February 26, 2000
Serial killer Franz Fuchs, who used bombs to target Roma people and their advocates, is found dead in his cell following an apparent suicide
In December 1993, Fuchs sent out his first wave of mail bombs, targeting those who advocated for Roma refugees; several targets were injured. A second wave was mailed in October 1994, though none of these bombs detonated.
On February 5, 1995, an improvised explosive device with a placard reading “Roma go back to India” was placed near a road. Four victims were killed when one picked up the sign, triggering the bomb.
Another three waves of mail bombs were sent out from June to December 1995, and although some victims were injured, there were no additional casualties.
In October 1997, police approached Fuchs after they suspected him of stalking two women. Assuming the police had learned of his involvement with the bombs, he retrieved an IED (improvised explosive device) from his vehicle and detonated it in his hands in a suicide attempt. Fuchs lost both hands in the explosion and one of the police officers was injured. Fuchs was then taken into custody.
Fuchs was sentenced to life in prison in March 1999. On February 26, 2000, Fuchs was found dead in his cell, having hanged himself using the cord of an electric razor, despite his absence of hands.
“Franz Fuchs: Vor 20 Jahren begann der Briefbombenterror.” Salzburger Nachrichten. December 3, 2013. https://www.sn.at/politik/innenpolitik/franz-fuchs-vor-20-jahren-begann-der-briefbombenterror-4197655
“Racist Bomber Commits Suicide.” The Vancouver Sun. February 28, 2000
Leidig, Michael. “Austria’s ‘Unabomber’ jailed for life.” National Post [Toronto, Ontario]. March 11, 1999
Cowell, Alan. “Attack on Austrian Gypsies Deepens Fear of Neo-Nazis.” New York Times. February 21, 1995