The press speculates about instructions to investigators

The press speculates about instructions to investigators

Not only that the BKA officer who was taking notes notices that Nardin’s cautious move away from her position: "The statement about a possible suicide was presented more strongly in a preliminary discussion." He also quotes a coroner: Ultimately, external influence cannot be ruled out.

Suspicious chaos at the crime scene

The Geneva Round will be informed of the first results that day. About evidence and abnormalities at the scene of the crime and the corpse. About pronounced spots on Barschel’s face and pressure points on the mouth. About shoe marks, a broken wine glass and a missing red wine bottle. A torn shirt button was found, a whiskey bottle with colorless liquid residue.

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Regarding the presumed cause of death, the drug mix: Cyclobarbital was the deadliest of the eight substances that were ultimately found in Barschel’s body. But the suspicious chaos at the scene of the crime does not shake the Swiss investigators in their attitude towards the outside world: the 43-year-old swallowed the paralyzing and deadly substances himself, laid himself in the tub and died.

On October 24th, German forensic doctors open the body a second time in Hamburg. The heart is missing, but a rubber glove is in the chest. They diagnose a severe skull injury, a 10 by 5 centimeter hematoma under the skin. The cause can be a violent blow with a sand-filled hose used in criminal circles "cat". But just a push that a swaying perch inflicted on the door frame itself.

The press speculates about instructions to investigators

In every other unexplained death, more in-depth investigations would have started at this point in time. However, as in Switzerland, interest in the education is limited in Germany. The Barschel death case was filed for seven years. Only the assumption of suicide remains in the room. The "Basler newspaper" had already reported on October 15, 1987 about a confidential tip, according to which this was probably intended: The "Political and judicial authorities have received from an important German side … the wish that it would be in everyone’s interest if this case could be classified as a suicide".

How did Uwe Barschel really die? The authorities are inactive, now the family and journalists are pressing ahead with the clarification. The renowned Zurich forensic scientist Hans Brandenberger gives his assessment on ZDF: He reports that the eight poisons are "in a staggered supply" enters the body. First the less dangerous ones with a drowsy effect. Hours later the deadly cyclobarbital. Which means in the case of a suicide: Uwe Barschel should have given himself the decisive poison in an unconscious state.

Freya Barschel with a photo of her deceased husband Uwe Barschel: The deceased’s family sought to reopen the investigation. (Source: imago images)

The Barschel family is pushing for resumption via the Federal Court of Justice. In 1994, the Lübeck public prosecutor Heinrich Wille took over the investigation. Willes team believes: Much more does not fit the suspicion of suicide. The shoe prints contain chemical substances. There is the shirt button that was forcibly torn off, which Barschel could hardly have done himself. In the whiskey bottle, the Lübeck investigators find remains of diphenhydramine, one of the poisons in the body of the deceased. The bottle was rinsed either by Barschel or by strangers.

Was there a second person in the room?

Will concludes: "It doesn’t make sense for a suicide." A second person must have been in the room. A death helper. Or a murderer.good argumentative essay In 2012, the Kiel LKA found after a DNA test that Barschel’s clothing and a hotel towel actually contained mixed genetic traces of a stranger. After such a long time they can no longer be assigned.

Nevertheless: Willes engagement has opponents. The most violent is the Attorney General Erhard Rex from Kiel. The suspicion of the Lübeckers is far too thin to serve as evidence of a homicide. "Shirt buttons tend to tear off", he says, and the behavior of suicides is unpredictable. In a 61-page, personal statement in 2007, Rex also states: When looking for possible motives for the crime, as a lawyer, one should not rely on rumors.

The rumors: GDR, BND, CIA, Mossad

But it is also true that the life and death of Uwe Barschel almost challenge the rumor hunt. He is said to have been secretly in the GDR 19 times, talking to arms dealers in Prague. According to Wille, he had secured CIA contacts and must have known about illegal submarine exports by the Kiel HDW works to South Africa. At the time of death, BND agent Werner Mauss was staying in the neighboring hotel in Geneva "Richmonde" on.

Just coincidences? Or are possible motives for murder to be found in such connections? Finally: who was this alleged informant called "Roloff"Barschel wanted to meet in Switzerland? Maybe a decoy, hired by killers with completely different interests? Or Barschel’s very own invention to disguise his intended suicide as a cold-blooded secret service murder?

Behind the last question marks end the certain facts of the Barschel story. Speculations remain, anonymous letters of confession of allegedly terminally ill contract killers ("Mrs. Barschel, I killed your husband") and claims by authors such as Victor Ostrowsky, an ex-Mossad agent, that his employer ordered Barschel’s murder because he was about the operation "Hannibal" wanted to unpack. In 1987, during the Iran / Iraq conflict, this was supposed to have been a plan to train Iranian military pilots by Israelis at northern German airfields. Bonn and the CIA would have known about it. The South African arms dealer Stoffberg, however, held the later CIA chief and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for the perpetrator.

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Wille and Rex, the top lawyers, have long since retired. Wille is more convinced than ever of the murder. Attorney General Rex warns of conspiracy theories and adventurers who "for the sake of making money" express. He capitulated. His conclusion: "Not a classic murder, not a classic suicide."

Note: If you think a lot about your own death or worry about someone else, you will find help here immediately and anonymously.

Sources used: Heinrich Wille: "A murder that wasn’t allowed to be", Rotpunktverlag, Zurich 2011 Wolfram Baentsch: "The double murder of Uwe Barschel", Herbig-Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich 2006 Erhard Rex: Comment 2007 Ask the state: Request to the BKA 2018 more sources show less sources

An old woman was found dead in the bathtub of her apartment in 2008. Was it murder? A janitor is convicted. But now there are many indications of his innocence. Including a witness.

