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CRIME

Frankfurt serial killer struck up to 10 times, claim police

After body parts were found in the garage of an apparently normal pensioner who died in 2014, police believe they are dealing with murders stretching back four decades.

Frankfurt serial killer struck up to 10 times, claim police
Photos of alleged victims at a press conference in Wiesbaden on Thursday. Photo: DPA

At the beginning of the 1970s the murder series in and around Frankfurt began. Every few months a prostitute disappeared.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) acquaintances assumed the women had swapped city or that they had died of an overdose.

But in 1971 Gudrun Ebel, a 19 year old, was found dead in a sparsely furnished garden shed. Her body had been carved open.

Although they recognized at the time that they were dealing with an extremely unusual case, police didn’t get far with the investigation and the case went cold.

On Thursday, 45 years later, at a press conference in Wiesbaden, state police announced that they believed they knew who was responsible for Ebel’s death, and those of up to ten other people.

The suspect at the centre of the investigations in Manfred S., described by police as “a completely normal family man” who had never come across their radar.

If he is found guilty of the crimes, though, he will never see a day in jail.

S, died of cancer in 2014 and it was only later that police found body parts in stored in barrels in a garage that S, had rented.

The body parts were those of Britta D., another prostitute from Frankfurt, who had already been dead for ten years when police found her remains.

“Because of the type of injuries that the body displays, it appears likely that this is not the first time that the man murdered,” said Urban Egert, who is heading the investigation.

For a year officers sorted through unsolved cases that bore similarities to the evidence from S.’s garage.

They came across a huge number of cases, mainly involving Frankfurt prostitutes. Eventually they sorted it down to the ten which investigators now believe S. was responsible for.

All were tied together by a gruesome commonality. The murderer had taken an internal organ or body part from each one.

During investigations police found violent pornography on S.’s home computer, images which bore horrifying similarities to the injuries of his suspected victims.

At times the images were “almost identical” to how the murder victims were found, say police.

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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