Severed finger points to cack-handed criminal

A severed fingertip found at the scene of a break-in could point to a not-so nimble-fingered would-be thief, after German police sent it for DNA testing.

Severed finger points to cack-handed criminal
Photo: Bochum Police

Police called to a discount clothing store in the Ruhr Valley last weekend made the grisly discovery while looking for clues to the break-in – the tip of a finger, complete with nail, lying on the floor.

“It was completely dried out, which rules out being able to sew it back on to the rest of its owner’s finger,” police spokesman Volker Schütte told The Local.

He said at least two people had broken through the back door of the Kik store in Wanne-Eickel at some time between 3 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. on Sunday. They had tried to steal the safe.

But while trying to lift the heavy safe through a small window, one of the culprits must have trapped a finger, ripping the end clean off.

“We found the tip on the floor surrounded by blood and at first we thought it was a woman’s finger because the nail seemed to appear quite long.”

But when the investigators had a closer look, they realised that they were in fact looking at the inside of the nail – and that large amounts normally embedded into the skin were exposed.

“This makes us think maybe it’s a man, but we’re waiting for results from a DNA test to be sure,” Schütte explained.

He said he expected the injured would-be thief to go to hospital for treatment, but said detectives could not hope for information from medical staff – confidentiality laws would prevent them from pointing the finger.

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.