Christine Madden

journalist | editor | dramaturg | literary translator

Tag: Bavaria

Mysterious crossbow killings in Bavaria

Police are baffled at a spate of macabre deaths in the historic and otherwise peaceful city of Passau

Screenshot from Süddeutsche Zeitung’s website

A CRIME in the Bavarian city of Passau has horrified as much as mystified the police – and the general public. On Saturday morning, employees of a B&B in Unteröd, a district in Passau, found three bodies in one of the rooms. Two of the bodies, a 33-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man, were found in bed, holding hands. A third woman, aged 30, was lying on the floor. Two crossbows were also discovered in the room, and all three bodies had numerous bolts still in them. The state prosecutor’s office has called for an autopsy.

The man and woman in the bed both came from Rhineland-Palatinate; the woman on the floor from Lower Saxony. They had arrived together on Friday. It still isn’t clear what their relationship was. The B&B where they stopped was located in an idyllic verdant locality near a small river.

Screenshot from the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting Company) website

Since then, the police have announced today that they have discovered two more bodies, both women, this time in Lower Saxony. The flat, located in the town of Wittingen, was the home of one of the crime victims in Passau. No crossbows or bolts were found there; the cause of death is still unknown – or at least not yet made public. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of the two women found in Wittingen may be the partner of the 30-year-old woman found in Passau.

Bavarian police are working feverishly to solve the mystery of this macabre case.

Political earthquake in Bavaria

Candidates Katharina Schulze (l) and Ludwig Hartmann (r), joined by German Green party leader Robert Habeck, wave at a jubilant crowd at the final Green party rally. Photograph: Christine Madden

THE dust is far from settling over Sunday’s parliamentary election in Bavaria. The CSU, a behemoth of Bavarian – and a frequent irritation in Federal German – politics, lost the absolute majority they’ve more or less held for decades. They are now forced to enter into a coalition to build a new Bavarian government. Possible partners include the Green party – the big winners of this election, doubling their result from five years ago to achieve 17.5%. But a Bavarian populist party, the Free Voters (Freie Wähler), might be a better ideological fit. The SPD are also an option, but given the miserable effect of their grand coalition (Große Koalition, or GroKo) with the Federal German government, they’d probably rather keep their distance. And nobody wants to get into bed with far-right party AfD.

It’s all up for grabs as the CSU conduct exploratory talks with potential coalition partners. Interesting times.

My report on location in Munich: text and – for the first time – VIDEO.

Video: How the Green party is shaking up Bavarian elections in The Local

Bavaria: the word on the street in The Local

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