On May 30, 2005 the neighbor of 31-year old Austrian bookkeeper, Gertraud Arzberger, residing in Graz, went to the apartment building shared basement to get some ice cream for his children and in the freezer there discovered the corpses of two plastic-wrapped babies. Police, using “sniffer dogs,” discovered one more dead newborn in a garden shed on the premises encased in concrete-filled bucket and another hidden behind a pile of rubbish.
Arzberger admitted murdering the babies and stated the reason as frustration over finances and her fear that her live-in paramour, Johannes Genser, might leave her if she were to raise a child. She confessed she had given birth each time in the bathtub, but claimed she could not remember her actions following the births.
Genser, presumably the father of the dead children, “denied knowing about her pregnancies, but acknowledged telling her that she would have to leave him if she got pregnant.” Neighbors testified that five of Gertaud’s pregnancies in question had been clearly visible. Police could not locate a fifth corpse.
On March 31, 2006 Arzberger was convicted of three murders and sentenced to life in prison. Genser was found guilty as an accessory and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“As he left court in handcuffs Genser sought to propose marriage to Arzberger. ‘Can I still offer her my hand?’ he asked the judge, who replied firmly ‘No.’”
2000-2005 – dates of 4 newborn deaths.
May 30, 2005 – Monday, neighbor discovers two corpses.
Jun. 2, 2005 – Gertraud Arzberger and Johannes Genser arrested (Thursday).
Mar. 31, 2006 – GA pleads guilty; 3 counts of murder (one child possibly having been stillborn), sentenced to life in prison.
[“Mom confesses to killing babies,” News24.com, Jun. 3, 2005]
[“Austrian jailed for baby murders,” BBC News, Mar. 31, 2006]
[Kleine Zeitung (Graz)]
For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.