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CRIME

Mother kills her three children with BBQ fumes

A mother is believed to have killed her three children and attempted to take her own life through carbon monoxide poisoning by lighting two barbecues in a bedroom.

Mother kills her three children with BBQ fumes
Forensics investigating the murder scene on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

The bodies of a three-year-old girl and two boys aged four and 11, were found at a house in Steinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, on Monday afternoon.  

The mother’s brother called police after he found the three dead children in their parents’ bedroom. The 39-year-old mother was found unconscious alongside her children but was resuscitated by paramedics. Help came too late for her children, however.

Officers also found two charcoal barbecues in the room – the source of the carbon monoxide.

“The woman cannot yet be questioned,” inspector Ulrich Bux from Münster police said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon. “Her relatives are being cared for and forensic investigations are ongoing.”

Prosecutor Stefan Lechtape said: “From our investigations so far we assume that the 39-year-old woman wanted to kill her three children and herself. She left a suicide note and put a note in the hallway warning of carbon monoxide.”

The biological father of the three-year-old girl and four-year-old boy is currently serving a prison sentence, police said. The 11-year-old son was from a previous relationship.

SEE ALSO: Three dead at Berlin tower block

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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