German sadistic killer couple jailed in ‘House of Horrors’ trial

A German court on Friday jailed a couple who tortured and killed women they had lured to their village home in what has been dubbed the "House of Horrors" case.

German sadistic killer couple jailed in 'House of Horrors' trial
The former house of the accused couple in Höxter-Bosseborn. Photo: DPA

Angelika Wagener, 49, received a 13-year prison sentence and her former husband Wilfried, 48, an 11-year term in a psychiatric ward for the abuse that led to the deaths of two women.

The couple had entrapped at least eight women over the years, mostly luring them through personal newspaper ads to then physically and mentally torment them.

They tortured their victims at a house in in Höxter-Bosseborn, Paderborn, by beating, strangling and burning them, ripping out their hair, scalding them with hot water, as well as by using electric shocks and pepper spray, the trial heard.

When a 33-year-old woman died of her injuries in 2014, they dismembered her corpse and froze the remains before later burning them in their fireplace and spreading the ashes along village roads, Angelika Wagener admitted in court.

The two were arrested in May 2016 after they had severely beaten another victim, a 41-year-old woman, who died of severe head injuries in hospital.

The couple had planned to drive the woman back to her home, but their car broke down. As there were witnesses around, they had to call an ambulance.

When the woman arrived in a local hospital, doctors called the police and the couple were caught.

The case sparked public shock and revulsion as police forensic teams and TV crews descended on the 'House of Horrors' in the central German village of Hoexter.

Prosecutors had demanded life prison terms for both in the almost two-year trial in Paderborn, North Rhine-Westphalia state.

Several of the deeply traumatised survivors only dared to speak out and recount their experiences once the Wageners were in custody.

After their arrest, the couple had sought to shift the blame on each other.

Shortly before the verdict, Angelika Wagener apologised to the victims, while her ex-husband claimed, “I didn't know right from wrong”, and declared that “a therapy wouldn't be bad”.

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Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

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In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners