Couple on trial for abusing, killing women
A couple accused of luring women to their home in western Germany and abusing them so badly that two of them died went on trial yesterday, charged with murder by omission and bodily harm.
Wilfried W., 46, and his 47year-old ex-wife, Angelika W., were brought into the state court in Paderborn separately — the female suspect holding a file in front of her face, but her ex-husband looking at photographers and talking with his lawyers.
Authorities started investigating after the couple called an ambulance April 21 for a woman with head injuries. She died shortly afterward in a hospital and doctors alerted police to the signs of abuse.
Prosecutors say that the woman, who had apparently answered an online personal ad, had been held in the couple’s house outside the town of Hoexter for nearly two months and had been made to sleep in an unheated room on a floor. An autopsy showed she suffered from blows to the head, among other injuries.
Police have said that Angelika W. then told authorities she’d been involved in another woman’s death in 2014. After she was killed, that victim’s body was cut up and stored in the freezer, and pieces were removed and burned in the couple’s fireplace over time, according to police. The couple allegedly used the victim’s phone to continue sending text messages to her mother.
Prosecutors believe that at least eight people were abused by the couple in total. One woman told investigators that she was held captive for around three months and physically abused.
Wilfried W.’s lawyer, Detlef Binder, told n-tv television that his client “was controlled over all the years by his ex-wife.”
Prosecutors have said that the couple appeared to be motivated more by power than sexual reasons.