It is October 28, 2008, shortly before 6.30 p.m. A nursing staff wants to look after Lieselotte Kortüm. The 87-year-old lives in Rottach-Egern am Tegernsee. The key is in her apartment door. The caretaker left it there. He had driven to neighboring Wiessee three hours earlier to do some shopping for the old lady.

He has the care company from "Key in the door" informed by phone and wants to bring Kortüm the purchases the next day. The nurse is surprised when she enters the apartment because it is unusually quiet. She checks the bedroom, living room, and kitchen. There is no one. Only in the bathroom does water gently splash from turned on taps.

The bathroom door is ajar. The nurse pushes it open, the shock goes into her limbs. The old lady lies lifeless in the tub, wearing a cardigan and pajamas. The head and upper body are covered with water, the left lower leg hangs over the edge of the tub. The doctor who is called determines death from drowning. A fatal household accident like the one suffered by around 8,000 people in Germany every year? Maybe. Or: a capital crime? The latter is believed by the District Court of Munich II, which recorded the discovery of the dead old lady.

Paradise in Bavaria?

The blue Tegernsee with the white boats and the Wallberg is a heavenly landscape. The rich and beautiful live here, and not a few mighty people. The federal agency recently reported a total of 60 unemployed for the valley and less than 1,000 criminal offenses by the police, which evaluated the statistics for 2018. The risk of becoming a victim of burglars is 15 times lower around the lake than in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Manfred Genditzki at his wedding: The caretaker has now spent more than ten years in prison. (Source:

Is there a more peaceful place in the republic? But the whole truth also includes spectacular statistical outliers. In 2016, a 97-year-old millionaire was killed in her Kreuther villa. In 2018, a wealthy, 60-year-old ophthalmologist in Tegernsee was dead in bed, the public prosecutor asked "External influence" firmly.

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But back to the case of Lieselotte Kortüm. The caretaker in question is called Manfred Genditzki. One has to imagine the man as a bee-diligent factotum. As someone who was responsible for 44 residential units, but who also did everything for the old lady. He who fetched the rolls for her, prepared breakfast, did the shopping, did the laundry, organized the visit to the hairdresser and doctor, who cashed the checks and even the personal contact of his family with the single woman "Lotte" sought.

An all-round service that may have allowed Kortüm’s demands to grow over the years: Genditzki, she thought, was always available and had to follow her instructions.

Nobody expected conviction

Not long after the nurse found the old lady dead in the tub, the almost 50-year-old is suspected of having killed her. He vehemently denies that. The investigators cannot find traces of DNA that indicate him. There are no battle or grinding marks. A receipt from Edeka in Bad Wiessee is stamped at 3:30 p.m. The court takes note of all of this and records it in the judgment.

Trial observers assume an acquittal. But after a three-year journey through several instances, the Regional Court of Munich II finally decided in May 2012: "The defendant Manfred Genditzki is guilty of unrelated murder with willful bodily harm. He is therefore sentenced to life imprisonment." He is serving his prison sentence in Landsberg am Lech. This is still the case today.

Can this man be the murderer of the cared for? The lifelong judgment is based on circumstantial evidence. Genditzki had power of attorney and access to the woman’s cash. He had a key to the apartment, of course. Also: he was the last one who had seen the old lady alive. Above all, forensic medicine found two hemorrhages on the head of the corpse, five to seven centimeters in size. The judges believe Genditzki did "with a blunt object once or twice with great force on the back of the head" beaten or pushed Kortüm so that they "dropped his head on a hard object."

The motive for robbery and murder was ruled out

The attempts to contact the Rottach doctor twice around 2:57 p.m. Calling Weber canceled after just seconds. In no less detail, the court describes in its reasons for the judgment how it imagined the actual murder: The perpetrator carried the unconscious woman into the bathroom, placed her in the empty tub and let the water run in. "He pushed Frau Kortüm under water until after four to five minutes she stopped moving or gave no more air bubbles."

Tegernsee: The region is home to many wealthy people. (Source: Westend61 / imago images)

Such an approach would be brutal. What is the motive for this? The early assumption that the caretaker could have committed a robbery, i.e. acted out of greed, quickly fell through. Because apart from around 50,000 euros, which flowed from Kortüms bank account in an unknown direction within a year and a half, no money is missing. So the judges turn to a different construction.

Lieselotte Kortüm demanded too much commitment from Manfred Genditzki. In the four months before her death alone, she had called him 300 times and often got him out of bed at night. He was, summarizes the judgment, about it on the afternoon of the crime "in rage" devices. After a row – he wanted to visit his mother, who had cancer, which was Kortüm "jealous" made – the dispute escalated.

Was everything completely different?

Was it like that? Regina Rick is a lawyer. She has her law firm on Neuhauser Strasse in Munich. Rick doesn’t just have the verdict "fully attacked" and wants the retrial. She also demands the immediate release of her client. The criminal lawyer received mail from the public prosecutor in the past few days. The authority refuses to accept a resumption. But in the end, the Munich District Court I had to decide the fate of the imprisoned Genditzki.

Regina Rick is firmly convinced: The convict is not a murderer. There is no perpetrator at all. It was, she argues, an unfortunate fall, caused by a sudden faint, that made Lieselotte Kortüm fall into the water while soaking laundry. It was not the first time that this had happened. A credible witness contacted Rick for this.

Manfred Genditzki has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Munich II regional court. (Source: Falk Heller)

Christiane Eyssele knew Lieselotte Kortüm for a long time.