, to the attempted murders in Bytom and in Wrocław, and to the rape in Sosnowiec. He also admitted to several dozen apartment thefts, including in Słupsk, Białystok, Lublin, Kraków, Częstochowa, Bydgoszcz, Szczecin and Wejherowo.
On July 24, 1991, Kwaśniak committed suicide in his prison cell, hanging himself with a bandage. In connection with his death, the investigation was discontinued. He was buried at the Miłostowo cemetery on August 1, 1991.
- "He had an easy way of establishing contact with children, an in fact with underage boys, he was an active, extremely violent homosexual with a pedophilic disorder."
- "Ahead of us was a man aged 40, whom had been imprisoned for twelve years, punished for lecherous acts with girls, then for theft, and each time he was released early for good behavior."
- After the analysis it was found that the inscription was made with the victim's hand
- Jerzy Jakubowski: Code name 'Revenge' - cruel murders of boys. epoznan.pl, November 1, 2008 [accessed on March 28, 2012]