The Western Star

Murdered at hands of Prophet

- Max Haines

The organ music could be heard long into the night. No one complained.

After all, the Alexanders were otherwise a quiet, respected family. No one knew they were as nutty as fruitcakes. The Alexanders kept pretty much to themselves.

Harold Alexander was a stonemason who had moved with his family from Hamburg, Germany to Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands.

Harold, 39, was a handsome man who had managed to eke out a living back in Germany. He had moved his family to Santa Cruz when his wife, Dagmar, received a small inheritanc­e.

Once on the island, the Alexanders sought employ-ment. Sabine and Petra, 15-year-old twins, obtained positions as maids at the home of Dr. Walter Trenkler.

It bothered the doctor somewhat that the girls, whom he knew to be deeply religious, never really became friends with any members of his family. They kept strictly to themselves.

The twins’ brother, Frank, 16, worked for a shipping firm.

Dagmar, Harold and a third daughter, Marina, 18, were not employed. The Alexander family would gather at their flat at 37 Calle Jesus Nazareno at every opportunit­y. On such occasions the drapes would be closed and organ music could be heard far into the night.

The music stopped on the afternoon of Dec. 16, 1970. That was the day Harold Alexander and his son Frank showed up at the residence of Trenkler and asked to see Sabine.

As the astonished doctor gaped at father and son, soaked from head to foot with brownish caked blood, Sabine entered the room. Her father’s first words were, “Frank and I have just finished killing your mother and your sisters.”

Trenkler thought he might have misunderst­ood, but there was no misunderst­anding Sabine’s reply, “Oh, that’s wonderful, father.” Then the 15-year-old girl ran to her father and embraced him.

As an afterthoug­ht, Harold, peering over his daughter’s shoulder, addressed the dumbfounde­d doctor, “my wife and my other daughters; we have killed them. It was the hour of killing.”

Trenkler dashed to the other room and called police.

When police arrived, Dr. Trenkler briefed them on the strange conversati­on which had just taken place. He didn’t have to point out father and son, who stood before them caked in blood.

Harold Alexander explained to police he hadn’t actually killed his wife and two daughters. He was busy playing the organ at the time. It was the Prophet, better known as his son, Frank, who had actually carried out the sacrifices.

Harold explained the Prophet had declared The Hour of the Great Killing was at hand.

Harold treated the police as if they were stupid creatures from another planet. It was all so simple. The Prophet had ordered the killings.

Police sent a car to 37 Calle Jesus Nazareno. Harold Alexander had told the truth all right.

The police, who broke down the door of the Alexanders’ flat, were physically ill and had to leave the premises. No wonder.

Marina’s and Petra’s naked bodies were in the living room, hacked beyond recognitio­n. Their sex organs had been slashed away. Blood covered the room from floor to ceiling.

The bedroom held additional horrors. Dagmar’s body was mutilated.

To add to the grisly scene, the murderer had removed her heart, fastened it with a cord and tacked it up on a wall.

Despite the horrendous condi- tion of the bodies, the medical examiner was able to ascertain that, in all three cases, death had been caused by repeated blows to the head with a heavy wooden coat hanger found at the scene.

Frank said his mother had looked at him in a suggestive manner. He realized immediatel­y it was the hour of killing. He picked up the hanger and struck her several times over the head until she fell unconsciou­s. What was Daddy doing? Why, playing the organ, of course. And what were his two sisters doing? Waiting, what else? Frank proceeded to club first Marina and then Petra into unconsciou­sness. Daddy played on. When the three women lay dead, Daddy did stop playing long enough to help with the mutilation­s. And why had

Frank the Prophet killed his mother and his sisters? Replying as if his interrogat­ors were simpletons, Frank said, “the lust of the women had to be punished.”

Under sympatheti­c expert questionin­g, the Prophet explained that back in Germa ny when he was very young, he and his father had had an incestuous relationsh­ip.

That’s when Daddy started calling him the Prophet.

His sisters often crowded into bed with him as well. In time, the Prophet’s demands and wishes were considered his divine right and were to be followed regardless of the consequenc­es.

Frank Alexander and his father, Harold, were judged unfit to stand trial.

They were confined to a mental institutio­n, Sabine Alexander stayed in the convent to which she was taken immediatel­y after the murders of her mother and sisters.

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