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Mother confesses to killing of eight babies

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Mother confesses to killing of eight babies
Police in Wallenfels. Photo: DPA.
14:09 CEST+02:00
The mother of eight dead babies found in a small Bavarian town made a confession through her lawyer in court on Tuesday.

The woman admitted in court to having wrapped the babies in hand towels and then hidden them away, regardless of whether they were alive or not.

Asked how many of the eight she confessed to killing, her defence lawyer Till Wagler said, "it could have been two, three or four".

The small 2,800-person town of Wallenfels, Bavaria was shocked last year when the bodies of the eight minors were found at a family home.

Investigators later linked the babies to couple Andrea G., 45, and her now estranged husband Johann G., 55 - the parents of the babies, who already had children and had lived in the house before.

The babies are believed to have been born between 2003 and 2013, and at least four of them were alive when they were born, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung. Medical examiners could not determine whether three of the babies had been alive, and a fourth baby had been determined to have been dead upon birth.

In her confession, read out by her lawyer, the mother said she had given birth to each of the eight babies at home alone and had wrapped every infant in a hand towel.

She would promptly suffocate any baby that moved or cried, then place the body in a plastic bag or containers and hide it in the home, said Wagler.

Taking the stand on Tuesday, Johann G. described the mother as a chronic liar and compulsive shopper who stole from her mother and her children.

He said he moved out in October, a month before police uncovered the babies' remains in their home after being alerted by a nearby resident.

Johann G. is accused of complicity in the murder of the babies, even though he was not believed to be present during the births. Prosecutors argue however that he was aware of the pregnancies, and that he both knew and approved of the fact that his wife would kill the infants.

They say he could have taken action to stop the murders.

"Through his inaction, he encouraged the accused, Andrea G., in all the cases," prosecutors said.

'Sexual egoism'

The prosecution also argues that the couple had acted out of  "sexual egoism, indifference and callousness" as they did not want to deal with the limitations on their lifestyle that would come from having further children.

The couple each had two children from previous relationships and also had three more children together.

"She sought simply to remain sexually active without any thought about the consequences or the value of a newborn child," prosecutors said.

The pair continued to have unprotected sex, though they did not want to have more children and the wife had not gone through with an appointment for sterilization, according to SZ.

Andrea G. had fallen in love with another man and left her family before the discovery of the bodies, SZ reported.

In Germany, murder carries a sentence of 15 years' prison, while complicity carries a minimum of three years.

A verdict is expected next Wednesday.

Germany has been shocked by several infanticide cases in recent years.

In May, a woman was sentenced to 44 months in prison for killing two of her children and hiding their remains in a freezer.

In October 2013, construction workers in Bavaria found the remains of two babies, dead since the 1980s.

And in 2008, a 42-year-old woman was convicted of killing eight of her newborn babies, then hiding their bodies in buckets, flower pots and an old fish tank.

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