A jealous and resentful young man who buried his friend alive in a cave in a fake test of courage goes on trial today for murder.
Pascal K. is accused of sealing up his friend Linus A. (name changed) in a tiny cave on Bruggerberg Mountain, Aargau Canton, northern Switzerland on 7th April, 2019.
Terrified Linus died of hypothermia and his remains were only found on 5th April, 2020.
Pascal K., 23, and Linus, 24, had gone to Bruggerberg Mountain on an excursion.
Pascal K. had ‘challenged’ Linus to crawl into the cave – which was around 30 centimetres (12 inches) tall and 50 centimetres (20 inches) wide – and remain there for 10 minutes without his mobile phone, watch, or jacket.
Linus crawled into the opening head-first. But after he had spent around five to six minutes inside, Pascal K. used a tree branch to dislodge a rock weighing 50 to 60 kilogrammes (110-132 lb), which he then rolled in front of the cave entrance.
Linus panicked and begged his friend to open the cave or to call the Swiss air rescue.
But Pascal K. rolled a second large stone in front of the entrance and waited several hours until he could no longer hear his friend knocking on the entrance from the inside.
He then lit a fire at the cave entrance and cooked and ate a cervelat. Afterwards, he burnt and discarded Linus’s phone in the woods, buried his jacket, and took his watch home as a sick trophy.
He allegedly returned to the crime scene the following day and continued to fill in the cave entrance with earth, leaves, and stones. He thought he could still hear knocking noises from inside but was undeterred by them.
Over the next six months, he repeatedly went to the crime scene to check it and continue covering up the entrance to ensure his victim would never be found.
Almost a year to the day after the crime, a family uncovered the cave entrance and came across the grim sight of Linus’s remains.
Prosecutors believe Pascal K. killed Linus because “from the perspective of the accused, the injured party had everything, could afford much more and enjoyed a much better life than he did”.
They added: “He wished for the victim to be in the same sh*tty situation as he, the accused, was.”
The public prosecutor’s office is requesting a prison sentence of 16 years for a number of crimes, namely murder and attempted murder.
The latter relates to an event a week before the killing when Pascal K. allegedly pushed Linus down a steep slope in Ticino Canton, southern Switzerland.
Prosecutors say Linus got stuck “out of sheer luck” and suffered only minor abrasions.
He was able to alert the Swiss air rescue service, which rescued him by helicopter.
The trial begins today (17th October).