The strange case of Katarzyna Zowada

Katarzyna-Zowada mysterious death

We live in a world where we humans are the biggest threat to each other. The rate of crime over the past few years has undoubtedly increased. Be it a murder, rape, or honor killing case, or any of the numerous others, our society has seen and will continue to see. This leaves a great impact on our minds, and we often wonder if we are safe in this society. One such gruesome case that got the world’s attention was that of a young college student named Katarzyna Zowada, who got kidnapped and tortured in Poland. It is beloved that she was kept alive in 1998; a horrific thing anyone can do.

About Katarzyna Zowada

Katarzyna Zowada, an adult student, was the only child of her parents. She did not have many friends, but whoever was close to her described her as a nice person who lived a private but sad life. Katarzyna was losing to her dad, and being an introvert, she was not open with everyone.

Her life changed when her father took her for a hike, which they often loved to do together. But tragedy struck, and he slipped and fell. He died from a spinal cord injury. She felt responsible for her father’s passing, which caused depression.

Kasia later moved with her mother Marta to Nowa Huta. Nowa Huta is a significant architectural area. Nowa Huta was pre-planned communist cities have ever been built in the Soviet era. It was created with the idea of a utopian community with opulent structures and lush gardens. Nowa Huta was a well-liked Soviet-era neighborhood. Marta was a child psychologist who believed that a change in surroundings would make Kasia’s battle with depression easier.

Katarzyna Zowada Career:

Later, Kasia enrolled at Jagiellonian University to study psychology. The university was in Krakow, where her mother had also studied earlier. However, Kasia later realized that her choice was not appropriate. Later, she shifted to history and then to religious studies.

In the year 1998, Katarzyna decided to deal with depression by seeking help from an expert. She had booked her appointment at the psychiatric clinic located in Nowa Huta. Her mother was going to meet her at the clinic, but Katarzyna did not show. This alarmed her mother, who later informed the police about her disappearance. The police thought it was too early to file for a missing individual. Little did they know that she died already.

Name Katarzyna Zowada
Siblings None
Mothers name Marta
Education Religious studies from jagiellonian University
Date of Birth 1-Jun-75
Died on Between 7-14 December 1998
Type Murder, dismemberment and skinning
Motive Sexual
Suspects Robert Janczewski
Charges murder with particular cruelty
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Katarzyna Zowada disappearance and remain’s recovery

Who Killed and Skinned Katarzyna Zawada in 1998 in Krakow, Poland? - McKoysNews

Katarzyna always struggled with life after her father’s death. Her friends thought of her as a withdrawn person. However, it was depression that kept her aloof from society. During her education at the university, she changed her course twice and finally decided to go with religion as her subject. However, Katarzyna experienced a traumatic period in her life in 1998. She was about to visit the psychiatric clinic to get her treatment. Sadly, she failed to make it to the clinic.

In the year 1999, the Elk pusher tug crew found some evidence on the ship. Katarzyna’s skin was cut skillfully from the left ear, neck, along with thigh areas. Even her nipples went missing. A diagonal cut below the right breast that extended to the left shoulder was seen.

Post-examination, it turned out to be skin of human . DNA was just a newly introduced test that could tell the identity of an indiviual from some human samples at the time. The test on the evidence indicated that it was Katarzyna’s skin that was found in the shop.

Katarzyna’s right leg was found in the water on January 29, 1999. Earlier, it was assumed to be the body that the propeller must have destroyed. However, upon examination of the body fragments, it was observed that torso’s layer of skin was intentionally removed.

Who was responsible for Katarzyna Zowada’s death?

Kryptonim: "Skóra". Makabryczna historia z Krakowa - WP Wiadomości

In connection with Katarzyna’s death, Robert Janczewski, 52, was detained. People from his neighbourhood referred to him as a freak. Robert had a rough childhood. His aunt raised him after his parents gave him up. After the death of his aunt, his paternal grandparents took care of him. They did not raise him well as a kid. His grandfather abused him physically, which probably triggered his childhood. Robert stayed with his grandparents until he was 11 years old. Later, he moved in with his parents in Kazmirierz. Unfortunately, his parents never gave him the love and affection a young Robert ever wished for.

Robert’s disruptive nature

Robert inherited rampant violence and obsessive faith from his family life. When he was in school, Robert was naturally disruptive and violent. Robert was called up by the army in his twenties where he worked at a morgue. During his military service, he assisted with dissections, and after the service, he worked at the Zoology Institute, where he skinned animals. He was fired from his work when he was seen murdering experimental rabbits.

During Kasia’s murder, when police were on high alert for the suspect, neighbors informed police of seeing Robert dressed in women’s clothing. When the cops searched his residence, he showed a complete shift in conduct. He became more obsessed with religion. He even paid a visit to Kasia’s grave in the Batowicki Cemetery. A police-installed surveillance system captured it. Even Kazmirierz’s body was discovered nearby, close to the riverside.

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Police discovered a thorough notebook in which Robert had written about the women he had earlier pursued. He even mentioned every detail of her murder, but it was never public.

Robert Janczewski’s detention 

After an in-depth research, police apprehended Robert Janczewski on October 4, 2017. Because of lack of evidence, he was not arrested. The court extended his imprisonment until detectives gathered more evidence to strengthen the case and guarantee Katarzyna got justice for her passing.

After his residence was examined, bloodstains were discovered there. Additionally, the fact that he was a stalker and had an excellent psychological profile match led to the conclusion that he was the main suspect in Katarzyna’s killing.

Janczewski and victim knew each other; he was a martial artsist and even visited her grave. He also had a history of women’s harassment. After a letter from one of his acquaintances was discovered, police subsequently detained him. The police have accused him of aggravated murder with cruelty, despite the fact that he has maintained his innocence. Investigators have asked for the trial to be closed. Janczewski has not yet been let free, though.


Who was Katarzyna zowada?

Katarzyna Zowada was a 23-year-old Polish student who was brutally murdered and skinned in 1998 in Krakow, Poland. 

How did Katarzyna zowada die?

Katarzyna Zowada died from multiple injuries, including blunt force trauma, stab wounds, and strangulation. Her killer also removed the skin from her torso and limbs and cut off her head, arms, and legs. Her skin and leg were found in the Vistula river, but the rest of her body was never recovered.

Who killed Katarzyna zowada?

The main suspect in Katarzyna Zowada’s murder is Robert Janczewski, a 52-year-old Polish man who was arrested in 2017 after DNA tests linked him to the crime. He was a former psychiatric patient who had a history of violence and sexual abuse.

Why did Robert Janczewski kill Katarzyna zowada?

The motive for Robert Janczewski’s killing of Katarzyna Zowada is unclear.

What is the current status of Katarzyna Zowada’s case?

Katarzyna Zowada’s case is still ongoing, as Robert Janczewski’s trial has been delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his health issues, and his lawyers’ requests.

Ending Note:

Some findings concluded, Robert and Kasia had met and shared a deep connection. She even changed her look as per Robert’s preference. Irrespective of the bond Robert and Kasia shared, there is no doubt that an innocent soul has lost her life in a gruesome way. All we can hope for is that her soul rests in peace.