1. The Serial Killer’s 175-Year-Old Head In A Jar
Diogo Alves was a Spanish-born Portuguese man who killed seventy people between 1836 and 1840. He was actually considered by many people the Portugal’s first serial killer.
As a boy, he traveled to Lisbon, Portugal in order to work as a servant in the affluent homes of the city. Many years after his arrival, he realized that the life of a murderer was better for turning profit, and in 1836, he had himself transferred to work in a home located on the Aqueduto das Águas Livres.
Even if those who traveled across the Aqueduct were actually humble farmers, Diogo Alves waited for them at nightfall to rob them. After that, Alves would throw them over the edge of the 213-foot tall structure, sending them plummeting to their inevitable deaths. In only 4 years, he repeated this horrible process 70 times.
At first, the local police attributed the deaths to copycat suicides, which resulted in a temporary closure of the bridge. Then, Alves set up a group of bandits, before they were caught while killing 4 people inside the home of a doctor, and Alves was arrested and sentenced to death by hanging.
But it is what occurred during the next few days that makes this one of history’s most interesting stories. Scientists at the time wanted to study Alves’ head, to discover the origin of his murderous nature. That’s why they had his head removed from his dead body and preserved in a jar for study.
Now, the serial killer’s head sits in the University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Medicine where students can experience this terrifying reminder of a dreadful man.