Jan O. confesses to Bodenfelde murders

Jan O., a 26-year-old suspect arrested Monday night, has confessed to murdering two teenagers in the Lower Saxony town of Bodenfelde.

Jan O. confesses to Bodenfelde murders
Photo: DPA

The suspect was led before a custodial judge on Friday in the presence of his lawyer Markus Fischer, and spent three hours answering the state prosecutor’s questions. He confessed to murdering first 14-year-old Nina and then 13-year-old Tobias, whose funeral takes place Saturday.

Jan O. choked Nina near her home on Monday, November 15, before dragging her to a nearby wood, where he beat her to death. Tobias was killed in the same woods the following Saturday because Jan O. apparently believed the boy would either discover Nina’s body or report him to the police.

Their bodies were found on Sunday near one another in a wooded area on the outskirts of Bodenfelde, where they lived.

Police arrested Jan O. aboard a train in the town on Monday night. They were led to him partly through a girl whom he approached on Saturday afternoon, giving her his mobile phone number.

Jan O. said he had wanted to attack Nina sexually, but had murdered her when she screamed and defended herself.

O.’s lawyer said the defendant’s statements disproved the prosecutor’s theory that he was motivated by “murder-lust,” and that O. had the potential to be a serial killer.

But it emerged earlier this week that O. also referred directly to the murder on his own Facebook page. According to the Göttinger Tageblatt newspaper, he wrote, “Butchered a girl yesterday. One every day until they catch me.” The police immediately shut down the page because it constituted evidence.


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Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.