Mother ‘kills sons before committing suicide’

Germany has been left reeling this weekend by the tragic murders of two young boys. Their 38-year-old mother is thought to have suffocated her sons before committing suicide.

Mother 'kills sons before committing suicide'
Photo: DPA

The children’s father discovered the bodies of his wife and children when he returned to the family home in the village of Emmering, west of Munich, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police sources say Hannes, six, and Moritz, four, were suffocated in their beds. Their mother was found hanged. The exact details of crime are still unknown, but police say the dead 38-year-old woman, known only as Catrin F, is the prime suspect.

Her motive for the killings has left locals in the quiet town of 6,400 inhabitants baffled. A polices spokesman said there weren’t known to have been recent family quarrels and the family appeared to have had a happy home life.

The children’s father, 45-year-old Karl F., is said to be in shock and is yet to be questioned by police. He is currently under the supervision of a crisis management team and in the care of relatives.

Karl F. will be questioned in the coming days. According to a police spokesman, authorities are keen to know where he was before arriving back at his home on Saturday morning.

It’s the second family tragedy to strike the state of Bavaria this month. Last week a 44-year-old craftsman from Ostallgäu was found to have strangled his sons, aged four and ten. He then hanged himself on an industrial site near Kempten.

His wife, 37, and daughter, 16, were found safe at their family home shortly afterwards.

The Local/DPA/ccp

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IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich’s Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

Around 700,000 people braved the wet and cold weather to attend the first weekend of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, according to estimates by festival management.

IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich's Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

That is significantly less than the around one million visitors seen in 2019, the last time the festival took place as the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

“We want the weather gods to remember what decent Wies’n [Oktoberfest] weather looks like,” festival head and CSU politician Clemens Baumgärtner said, German news agency DPA reported.

Man and woman in lederhosen at Oktoberfest

A man and a woman in traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses arrive for the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich on September 17, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival opened on Saturday and the first guests were already queuing outside the entrances before sunrise to secure their spot at the front of a beer tent when the site was opened. The first tents closed their doors around noon.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants of the traditional costume parade of the Oktoberfest beer festival arrive on September 18, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

But the Schottenhamel tent (the oldest at the Oktoberfest) spokesperson, Christian Schottenhamel, said the numbers of people visiting the tents this year were similar to that seen in 2019, DPA said.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants dressed as fools perform during the festival’s traditional costume parade on September 18, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

He reported that the atmosphere was euphoric, with people just happy to be celebrating Oktoberfest again.

Oktoberfest beer tent visitors

The first visitors arrive and reserve places in a beer tent during the opening of the festival on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival has attracted a mixed audience so far, including families with children and visitors from abroad, such as from the United States and France.

But the spokesperson for the smaller tents, Otto Lindinger, said the audience was getting younger, noting strong demand for meat-free dishes, although the Oktoberfest chicken was said to still be a hit.

Visitors celebrate at Oktoberfest

Visitors jostle for a Maß in a beer tent at the Oktoberfest on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Over on the south side of the festival area, head of the museum tent Yvonne Heckl described the atmosphere in the traditional ‘Oide Wies’n’, or old Oktoberfest, area as “chilled and calm”.

The festival lasts until October 3rd, as German Unity Day falls on the Monday after the last Oktoberfest Sunday.