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Yvan Keller


Dec 16, 2021

Yvan Keller (December 13, 1960 – September 22, 2006), nicknamed The Pillow Killer, was a Frenchserial killer. Between 1989 and 2006, he killed at least 23 people in France, Switzerland and Germany, and confessed to killing about 150. If corroborated, that would make him the most prolific French serial killer of the 20th century.[1]

French Serial killer
Yvan Keller
Born (1960-12-13)December 13, 1960

Died September 22, 2006(2006-09-22) (aged 45)

Cause of death Suicide
Other names “The Pillow Killer”
Conviction(s) Died before trial
Criminal penalty Died before trial
Victims 23–150
Span of crimes
Country France (proven)
Switzerland, Germany (confessed)
State(s) Alsace
Date apprehended
September 2006

. . . Yvan Keller . . .

Yvan Keller was born on December 13, 1960, in Wittenheim, Haut-Rhin. His parents were basket makers and sedentary travellers who had 8 other children, all of them living on Bourg Street. His father, Joseph, was employed in Alsace‘s potash mines. Keller grew up in a rather unstable family, as his father forced him to work hard so they could survive. His mother died at age 49.[2]

This busy life took Yvan behind bars at the age of 17 for stealing two antiques in Battenheim in 1981. Keller was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbery.

In August 1989, Keller was released. He moved to Mulhouse on Verdun Street, in the apartment of an old mansion in a quiet and green area, away from the city center. He became a landscape gardener and created a small company: Alsa-Jardin. His clients were very satisfied with his work and frequently recommended him. He led a modest life, living with a woman named Marina, but they later separated and he found a new companion named Séverine.

Keller’s neighbors said that he was very helpful, friendly and affectionate with animals.[3]

Marina, Keller’s first companion, said he had forced her into prostitution because he was in constant need of money because of his love for luxury, casinos, horse racing, great restaurants and big-name hotels. One of his friends said that while he was in relationship with his second wife Séverine, she was already in a relationship with another man. When he learned of this, Keller went to see the man and put a gun in his mouth, threatening him to leave his wife alone.

So, there were two faces of Yvan Keller: for his neighbors and colleagues, he was “everybody’s gentleman”, while for his family, he was a ruthless and angry man.

In January 1994, at Burnhaupt-le-Haut, Basse Street resident Marie Winterholer was found dead in her bed, lying on her back. The doctor concluded that it was a natural death and issued a license to bury.

On March 12, 1994, at 11 Basse Street, a man named Germain had decided to visit his 86-year-old mother, Ernestine Mang. Just behind the door, he was surprised to find an old butter churn, which had been stored in the house’s cellar for years. He then found his mother dead in bed, lying on her back. He was surprised that the bedding was flawlessly drawn, because Ernestine had trouble moving due to hip problems. Because of this, Germain was convinced that it wasn’t her who had moved the churn.

On April 27, 1994, at 22 Basse Street, 77-year-old Augusta Wassmer was also found dead in her bed, lying on her back. No break-in was observed, but her daughter Marie-Françoise Roecklin found that the bed was too well done. The autopsy concluded with a death by cardiac arrest, probably “due to great fear”. Later, Marie-Françoise noticed that Augusta’s bank card and a key to the house had disappeared, and that the card had been used in Mulhouse to make three withdrawals.

After his arrest, Keller acknowledged the murders of 150 people.

Yvan Keller was implicated in 23 murders of old ladies, but is suspected of having killed 40.[3][4]

As a landscape gardener, Keller could easily locate the houses of his victims. He killed old people so he could steal their valuables, such as money, paintings and jewels, which he would later sell to junk dealers. He would repeat the same scenario each time: he stifled his victims in their bed, then remade the bed to perfection so it would look like a natural death.

. . . Yvan Keller . . .

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. . . Yvan Keller . . .