A husband has gone on trial accused of stabbing his estranged wife so violently that she had 76 wounds that left his face covered in spots of blood before stuffing her in a suitcase to bleed to death.
The trial of the man identified as Mokhtar H. heard that he was separated from his 21-year-old wife, identified only as Maryam H. because of local privacy laws when he travelled from his home in the East German city of Zwickau to see her at a mutual friend’s apartment in Dortmund.
The young woman, who has a daughter aged seven apparently from a previous relationship, had been babysitting for the friend when she was killed last July. The two children she was looking after were aged five and nine. They had been watching television and were later told to go to bed.
Prosecutors allege that after that, the pair got into an argument, and then he stabbed her in a frenzy and stuffed her in a suitcase in order to take her back to Zwickau.
But he only got as far as putting the suitcase in the garage near Dortmund’s main train station, and was later arrested in Zwickau and flown back to Dortmund in a police helicopter.
The suitcase was found in the garage after the owner of the flat said that the large black case was missing. It was later found by police in the garage after the man told them where he had left the case.
Roland Bruess, 51, head of the homicide commission, said: “As we were told we found the case in a garage at a construction site. There were flies buzzing around it already. She had bled to death, it was a miserable way to die. In addition, she had been strangled with a shoelace.”
He said they believed that the accused then drag the body 700 metres (0.4 miles) through the city in order to dump it in the garage.
A coroner confirmed that he had examined a body that had been stuffed into a black suitcase and said: “We counted 76 cut and stab wounds. These were found on the neck, back, arms and chest, among other things. Both lungs were also pierced.”
And shockingly, when asked if despite the horrific injuries she was still alive when put into the suitcase, he confirmed: “In theory, this is medically possible.”
Prosecutors said that “undescribable scenes must have taken place” although fortunately it appears the children did not witness the killing.
One of the police officers who gave evidence at the trial in Dortmund said that the boy, nine, had heard what sounded like a scream and found that the nursery door was locked. He said that a man who was looking after him and his five-year-old sister that weekend and then open the door and let him go to the toilet, but then escorted him back to his room.
He told the police officer that he had been surprised at the way the man appeared as the “uncle” had red spots on his face. When I asked him why there was a large pool of blood on the floor he said he had spilled fruit juice.
Let the fat around midday they said came he wants to get pizza, and the children were left alone until a 25 year old friend of their mother picked them up several hours later. She noticed the blood, and called police who started a murder investigation because of the large amount of blood, although at that time they did not have a body.
Lawyer for the defence Christian Isselhorst said the accused who turned up in court with a black “give a fuck” T-shirt said: “My client denies the fact. He says he loved his wife very much.”
The manslaughter trial continues.
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