German house of horror: bodies dissolved in acid

A family of five used a house of horror in Germany to cut up the bodies of two men they had killed – one stabbed with an ice pick, the other shot to death - and dissolve them in acid, before flushing the remains away, a Dutch court heard.

German house of horror: bodies dissolved in acid
Photo: DPA

Although the mother and two adult sons have been arrested, the father and adult daughter of the family are on the run – possibly in Venezuela.

In an extraordinary cross-border case, the Dutch authorities have been seeking help from colleagues not only in Germany, but also Belgium, a spokeswoman for Maastricht’s public prosecutor told The Local.

“This is a very unusual case,” she said. “This house of horror was just over the border in Tüddern, Germany – that is where they disposed of the bodies. But at least one was killed in Belgium and the accused family is from Holland.”

The first victim of the family, who she named as 24-year-old Alan Gergeri, said to be from Iraq, was stabbed to death with a knife and an ice pick in 2009.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that Gergeri had raped one of the family’s sons.

Two years later, Mohammed al Jader, another Iraqi, was allegedly shot to death by the family, after De Telegraaf said he tried to blackmail them. He was hit by dozens of bullets, the paper reported.

Although at least one of the killings took place in Belgium, the family took both bodies to their house in Germany where they cut them up and dissolved them in hydrochloric acid, flushing what remained down the toilet.

“We were initially following a missing person report, when al Jader was reported missing by his family,” said the prosecution spokeswoman.

“When his body was discovered, it had been almost totally dissolved in acid; there was hardly anything left of him. We also found remains of the other man – so we accidentally found two murders rather than just the one.”

She said that although international arrest warrants had been issued on the fugitive father and daughter, prosecution proceedings would continue against the rest of the family, with a trial expected to start in May 2013.

“It is very difficult to gather evidence in this case, it needs complicated forensic research. We are getting a lot from Germany and Belgium.”

The Local/hc

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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.