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CRIME

Reward for ‘phantom killer’ reaches record €300,000

The reward for clues leading to the arrest of one of Germany’s most hotly pursued criminals has been doubled to a record €300,000, daily Bild reported on Tuesday.

Reward for 'phantom killer' reaches record €300,000
A memorial for the officer gunned down by the 'phantom killer.' Photo: DPA

For 15 years, the murderer and thief has left baffled law enforcement officers in Germany, Austria and France as she left female DNA traces at numerous crime scenes.

She is called the “phantom killer,” the “woman without a face,” by the German media and considered to be dangerous and brutal, the paper reported.

Investigators found traces of the phantom killer’s DNA at the scene of the brutal murder of a 22-year-old police officer in Heilbronn in 2007, but have yet to determine a motive.

Meanwhile more of the serial killer‘s DNA turned up at in the car of a 45-year-old Weinsberg nurse who was found dead by hikers in October.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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