"I killed two men, whom I once loved. There is no way of glossing this over, I robbed two mothers of their sons. I believed I had to serve men, no matter how they behaved." Estibaliz Carranza, quoted from her 2014 book.
~ Rod Kackley: True Love, Too Late: A Shocking True Crime Story, CreateSpace, Sep. 10, 2018. 40 pp. (English)
The German language Wikipedia is posted here presents the victimization perspective of the defendant published in her memoir. Other publications reveal additional evidence that challenges Carranza’s self-vindicating description of her relationships with her family and the two men she murdered.
Wikipedia (translated from German): Goidsargi Estibaliz "Esti" Carranza Zabala, from 2002 to 2008 Goidsargi Estibaliz Holz, (born September 6, 1978 in Mexico City) is a Spanish - Mexican businesswoman and double murderer. She murdered her husband in 2008 and her partner out of greed in 2010 and deposited their dismembered corpses in a bricked-up freezer below their ice cream parlor in Meidling, Vienna. After the bodies were discovered during repair work in June 2011, Carranza fled the capital and was captured by police in Italy shortly afterwards. In the Austrian media she was called Eislady and one of the best-known personalities in recent Austrian criminal history. Since her conviction, she has been serving a life sentence in the Asten prison in the Upper Austrian market town of the same name. Two books have already been written about her life, one of which she wrote as an author.
~ Childhood and early life in Spain ~
Goidsargi Estibaliz Carranza Zabala was born in Mexico City, but came to Spain with her family at the age of five and grew up in the Catalan city of Barcelona. Since then she has held both Spanish and Mexican citizenship. Her father Armando Carranza Mendoza Lopez is a locally known author and has written books on the subjects of esotericism, shamanism and the life of the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs. He previously worked in Mexico as a journalist. Her mother Angela Zabala comes from the Basque Country. Carranza also has a younger brother. Even against her own tyrannical father, she built up murder fantasies in childhood. She studied economics at the University of Barcelona at the request of her father. She later said in court about her difficult relationship with her father:
"We weren't allowed to stand out, we didn't exist." - Estibaliz Carranza: quoted.
She was in a relationship with her first fiancé for five years. In relation to this relationship, it is known from her later statements that he regarded her as his property and treated her accordingly. After she finished her studies, the friend separated from her because, unlike her, he was not interested in a serious relationship. The fantasies of murder were now directed against her ex-boyfriend and she considered manipulating the brakes in his car.
~ Moved to Germany and married to Holger Holz ~
Shortly afterwards, Carranza abruptly left her Spanish home and settled in Germany. She lived for a short time in Munich, where she worked as an au pair with a family of friends. Carranza had no initial difficulties in the new world since she had already learned the German language in her childhood. She stayed in Bavaria after her job as an au pair and took up a job in an ice cream shop in a village near Nuremberg.
During this work she also met her first husband Holger Holz. At that time, Holz was a seller of refrigeration equipment, a member of the Hare Krishna religious group, and fourteen years older than her. Weeks after the first meeting, he made her a marriage proposal.
In 2002 the two finally got married and moved to his hometown Berlin, where she held various jobs. A short time after the wedding, Holz showed his other face, took all the money she earned as a waitress. Later also the papers when she wanted to go back to Spain. He is also said to have hurt her verbally and physically. She later went back to work in an ice cream shop. There, too, she was humiliated by her superior. Among other things, she was denied toilet visits. The fantasies were directed against him and she researched on the Internet how best to burn the business.
~ Opening of her own ice cream parlor in Vienna & murder of Holz ~
In 2005 Carranza and Holz went to Vienna, where they opened the Schleckeria ice cream parlor in Oswaldgasse in the Meidling district. Holz participated in this with a higher amount of money. He previously worked in Mexico as a journalist. This has long been her greatest wish. During this time, Holz developed a love for weapon technology and first-person shooter games. He also forced her to join Hare Krishna as well. Shortly after arriving in the Danube city, she met the ice machine salesman Manfred Hinterberger. Two years later, she began a liaison with him and eventually divorced Holger Holz, who remained in the small, shared apartment.
On April 27, 2008, Carranza finished her work in the ice cream shop and returned to her apartment, where she met Hold. Her now ex-husband insulted and denounced her for hours during the course of the evening, until she finally wanted to put an end to it. She grabbed a Beretta pistol and fired a total of three times from behind at Holz while it was playing on the computer. The 22-caliber weapon cartridges penetrated the back of the head twice and the temple once, killing him.
"I was absolutely helpless, I thought I could never get my life back." - Estibaliz Carranza: quoted.
