Deadly Lörrach rampage was premeditated

The killing spree that left four dead and 18 injured in Lörrach last weekend was at least partly planned in advance, investigators said on Friday after finding “extraordinary quantities” of explosive liquids in the murderer's apartment.

Deadly Lörrach rampage was premeditated
Photo: DPA

The 41-year-old lawyer Sabine R. had amassed about 50 litres of Nitrocellulose lacquer, between 10 and 20 litres of gasoline and several litres of ethyl alcohol. The three substances make up an explosive combination, and were used to blow up an apartment on September 19 after she killed her ex-partner and their five-year-old son.

On Tuesday autopsies revealed that she had first knocked her son unconscious and then smothered him with a plastic bag, and that the father of her child had died of two bullet wounds to the head and neck.


After leaving the apartment, Sabine R., a recreational markswoman, went to the neighbouring St Elizabeth Hospital with a legally owned 22-calibre sports pistol and a knife, shooting at a few passersby on the way, before killing an orderly in the gynaecological ward and injuring a police officer before she was shot dead by other officers.

Earlier in the week media reports said that the woman had a miscarriage at the hospital in 2004, but on Friday investigators in the southwestern city said that she had also been turned down for a job in the hospital administration in 2006.

The motive for her deadly rampage seems to have been personal frustration, investigators said.

“According to the information available, the woman had a hard time with the separation from her husband and child,” a statement from the public prosecutor’s office said. “She also had difficulties finding her feet professionally.“

Her husband had left her for a new girlfriend in June, the statement added.

Sabine R. had also sought psychotherapy following several miscarriages, but did not stay in treatment long-term – something her husband had encouraged, investigators said.

She had also planned to take a course on hunting, and had stored three of her four weapons with a local hunter. She used the fourth weapon during her deadly rampage.

The 56-year-old hospital orderly, who Sabine R. shot three times in the head and stabbed several times in the upper body, was buried on Friday. With his death, he likely prevented the slaughter of several others, prosecutors said in a statement.

The woman had more than 300 rounds of ammunition on hand, but he managed to stall her for a “lengthy period of time” until the first police officer arrived on the scene.

Both Protestant and Catholic churches in Lörrach have memorial services planned for the victims of the rampage on Saturday.


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Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

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In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners