Killer Couple: Daniel and Manuela Ruda, Germany’s Satanic Vampire Lovers

Manuela and Daniel Ruda [The Ruda Satanic Murder screenshot]

To call Daniel and Manuela Ruda a “match made in Hell” would be to pay the German devil worshippers, Goth-culture enthusiasts, and self-anointed “vampires” the highest of unholy compliments.

In 2000, the pair met after Daniel, age 26, posted a personal ad in an extreme heavy metal music magazine that declared: “Pitch-black vampire seeks princess of darkness who hates everything and everyone and has bidden farewell to life.” Manuela Bartel, then 23, responded immediately.

The couple quickly moved in together, joyfully practicing Satanism, avoiding sunlight, and sleeping inside a coffin surrounded by black candles and human skulls. They married on June 6, 2001 (“6/6” being two thirds of “the number of the beast”).

Exactly one month later, the Rudas — under direct command, they said, of the devil himself — savagely murdered their friend Frank “Hacki” Hackert, 33, in a human-sacrifice ritual. They later said they selected Hackert because “he was so funny he would be a perfect court jester for Satan!”

Related: The Queen of the Damned Told Him to Kill — Vampire Movie Fan Murders Best Friend

The killing occurred after Hackert showed up at the Ruda’s for a party. No other guests were invited. Manuela bludgeoned his head repeatedly with a hammer. Daniel, claiming he could see a knife start to glow, stabbed Hackert exactly 66 times.

Afterward, the couple slit Hackert’s veins and drained his blood into bowls from which they drank. They then carved a pentagram into Hacki’s chest and left his body with a scalpel sticking straight up out of his torso.

Daniel and Manuela hit the road in a hurry. They stopped to purchase a chainsaw, planning to mount a surprise massacre before killing one another to be together in eternal torment.

Related: Chainsaw Massacres (And Other Crimes): They’re Not Just For Texas Anymore

Alas, police caught the pair at a gas station before they could enact their Leatherface-like demonstration for Lucifer. Authorities also found a “kill list” of potential future victims.

Bedecked in full Goth regalia, the couple went to trial in 2002. Daniel sharpened his teeth for the event, while Manuela, years earlier, had her own canine teeth replaced with long, animal-like fangs.

Related: Crime History: The Texas Taxidermist Massacre

Frau Ruda also shaved upside-down crosses in the side of her head and carved her fingernails into talons. Although Manuela’s request to black out the courtroom windows was denied, she was allowed to wear sunglasses, given her “vampiric” sensitivity to light.

Related: Interview With the Vampire — Michelle Ward Meets a Bloodsucking Criminal With a Cult Following

Both Rudas admitted matter-of-factly to killing Hackert, but they pleaded not guilty to murder. They maintained they merely acted as mere physical tools in Satan’s hands. Daniel even reasoned, “If I kill a person with my car and half his bloody head is left on my bumpers, it is not the car who goes to jail.”

Throughout the trial, the Rudas snarled, hissed, laughed, chewed gum, rolled their eyes, mocked Hackert’s mother, and repeatedly threw “devil horn” hand signs and made obscene finger gestures.

In particular, Manuela drew attention worldwide, as she appeared perversely glamorous in a Goth sense that was only heightened by how frightening she could be.

Details of the defendants’ past lives came to light. Prior to meeting Manuela, Daniel played in punk and metal bands. One was called Bloodsucking Freaks. He also took an active interest in Nazi-oriented black metal music and culture.

Related: Crime History: Nicolas Claux, The “Vampire Of Paris,” Who Claimed To Drink Blood, Eat Human Flesh

True Vampires by Sondra London, cover image [Feral House]

True Vampires by Sondra London, cover image [Feral House]

Perhaps unsurprisingly, each had earlier been treated more than once for mental illness. Manuela was first committed to a psychiatric facility at 13, after she ran around biting strangers on the street. She ran away at 16 and worked at a Goth club in London where she met a circle of supposed vampires who provided her with “an apprenticeship.”

Later, Manuela gathered admirers online who would donate their fluids for her to drink during “blood parties,” sometimes held in graveyards.

Ultimately, the court found both Daniel and Manuela not guilty by reason of insanity, sentencing them to psychiatric facilities rather than prison. Daniel got 15 years, Manuela got 13 (which probably pleased her — the judge apparently did not pick up on the occult implications of the latter number).

Manuela Ruda was released to live on her own in 2010. She is said to have changed her name and is under court order to have no contact with her one-time husband (it’s unknown if they remain married).

Daniel Ruda remains in custody. His last words spoken to the public, after sentencing, were: “May Satan remain with us always! This is all just too stupid.”

Watch “Killer Couples You Wouldn’t Want To Double Date With” on ID GO. 

Read more:
Daily Mail
The Guardian
Daily Star
Real Life Is Horror
Life Death Prizes
Haunted Universe

Main photo: Manuela and Daniel Ruda [The Ruda Satanic Murder screenshot]

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  • rie

    they should be put to death.. bs they need NEVER BE able to walk the streets again

    • Common Misconception (Alex)

      Really? First of all, to be “put to death,” you need to commit a capital crime and this sounded more like 2nd degree murder at most. Secondly, even Edmund Kemper (The Co-Ed Butcher) wasn’t put to death. The mitigating factors seem to far outweigh any aggravating factors in this case, you can’t kill someone just because you’re afraid of what they might do in the future and if you could this would be a very lonely world. Killing people with an intellectual handicap is cruel and unusual punishment (at least in the U.S.) and the same could be said of people with mental illness. You just sound like another person spouting nonsense because you’re offended and disgusted by their actions, that’s not a valid argument. Put them to death so they can never walk the streets again? Why not life without parole?

      • Jen

        I’m not sure you understand what second degree murder is. Second degree murder is a non-premeditated murder meaning they didn’t plan to commit the act prior to killing him. Even if you believe they are mentally ill, the facts of the case show that they had selected him and planned exactly what they wanted to do weeks before the murder. They invited him to attend a party with the full intention of killing him, this is shown by the fact that they didn’t invite anyone else to the house despite telling him that they were expecting other guests. They also fully admitted to planning to kill him. I don’t see how you could possibly consider this a second degree murder while actually understanding what the definition is. Even if they are mentally ill and you don’t think they should receive the death sentence that doesn’t mean the murder wasn’t premeditated, it clearly was.

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      • rie

        why so the tax payers have to pay from their care bullshit

    • sinn1

      Don’t listen to Common Misconception, you are absolutely right. I can’t stand it when people bash others based on their own ignorance. Look up Edward Kemper, the example he gave you as to why these scumbags deserve second degree not first degree murder. The only reason Kemper was not put to death was because the US Supreme Court issued a moratorium on the death penalty.

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  • They are clearly out of their mind. If I saw them I’d have ran a mile!

  • Alex Dolton

    I am pretty sure they met through a magazine called ”Metal Hammer” magazine. Back then they had a section called ”Pen Bangers.” And anybody could leave a free ad with their address under the ad. This was extremely dangerous for several reasons. However, between 2000 and 2003 I left 3 ads in total and I was between the age of 13 and 15; I honestly cannot tell you the amount of paedophiles it attracted. Ultimately, it led to me being sexually abused by a man who was 33 years old and I was 15 at the time. There were several others who would write and some very inappropriate things were said and a lot of grooming went on. But this man physically violated me. And he got away with it. Not long after, they stopped this section in the magazine. At 30 years of age, I look back and think there never should have been a section where predators can be left to prey on naive vulnerable young people. Let alone kill people.