March 6, 1981
Luebeck, West Germany
Marianne Bachmeier (30) shoots the man who admitted to molesting and killing her 7-year-old daughter Anna
On May 5, 1980, Anna Bachmeier skipped school to meet with a classmate friend, though she first visited the apartment of neighbor Klaus Grabowski (35) to play with his cats. Grabowski had been convicted of child molestation twice before, and eventually volunteered for chemical castration in 1976. The process inhibits the libido of the patient with the hopes they will not reoffend. It was later revealed Grabowski had begun hormone treatments to reverse the effects of the castration.
While Anna was in his apartment, Grabowski sexually molested her. He claimed she then demanded 5 marks (worth roughly US$2.87) or she would tell her mother of the incident. Grabowski stated he feared going back to prison and strangled Anna with a pair of his fiancé’s nylon stockings before putting her in a box and burying her next to a canal. He was arrested after his fiancé provided police with a tip. Though there was evidence of molestation, investigators could not determine if it had occurred ante- or postmortem.
On the third day of Grabowski’s trial, Anna’s mother Marianne brought a loaded .22-caliber Beretta pistol to court. (She later claimed she hadn’t intended to kill Grabowski until she heard he had intended to defame Anna in court.) Marianne shot at Grabowski’s back 8 times; six shots struck him. After the shots, Marianne reportedly lowered gun, mentioned she wished she could have shot him in the face rather than his back, and said, “Hopefully, he’s dead.” Grabowski died soon after the shooting, either on the courthouse floor or en route to the hospital, depending on the source.
Marianne was asked to provide a sample for handwriting analysis. Her sample read “I did it for you, Anna,” followed by seven hearts.
Despite public outcry calling the killing justified, the court found Marianne’s attack to be premeditated. She was given a sentence of 6 years in prison in 1983, and released on parole two years later. Marianne died of pancreatic cancer on September 17, 1996 and was buried with Anna.
(Top left): The scene where Grabowski was shot; (Top right): Anna Bachmeier; (Bottom): Marianne Bachmeier meeting with the press.
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