Female ‘sect leader’, 76, is jailed for life for murdering four-year-old boy she said was ‘the reincarnation of Hitler’: Victim choked to death on his vomit while tied up in a sack
- The court heard how there had been a catalogue of abuse inflicted on the boy
A female sect leader has been jailed for life for the murder of a four-year-old boy who she believed was the reincarnation of Hitler.
The woman, who is now aged 76, was handed the sentence after the Frankfurt district court in the German state of Hesse found her guilty of murder after the incident on August 17, 1988.
The woman had persuaded the now 62-year-old mother of the boy, identified only by his first name Jan, to think that the child had been ‘possessed by evil’ and had to be killed because he was the ‘reincarnation of Adolf Hitler’, according to German media.
After a catalogue of abuse, matters came to a head when the mother tied the child up and stuffed him in a burlap sack, which she handed over to the sect leader, who dumped him in a bathroom.
It is unclear what she planned to do with him, but while he was abandoned there, having struggled to breathe, Jan suffocated on his own vomit.
The woman, who is now aged 76, in court (undated). She was handed the sentence after the Frankfurt district court in the German state of Hesse found her guilty of murder after the incident on August 17, 1988
An undated court pic of the woman. The court heard how there had been a catalogue of abuse inflicted on the boy
The court heard how the boy had been left out in the cold, forced to sit on the potty for extended periods and was also beaten and occasionally had food stuffed into his mouth.
At the time, investigators assumed that the child had died of an ‘organ failure’ after the sect leader and the mother removed his body from the sack and made it seem as though he had died in his sleep.
But after the investigation was reopened in 2015 and police obtained the sect leader’s diary, she was immediately arrested and scheduled for trial.
During the first trial against the 76-year-old woman, the boy’s mother was charged with joint murder after she incriminated herself by standing by the elderly woman and saying: ‘She is like a sister and a good friend.’
In the current trial, presiding judges believe the elderly woman who had managed the cult more than 35 years ago acted for selfish and cruel motives.
The woman had persuaded the now 62-year-old mother of the boy, identified only by his first name Jan, to think that the child had been ‘possessed by evil’ and had to be killed because he was the ‘reincarnation of Adolf Hitler’, according to German media (File Photo)
The 76-year-old woman recorded her motivation at the time, noting that she felt ‘incredibly angry’ when she was confronted by the boy whose personality she described as ‘evil’.
She had also called him a ‘pig’ and ‘a sadist’, among other highly critical descriptions discovered in her diary.
The reason for the mother giving the leader permission to abuse the child was not disclosed, but prosecutors believe that she had aimed to strengthen her position within the sect.
German media speculated that the abuse took place in the elderly lady’s residence, which was also the sect’s base.
According to her diary, she feared her abusive behaviour would be uncovered by the boy’s teachers and this was her reason for planning the murder.
The judge said: ‘You have now had ten judges attest to you that your sadistic behaviour towards Jan, in combination with your callous reaction to his death, can be classified as murder.’
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