Balaclava-clad child killer jailed for life

A paedophile who snuck into youth camps and boarding schools to sexually abuse dozens of boys – and murdered three of them – was jailed for life by a German court on Monday – 20 years after he first struck.

Balaclava-clad child killer jailed for life
Photo: DPA

The 41 year old dubbed the ‘Masked man’ by German media because he wore a balaclava when he attacked, will not only serve the maximum sentence of 15 years, but was placed under preventative custody by the Lower Saxony judge due to what a court psychiatrist called, “pathological paedophilic tendencies.”

“What has happened is so disgusting, that words fail me,” said the judge Johannes Kiers, local broadcaster Norddeutsche Rundfunk reported on Monday.

Bremen-born Martin N. would put on a black balaclava and dark clothing and break into houses, boarding school dormitories and campsite tents across the state of Lower Saxony to abuse young boys while they slept.

He attacked at least 40 boys between 1992 and 2011 – and killed three boys aged eight, nine and 13.

“I hardly think my actions are excusable,” he told the court earlier this month, apologising to the victims’ families and saying he expected no forgiveness.

He had successfully led a double life and even worked at a children’s holiday camp, while at times “going on the hunt,” as he put it, for boys to abuse.

Police had been searching for the man for years, until they got a break last year 2011 when one of the boys he abused in 1995 approached the authorities.

The first murder victim, 13-year-old Stefan J., had been taken from his dormitory in a boarding school in March 1992. His body was found a month later in sand dunes nearby.

Then three years later in 1995, Martin N. entered a campsite and murdered eight-year-old Dennis R. The campsite had already reported a masked man entering the site and abusing boys between 1992 and 1994.

His final victim was nine-year-old Dennis K. whose body was found by people foraging for mushrooms in a Lower Saxony forest in 2001. He had been taken from his boarding school dormitory and murdered.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/jcw

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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.