Zendowo familicide
Date June 17/18, 1875
Location(s) Zendowo, German Reich
Target(s) Family
Killed 6
Perpetrator Ruchalski
Weapon(s) Knife

During the night from June 17 to June 18, 1875 an innkeeper named Ruchalski killed his wife and five children in Zendowo, German Reich.

Eight days prior to the murders Ruchalski had fallen ill, but his condition had improved. During the night from June 16 to June 17 he woke his wife, and asked her to cense him with sanctified wreaths, and paint the walls with sanctified chalk. After she had completed her task he told her and the children to kneel down in the middle of the room and pray, stating that he would spill blood to honour god.

Hearing the words of her husband Mrs. Ruchalski told her oldest son to leave, and while she and her five other children obeyed to her husband's order, the boy went to alert a neighbour named Brzykca. When Brzykca finally arrived at the Ruchalskis' home the children lay already dead in the dark room with their stomachs cut open, and Mrs. Ruchalski knelt beside them.

Eventually Ruchalski, who was near the bed, told his wife: "Mother, come here and kneel beside me." When she did so he stabbed her in the chest, and then proceeded to whet his knife on the wall. While Brzykca fled to alarm the other neighbours, Ruchalski laid his wife into the bed, cut open her stomach, and lay a rosary and a cross onto her body. Afterwards he cut his own throat with the knife, holding a picture in one hand.[1][2][3]


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