German killer granny jailed for 21 years in US

A German woman who drowned her five-year-old grandson in the bath to “save him from growing up with divorced parents” escaped the death sentence on Monday, after a US court sentenced her to 21 years in jail for manslaughter.

German killer granny jailed for 21 years in US
Photo: DPA

Marianne Bordt, 73, admitted drowning Camden in the bath while he was with on holiday with her and her husband on St George Island, Florida, two years ago. She then tried to kill herself by walking into the ocean.

Her husband, who was out at the time, returned to their holiday home to find the body of the boy and his wife who told him she could not bear to see Camden grow up with divorced parents.

Bordt’s defence had been preparing to plea that she was not responsible for her actions because she had suffered a fractured skull as a girl in Germany during World War II – and had developed severe psychological problems.

A psychoneurologist was expected to tell the Florida judge that she had mental problems dating back to her injury in a bombing raid by Russian forces on her hometown of Breslau on October 7, 1944. This, combined with symptoms of depression and paranoia, contributed to the crime, her defence was going to argue.

But Judge Angela Dempsey at the Apalachicola court accepted on Monday an agreement between the two sides – Bordt confessed to killing the boy for a manslaughter charge, which does not attract the death penalty.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday that Bordt was not expected to leave jail until she is 90, as Florida law says that convicts must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

The boy’s parents had divorced when he was just one-and-a-half, leaving what his father described as hate and mistrust between the two families.

He said he did not believe his former mother-in-law was suffering from any psychological problem and said he would appeal the verdict as he wanted to see her jailed for 30 years.

“I want to see her punished like no-one has ever been punished,” he said.

“He was scared of the dark and of monsters under his bed, like every child of his age. I told Camden monsters were not real, but I was wrong.”

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.