Mother ‘kills sons before committing suicide’

Germany has been left reeling this weekend by the tragic murders of two young boys. Their 38-year-old mother is thought to have suffocated her sons before committing suicide.

Mother 'kills sons before committing suicide'
Photo: DPA

The children’s father discovered the bodies of his wife and children when he returned to the family home in the village of Emmering, west of Munich, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police sources say Hannes, six, and Moritz, four, were suffocated in their beds. Their mother was found hanged. The exact details of crime are still unknown, but police say the dead 38-year-old woman, known only as Catrin F, is the prime suspect.

Her motive for the killings has left locals in the quiet town of 6,400 inhabitants baffled. A polices spokesman said there weren’t known to have been recent family quarrels and the family appeared to have had a happy home life.

The children’s father, 45-year-old Karl F., is said to be in shock and is yet to be questioned by police. He is currently under the supervision of a crisis management team and in the care of relatives.

Karl F. will be questioned in the coming days. According to a police spokesman, authorities are keen to know where he was before arriving back at his home on Saturday morning.

It’s the second family tragedy to strike the state of Bavaria this month. Last week a 44-year-old craftsman from Ostallgäu was found to have strangled his sons, aged four and ten. He then hanged himself on an industrial site near Kempten.

His wife, 37, and daughter, 16, were found safe at their family home shortly afterwards.

The Local/DPA/ccp

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Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.