Author Topic: Dr. Stefan Schmitz (Edmonton & Calgary) mid 90's  (Read 4406 times)


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Dr. Stefan Schmitz (Edmonton & Calgary) mid 90's
« on: December 21, 2008, 12:17:31 AM »

'Monster in a man's body' once worked at U of A
Former Edmonton doctor known for serial attacks on prostitutes, murder of one in Germany
By Darcy HentonDecember 20, 2008
Irene Blain remembers the unique writing of the German doctor she worked with briefly at the University of Alberta dermatology clinic in the 1990s.

As a medical trancriptionist, she transcribed the treatment orders he wrote for patients, and from time to time had to talk to him about them.

"He was very particular with his writing and very neat," recalls Blain, now retired. "He was quite shy and nice looking. I remember one woman said: 'I wonder if he's married.' "

Dr. Stefan Schmitz, who was then in his early 30s, was a quiet, unassuming resident dermatologist who spent three years in Edmonton from 1990 to 1993. He lived on the south side near 107th Street and 79th Avenue, but no one there seems to remember him.

A colleague, Dr. Walter Dixon, who worked with Schmitz in the university's skin cancer research lab, described him as "absolutely normal."

That turned out not to be the case. A police psychiatrist later branded him "a monster in a man's body."

Even before he came to Edmonton, Schmitz was preying on prostitutes, nearly strangling one to death in 1988, apparently because she made a nasty remark about his sexual adequacy. Later that year he also tried to strangle a Frankfurt prostitute.

Then, three years after his return to Germany, Schmitz really snapped and killed one prostitute and attacked two others.

He picked up an 18-year-old prostitute named Zsanett Schrattenholz in Berlin on March 2, 1996, had sado-masochistic sex with her, then smothered her with a plastic bag. Her body was never found, but police found Polaroid photographs of her nude corpse crammed into a child's bath tub.

The former Edmontonian was charged with the prostitute's murder after another prostitute, who was 29, told police a customer had stabbed her, struck her in the head with a hammer and tried to strangle her with a belt.

But she put up so much of a battle -- Schmitz's defence lawyer said he had so much bruising on his face that he looked like Dracula's sister -- Schmitz ceased the attack.

After she broke his nose, he told her: "You poor thing. I cannot kill you," and drove her to a hospital. She was able to give police her attacker's licence plate number.

Police acquired a search warrant for Schmitz's home. In a cupboard they found the photos of Schrattenholz, who had been reported missing by then.

Schmitz admitted he regularly solicited prostitutes, but denied trying to kill them. He maintained the assault on the 29-year-old was an act of self-defence because she had slashed his hand with a knife.

His arrest made news in Edmonton and Calgary and police scrambled to determine if he might have been responsible for the murders of any prostitutes during his stay here.

Edmonton police eventually eliminated him as a suspect in the single prostitute murder in this city over that time.

Schmitz took the witness stand in his own defence at his trial, painting a picture over five hours of a highly volatile man barely in control of his faculties.

During his cross-examination, the mild-mannered dermatologist would explode into rage, shouting and seething at the prosecutor.

He testified he was barely getting two or three hours of sleep at night and needed to take sleeping pills to get any rest at all. He was taking 10 to 12 thyroid pills at a time, barely ate and when he did eat, he said he often vomited.

He finally admitted in court that Schrattenholz died of natural causes in his apartment and that after several days he cut her into pieces with a laser scalpel and discarded her body parts into various dumpsters around Berlin.

He said he didn't want to alert authorities of her death because it would have exposed his deviant sexual practices.

A psychiatric examiner said he suffered from a schizoid personality disorder with a "deep-seated hatred against women," but also had a high fascination with female sexuality.

The nine-month "doctor sex murder trial" made headlines in Berlin and his serial attacks on prostitutes were compared to Britain's Jack The Ripper.

Schmitz maintained his innocence throughout, telling the judge: "The prosecution wants to make me into a Ripper, but the indictment is pure falsehood."

He was convicted of murder and four counts of attempted murder on Aug. 29, 1997, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Years later, Blain still has difficulty comprehending how Schmitz fooled everyone with his double life -- treating patients by day and preying on prostitutes at night.

"It was amazing how he could function quite well doing what he was doing in the medical field and to have this whole other life. You have to have a certain amount of compassion to be a doctor, because you are going into that profession to help people -- and then to find him to be completely different in the other area is quite a shock. I didn't have much involvement with him, but it was enough to open my eyes. If it could be him, it could be anybody."


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Re: Dr. Stefan Schmitz (Edmonton & Calgary) mid 90's
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 12:19:42 AM »
I do remember hearing about this guy. He was looked at for some killings that happened around Calgary too. I do not know what if anything came about from that.