The Hinterkaifeck Murders


Introduction -

    Hinterkaifeck is a small farm land situated in the Bavarian region in Germany.
    The Hinterkaifeck murders is considered to be the most bizarre and puzzling crime in German history.
    On the evening of March 31, 1922, the six inhabitants of the farm were killed with a mattock. The murder remains unsolved to this day.
    The six victims were - Andreas Gruber, his wife Cazilia, their widowed daughter Viktoria Gabriel and her two children, and the housemaid Maria Baumgartner.

The Crime -

    A few days prior to the crime, farmer Andreas Gruber told neighbors about discovering footprints in the snow leading from the edge of the forest to the farm, but none leading back. He also spoke about hearing footsteps in the attic and finding an unfamiliar newspaper on the farm.
    The house keys went missing several days before the murders, but none of this was reported to the police.
    Six months prior to the murders, the previous maid had left the farm, claiming that it was haunted. The new maid, Maria Baumgartner, arrived on the farm on 31 March, only to die a few hours later.
    Exactly what happened on that fateful day cannot be said for certain. It is believed that the older couple, as well as their daughter Viktoria and her daughter, were all lured into the barn one by one, where they were killed.
    The perpetrator then went into the house where he killed the 2 year old boy, who was sleeping in a cot in his mother's bedroom, as well as the maid, Maria Baumgartner.
    After some days, some neighbors went to the farmstead because none of the inhabitants had been seen for several days, which was rather unusual. They then discovered the dead bodies of the family members and the house maid.

The Investigation -

    The Munich Police Department made immense efforts investigating the killings. More than 100 suspects have been questioned through the years, but to no avail. The most recent questioning took place in 1986, fruitlessly. In 2007 the students of the Police Academy in Fürstenfeldbruck got the task of investigating the case once more with the help of modern techniques for criminal investigation. They came to the conclusion that it is impossible to completely solve the crime after that much time had passed. There is a lack of evidence because the investigation methods then were rather primitive. In addition, evidence has been lost and the suspects have since died.
    Nevertheless, the students were able to identify one person as the main suspect. They did not directly name that person in the report, however, out of respect for still-living relatives.
    To this day, many hobby investigators continue to investigate the case.