A man who admitted to killing at least 60 women may walk out free from prison later this year in Gdansk, Poland.
Leszek Pekalski, 51, dubbed the “Vampire of Bytow,” allegedly killed 17 women from 1984 to 1992. A court convicted him for killing a 17-year-old girl in 1992 but failed to convict him in others, citing lack of evidence.
In 1996, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Provincial Court in the northern city of Slupsk issued the verdict in the case after an eight-month trial.
A court is set to decide Pakalski’s fate later this month as he will complete his jail term of 25 years this year. The court can set him free or put him in a psychiatric ward for the rest of his life. The convict has spent his jail term in a psychiatric ward.
However, this is not the first time he is serving prison time. In 1992, he was jailed for two years for raping a 40-year-old woman. He was later accused of 20 crimes, including 17 murders.
The Polish media refers to him as one of the deadliest serial killers in the country.
Ahead of the upcoming ruling, the convict made an appearance covering his face with a black hat and his handcuffed hands.
According to prosecutors, Pekalski strangled, knifed, bludgeoned or kicked his victims to death and then raped them. As an investigation was underway, he admitted to killing 60 women but later accused the police of forcing him to confess.
At the opening of his trial in April, he again admitted to killing 14 women but later backed away from his own words and pleaded innocent.
“I'm a gullible man, and I was easily persuaded by what the officers had told me. I'm mentally weak, and if somebody pushes me, I break down. Then I admit to things I have never done,” he reportedly told the judge at the time," Pekalski said.
He further added, “I have never killed anyone. I'm so scared. The prosecutor threatened that the victims' families or the public would kill me if I'm acquitted or get a mild sentence. He yelled at me and told me to confess everything.”
The court then ordered Pekalski to serve his prison time in a psychiatric ward.
Now, a regional court will decide on June 17 if he will be released from prison or not after hearing from psychiatric experts and reviewing observation documents.
However, if the court decides to further imprison him, Pekalski would be put into the Center for the Prevention of Dangerous Behavior in Gostynin, Poland. The ruling would mean that he shows signs of impairments or personality disorders and needs therapy.
His release should not be allowed if this killer is still considered so dangerous. The chance of him killing again must surely be high?— Douglas (@DadTiagol) June 7, 2017
No, no no!!! He should be prison for life- Life means Life!! Or even better to feed him to animals alive!!!— Artbee (@2artbee) June 7, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters