A native of Vienna, born October 2, 1889, Menarik immigrated to New York in 1914, obtaining a job at the German Odd Fellows Home, in Yonkers, during July of that year. Using the name "Frederick Mors," Menarik worked for six months at the home, arousing no suspicions as he went about his duties.
Patients came and went throughout his tenure, several leaving in a hearse, but they were old and no one gave a second thought to their demise before the early days of February 1915.
On the afternoon of February 2, "Mors" presented himself at the district attorney's office, dressed in a corduroy hunting outfit, complete with knee-pants and a feathered alpine cap. Approaching the desk sergeant, Menarik confessed to the murders of eight "superannuated octogenarians," killed in order to "make room for more inmates" at the home. A phone call confirmed the eight deaths - all listed as natural - and Menarik was taken into custody. In jail, Menarik's story underwent a sudden shift.
The homicides had not been his idea, he now proclaimed, but rather had been ordered by officials at the home, who described the elderly victims as "a lot of trouble and no good anyhow."
On February 5, the home's superintendent and three more employees were clapped into jail as material witnesses, with the Odd Fellows lodge refusing to muster their bail.
Although authorities refused to order exhumation of remains, investigation seemed to bear out Carl Menarik's tale of inmates killed with chloroform and arsenic.
Menarik had warned patient Elizabeth Houser of her impending death a day in advance, and a mortician recalled red markings - similar to chloroform burns on the face of alleged victim Henry Horn.
A teenage inmate of the home informed police about an errand she had run on January 4, delivering a bottle of chloroform from employee Max Ring - jailed as a material witness - to "Mors," in the room occupied by patient Ferdinand Scholz. Scholz had died the same day, and other inmates suspected "Mors" of sabotaging the painter's scaffold that dropped Jacob Groh to his death on December 14.
The list went on, but prosecution was deferred in favor of a psychiatric test. Described as "not well mentally," Menarik was committed to Poughkeepsie's Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane. His employer and co-workers were released, the case dismissed with a host of questions still unanswered.
On May 10, 1916 - a week before his scheduled deportation to Austria - Menarik escaped from the hospital in Poughkeepsie and disappeared. He was never recaptured, but authorities took the loss in stride, announcing that the fugitive was "not considered dangerous."
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia
of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans
Frederick Mors was an Austrian serial killer
who, while employed in a nursing home in New York City, killed seventeen
elderly patients by poisoning. When questioned by police he was very
cooperative, readily admitting to the murders. After being arrested,
Mors was diagnosed as a megalomaniac and committed to an insane asylum
from which he later escaped.
Mors immigrated to New York City from his native
Austria-Hungary in June 1914. Being from German-speaking Vienna, he was
soon able to gain employment at the German Odd Fellows Home, a kind of
nursing home, located in the Bronx.
Soon after he began work there, he exhibited signs of
megalomania. He would wear white lab coats with a stethoscope around his
neck. He also adopted an arrogant attitude and would insist that the
elderly patients, whom he terrified, address him as "Herr Doktor."
Inexplicably, though he terrified the older patients, younger patients
and visitors seemed to like him and enjoy his company.
In a four month period from September 1914 to January
of the following year, an unusually high number of patients died at the
Home. In all seventeen died. Mors had been purchasing pharmacy items
from a local druggist, including arsenic and chloroform, which he had
been using to murder at least eight of the elderly residents, though he
later claimed he was "putting them out of their misery".
He commissioned his first murder using arsenic.
Encountering difficulties with this method he later switched to the use
of chloroform. Fearing foul play, the administration called the police
in to investigate.
Early in the investigation, police learned of the
fear the elderly patients had for Mors. On these grounds he soon became
the primary suspect of the investigation. When questioned, Mors readily
and calmly admitted to killing eight of the seventeen patients that had
He claimed that these were mercy killings and that
they had been nuisances. In detail, he described his method as:
"First I would pour a drop or two of chloroform on
a piece of absorbent cotton and hold it to the nostrils of the old
person. Soon my man would swoon. Then I would close the orifices of
the body with cotton, stuffing it in the ears, nostrils and so on.
Next I would pour a little chloroform down the throat and prevent the
fumes escaping the same way."
Mors was found to be criminally insane and was
committed to the Matteawan Institution for the Insane. He later escaped
the institution in the late 1920s. He was never caught and disappeared
into obscurity, never being heard from again.
Born Carl Menarik in 1889, Frederick Mors
emmigrated to the United States from his native Austria in 1914 and soon
found work at the German Old Fellows Home in the Bronx. Mors bordered on
delusional, falsely claiming to be a legendary hunter and at the same
time ruling the home with a heavy hand and forcing patients to refer to
him as "doctor", though he was not and in fact wasn't even an
important man there, holding down a fairly routine position.
Mors may have began killing very soon
after he began working at the home, but nothing was suspected until
January 1915. The clearly disturbed Mors was immediately suspected in
the deaths of the elderly patient's deaths and under direct questioning
admitted his guilt without hesitation. He had perfected a method of
chloroform poisoning after having troubles with his first victim, who he
had killed with arsenic.
Mors claimed he was only putting the old
people out of their misery and making room in the crowded home. He was
found criminally insane and placed in a mental hospital though he had
murdered as many as seventeen people. Mors was to be deported back to
Austria at one point but escaped the hospital first and was never heard
(1914-1916) was an immigrant from Vienna to the U.S. who worked in
nursing homes for the elderly. He liked to dress up in a white uniform
with a stethoscope around his neck and have the patients call him "Herr
Doktor". He was responsible for killing 8 patients by chloroform
suffocation. He was eventually caught in the act, and certified
criminally insane, but he escaped from the mental institution and was
never heard from again.
SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: S MOTIVE:
MO: Austrian immigrant, poisoned
patients at rest home where he
DISPOSITION: Confined to asylum, 1915;
escaped 1916; never found.