The actual motive was true, on the one hand, that Holz did not want to move out of the shared apartment and, on the other hand, that she had high debts with Holz and that the repayment would have cost her the ice cream parlor. The dead body was left on the armchair for the next few days. First attempts to destroy the body by fire in the common apartment failed due to the strong smoke. A few days later, she bought a chainsaw in a hardware store and was also explained how to handle it. At home, she divided the body with it, put it in plastic bags and froze it first. When the apartment was later canceled in autumn 2008, she poured the plastic packages into tubs. However, the head was frozen to the bottom of the freezer, so that it also filled it with concrete. She then stored the tubs in a cellar compartment under her ice cream parlor "Schleckeria". She herself got the freezer to the storage place with the help of two unsuspecting acquaintances. She told people who inquired about Holz that he had joined a Hari Krishna sect in India, which is why he was never reported missing.
~ Relationship and murder of Manfred Hinterberger ~
After Holger Holz's death, Carranza entered into a serious relationship with Manfred Hinterberger from Upper Austria and moved in with him. Hinterberger also invested a higher amount of money in the "Schleckeria", which she could not have paid back without selling the ice cream parlor. The togetherness, however, stopped only briefly, Hinterberger was often unfaithful to her. From an ex-partner she was later described as submissive, who did everything for her lovers. For Hinterberger, according to her own statements, she was guided to numerous cosmetic operations, for example a nose reduction, a face lift and the spraying on of her lips, which were too thin for Hinterberger's views. He also did not want to fulfill her wish for children, since he already had grown children. In the end, she decided to kill him too.
"It's like having a plastic bag over your head. You just have to get out, at that moment you just have to get out.” – Estibaliz Carranza: quoted.
The second murder happened with some preparation, because Carranza learned from her mistakes in the first murder. To improve the marksmanship, she took practice lessons at the shooting range, while she also covered the floor and the walls of the room in which the murder was to be carried out with plastic film shortly before the planned act, in order to be able to later remove traces more easily.
The meticulously prepared murder was ultimately carried out on the night of November 21-22, 2010. After a trip together for two, the couple returned to their apartment late at night. Carranza waited until Hinterberger fell asleep and killed him with four shots in the back of the head. Carranza returns to the usual modus operandi after the murder. First, she leaves the dead body untouched for a while, only to then dismantle it using a chainsaw. The body parts were then concreted in, like those by ex-husband Holz, in a freezer in the basement of the ice cream parlor.
However, Manfred Hinterberger's disappearance did not go unnoticed and due to repeated inquiries, Carranza reported him missing four days after the murder. In December 2010 she entered into a relationship with Roland R., from whom she became pregnant shortly before her exposure.
~ Discovery of the Murder Victim and Carranza's Escape ~
The Carranzas ice cream parlor was in the same building with other shops and one of the tenants had to carry out repair work in the basement as part of a broken water pipe. On June 6, 2011, the cellar compartment with the number 6, which was locked with a padlock and previously could not be assigned to any of the house residents, was broken up by the tenant (in other sources by artisans). Upon entering, a handgun, a total of three freezers filled with concrete and also masonry troughs and flower pots were found. According to reports, a lower leg protruded from one. Shortly afterwards, the called-in police brought various body parts of the killed men to light. Several parts of Hinterberger's body were recovered, but only the skull could be found from Holz.
The next day, June 7, 2011, Carranza was approached by a neighbor in her ice cream parlor about the discovery, who also voiced the suspicion that the body could be Manfred Hinterberger. She emptied her bank account and safe deposit box, let her familiar cleaner fetch her passport and passbook and took a taxi to the airport. She booked a ticket to Paris, but fled the airport again, fearing that the police would arrest her before the flight. At that time, her was already being searched for and investigators were actually already at the gate to arrest her. At the bus station she got on a taxi again, which took her to Italy. She checked in under a false name in a guest house in Tolmezzo, which she left the next day and escaped the Italian police. Carranza drove to Udine and was picked up by a street artist, who let her spend the night with her. In the end, however, he became skeptical about her extensive interest in the body parts found and her suicidal fantasies and ultimately informed the police.
~ Arrest and first interrogations ~
At around 7:30 a.m. on June 10, 2011, the handcuffs clicked for Carranza in the northern Italian city. The Austrian authorities immediately made an extradition request for the suspect. In the meantime, a body had already been identified as Manfred Hinterberger. Carranza, who was already two months pregnant at the time, immediately admitted in the interrogation that she had murdered and removed the two men. Shortly after the discovery, the case went through the press in Austria and Spain. It was also speculated, such as a Spaniard described as small and petite, that the strenuous job of dismembering the bodies could be done by concreting some parts of the body and removing the rest. A possible accomplice who had supported these processes, however, has not yet been identified.
On June 24, Carranza was finally extradited to the Austrian judiciary and was detained on suspicion of murder in two cases. On January 11, 2012, Estibaliz Carranza gave birth to a son in Kaiser-Franz-Josef Hospital in Favoriten , who was handed over to her father shortly after birth. In March the two married in the interrogation zone of the Vienna Josefstadt Prison.
