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CRIME

German axe killer kept body for three months

On Tuesday evening police arrested a 52-year-old German man in Vienna for the apparent axe murder of his room mate.

German axe killer kept body for three months
Photo: APA

Vienna's specialized armed police unit WEGA arrived around 10 pm in the Messie apartment building in Aichholzgasse, to find the badly decomposed body of an as-yet unidentified victim, with the axe still embedded in the corpse, and covered with a blanket.

The apartment was totally trashed, according to police, but was still home to the suspect, who is thought to have lived with the body in the living room for around three and a half months.

The suspect surrendered himself peacefully in the bedroom.

While police don't have confirmation of the corpse's identity, they suspect that a 50-year-old migrant worker from Poland who was sharing the apartment became the victim after some kind of dispute.

Police spokesman Paul Eidenberger said that the 52-year-old suspect had been staying with a friend, and had complained he couldn't sleep at his own apartment because of the body in the living room.  The friend told another friend, who was so disturbed that he contacted the police station in Ottakring.

According to the acquaintance, the German suspect was suffering from a severe mental illness.  He has already confessed to the murder in custody, however the background of the killing and the identity of the victim have not been disclosed.

The Vienna prosecutor's office has ordered an autopsy.

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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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