Monday, July 7, 2014

Beate Zschäpe, The “Nazi Bride” Serial Killer – Germany, 2011

There is a great deal of information available online about this case. Only a few salient aspects are recounted here. Beate Zschäpe is sometimes referred to as “The Nazi Bride.”

On November 8, 2011, Beate Zschäpe,  turned herself in to police in Jena. On November 11, 2011, the Office of the Attorney General of Germany started investigations because of Zschäpe’s supposed membership of a terrorist unit. The trial continues (as of July 2014).

According to the charge, the NSU was a group of three members who committed their crimes after having coordinated their division of labour. The other two are now dead.

Zschäpe is said to have had the indispensable task of giving the terrorist unit the appearance of normality and legality among other things by maintaining an inconspicuous façade at their respective places of residence and by securing their joint flat as a safe haven and headquarters for their actions. In addition, she is said to have been “significantly responsible for the logistics of the group”. Thus she had managed the stolen money from the robberies and had rented caravans several times, including a vehicle used in one of the crimes, according to the Office of the Attorney General reports in the bill of indictment. [Wikipedia]

~ 10 Murders ~

“As a founding member of the NSU …”, she was accused of having taken part in the murders of eight fellow citizens of Turkish origin and one fellow citizen of Greek origin, in the murderous attack on two police officers in Heilbronn, as well as in the attempted murders by bomb attacks of the NSU in the historic district of Cologne and in Cologne-Müllheim. [Wikipedia]

~ Bombing

In a dactyloscopic report, evidence of Zschäpe’s DNA is stated to have been found on newspaper articles about the bomb attack in Cologne and the murder of Habil Kilic. [Wikipedia]

~ Arson, attempted murder of 3

In addition, Zschäpe is accused of having “set the flat in Zwickau on fire, hereby having rendered herself liable for prosecution for the attempted murder of a neighbour and two craftsmen as well as for particularly serious arson.” [Wikipedia]

~  Child pornography

The department of public prosecution in Zwickau also investigated her because child pornographic data had been found on her computer. However, this investigation was said to have been closed, since the penalty for this would be of “no significant weight” in comparison to the penalty for the alleged actions of which she had already been accused. [Wikipedia]


On defendant Beate Zschäpe’s first day in the courtroom, May 6, 2013, her behavior upsets the victims’ relatives, who are present as joint plaintiffs. Zschäpe laughs, makes jokes and brims with self-confidence in her business suit, even though she keeps her back turned to photographers as she enters the room. [Anja Fähnle, “Chronology: Year one of the neo-Nazi NSU murder trial.” DW online, May 6, 2014]


[Thomas Meaney and Saskia Schäfer, “The neo-Nazi murder trial revealing Germany's darkest secrets,” The Guardian, Dec. 15, 2016]

Bosphorus serial murders. (Bosporus-Morde), "Kebab Murders" (Dönermorde). National Socialist Underground (NSU).

Jan. 2, 1975 – Beate Apel born, Jena, East Germany.

1989 – Aged 14, Zschäpe joined a youth gang which called itself Die Zecken ("The Ticks").

1991 (circa) – Her involvement with the political right begins.

Sep. 9, 2000 – Enver Şimşek (38), shot by 2 gunmen, Nuremberg; dies Sep. 11. Victim #1.

Jun. 2001 – Abdurrahim Özüdoğru (49), shot to death, Nuremberg.

Jun./Jul. 2001 – Süleyman Taşköprü (31), shot to death, Hamburg.

Aug. 2001 – Habil Kılıç (38) shot to death, Munich suburbs.

2004 – Mehmet Turgut, shot to death, Rostock

2004 – Bomb. Keupstrasse area of Cologne; 22 wounded.

June 2005 – İsmail Yaşar (50), shot to death, Nuremberg.

2006 – Theodoros Boulgarides was killed in his newly opened shop in Munich. 2006, Mehmet Kubaşık, 39, was shot Dortmund.

2006 – two days after Kubasic murder; Halit Yozgat (21), shot to death, Kassel.

2006 – Alexander Horn, a young police profiler, began to cast doubts on the idea that the murders were connected to the Turkish mafia.

Apr. 25, 2007 – Michèle Kiesewetter (22), police officer, and colleague shot. Kiesewetter dies.

Nov. 4, 2011 – Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, bank robbery in Eisenach, Thuringia. When surrounded by police, one commits suicide after killing the other.

Nov. 2011 – Zschäpe, Mundlos and Böhnhardt living together at Zwickau.  Zschäpe burns house after learning of her friends’ deaths.

Nov. 2011, “Pink Panther” message; DVDs containing a curious recording were dropped off at the offices of several German newspapers.

Nov. 8, 2011 – Zschäpe turns herself in to the police, Jena.

Nov. 8, 2012 – one year after the series of murders became known, the Office of the Attorney General pressed charges against Zschäpe and four alleged supporters.

May 6, 2013 –Zschäpe trial begins. Trial lasts 438 days.

Dec. 2015 – Zschäpe, the only surviving member, broke her silence after two and a half years and made a statement, denying that she had been a member of the NSU.

Sep. 2017 – prosecutors demanded that life imprisonment is to be imposed.

Jul. 11, 2018, Zschäpe was found guilty of ten counts of murder, membership in a terror organization, and arson, and sentenced to life imprisonment without ordinary parole. No evidence was ever presented showing Beate had herself committed a murder.


Good overview of the case: [Thomas Meaney and Saskia Schäfer, “The neo-Nazi murder trial revealing Germany's darkest secrets,” The Guardian, Dec. 15, 2016]






For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits


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