~Psychiatric report ~
In a psychiatric report at the beginning of July 2012, the defendant was found to be "particularly dangerous" and was "basically accountable" during her actions. The court psychiatrist diagnosed Carranza with a serious personality disorder and also expressed fears that she would again commit serious crimes in freedom. She had always completely submitted to the partner in relationships, but was never happy in this position, and since she was unable to end it, "there were essentially only deviant ways out". Therefore, before she can start a new relationship, she should always end the failed one in "her own way". Despite the determined accountability for the two murders, an admission to an institution for mentally abnormal lawbreakers was recommended.
~ Trial and conviction ~
On September 5, 2012, the Vienna Public Prosecutor charged Estibaliz Carranza for double murder to the detriment of Holger Holz and Manfred Hinterberger and requested that they be sent to an institution for mentally abnormal lawbreakers. In the indictment, she was described as a woman with "downright cold-bloodedness and unscrupulousness". After the two murders, she is said not to have shown any remorse and not to be visible on the outside from new companions. The start of the process was scheduled for November 19 and was originally scheduled to take three days. The trial was later extended to four trial days. Estibaliz Carranza was defended during the trial by the very experienced lawyers Werner Tomanek and Rudolf Mayer. The latter already represented the “Black Widow”, the serial killer Elfriede Blauensteiner and the kidnapper and rapist Josef Fritzl.
Already on the first day of the trial, Carranza made a complete confession to all allegations and described her actions as "disgusting". She had felt "miserable" after the murders, but could not take her own life. Her lack of remorse and lack of empathy justified her by taking soothing medications that made her feel cold. Besides, she didn't want to feel sorry for her.
“If I burst into tears, you would say what kind of theater is that. What I did is disgusting. I try to pull myself together and take the blame.” – Estibaliz Carranza: quoted.
On November 22, 2012, the trial for Carranza ended with a guilty verdict and a life sentence for double murder in an institution for mentally abnormal lawbreakers. She and her lawyers appealed, but the judgment was confirmed on March 20, 2013 by the Vienna Higher Regional Court and thus became final.
~ Life in custody and establishment as a media figure ~
Shortly after entering prison, media reported on their everyday prison life and Carranza's life in the Schwarzau prison. She was particularly fascinated by the tabloid press with statements on her part and with her "escapades" in custody. As a result, the Austrian press dug up new scandal stories of the Spaniard almost every week, making her the most famous murderer in the German-speaking world.
Carranza made herself a brand, staged herself and used her level of awareness in Austria to earn from her history. In November 2014, she published her memoirs, which she wrote together with the journalist Martina Prewein. In this book, which was published under the name My Two Lives: The Real Story of the Ice Lady by edition a, she explicitly describes her life, from childhood in Mexico to life in detention. It sold over ten thousand copies within a year, but also met with criticism. For example, at the end of 2015 the husband Carranzas criticized that no business should be done with the dead.
In August 2016, it was announced that she would be transferred from the Lower Austrian women's prison in Schwarzau to the Asten prison in the Upper Austrian market town of the same name. However, the relocation was only carried out at the beginning of November 2017. In February 2017, two female inmates in Schwarzau were sentenced to six and eight months, respectively, because of the dangerous threat to the Estibaliz Carranza.
In September 2018, a new book on Carranza's life was published. The author Bernhard Salomon conducted more than a hundred conversations about this and packed it in cell 14: The True Story of Love between the murderess Estibaliz Carranza, known as Eislady, and a fellow inmate. Her relationship with fellow inmate Martin L. also became known for the first time after she had previously separated from her husband and child father. When the relationship with the boy became known, her new boyfriend was transferred to another detention center. Carranza got engaged to this one before. In August 2018, Carranza and her husband Roland R. divorced after six and a half years of marriage. In July 2019, it became known that Carranza and L. had split up.
~ Media ~
The person Estibaliz Carranza served the Austrian writer Bettina Balàka as a direct template for her work The Princess of Arborio, published in 2016.
Carranza's deeds are dealt with in the U.S. crime thriller documentary Deadly Women in episode six of season 12 titled The Blame Game .
~ Books ~
~ Estibaliz Carranza & Martina Prewein, Meine zwei Leben: Die wahre Geschichte der Eislady. (My two lives: The true story of the ice lady), edition a GmbH, Vienna, Nov. 22, 2014.
~ Bernhard Solomon, Zelle 14 Die wahre Geschichte der Liebe zwischen der Mörderin Estibaliz Carranza, bekannt als Eislady, und einem Mithäftling. (Cell 14 The true story of love between the murderess Estibaliz Carranza, known as Eislady, and a fellow inmate), edition a GmbH, Vienna, 2017.
~ Rod Kackley: True Love, Too Late: A Shocking True Crime Story, CreateSpace, Sep. 10, 2018. 40 pp. (English)
For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.