Mystery of five dead in German crossbow killings: Police probing macabre murder-suicides

Five mysterious deaths, including three by crossbow bolts, may have been a murder-suicide pact among Germans with a passion for medieval folklore and weaponry, police revealed today.

Germany has been baffled by the macabre case since a trio of corpses was found Saturday in a hotel in the Bavarian town of Passau, followed by Monday’s discovery of two dead women across the country in the town of Wittingen. 

Police investigating the initial triple death mystery said the two women were dressed in all black, one lying on a bed with the older bearded man who was covered in medieval alchemy tattoos. 

Two of them, named by police only as Torsten W., 53, and Kerstin E., 33, were found with bolts through their hearts lying hand-in-hand beside wills on a bed.

The third person Farina C., 30, is believed to have shot the other two medieval combat enthusiasts before firing an arrow into her own neck in the Bavarian retreat.

Several hundred miles north at Farina C.’s apartment in Wittingen, her 35-year-old partner – a teacher – was found dead with a 19-year-old woman on Monday, PNP reported.

Torsten W., 53,  had been running a medieval shop in his hometown selling swords, axes, knives, flags and clothing as well as mead

Torsten W., 53,  had been running a medieval shop in his hometown selling swords, axes, knives, flags and clothing as well as mead

Torsten W., 53,  had been running a medieval shop in his hometown selling swords, axes, knives, flags and clothing as well as mead

Undertakers carry a body bag from the house in Wittingen on Monday as police investigate the deaths of two other women possibly connected to the deaths of the trio in Passau

Undertakers carry a body bag from the house in Wittingen on Monday as police investigate the deaths of two other women possibly connected to the deaths of the trio in Passau

Undertakers carry a body bag from the house in Wittingen on Monday as police investigate the deaths of two other women possibly connected to the deaths of the trio in Passau

The guesthouse in Passau, Bavaria where the three were discovered on Saturday

The guesthouse in Passau, Bavaria where the three were discovered on Saturday

The guesthouse in Passau, Bavaria where the three were discovered on Saturday

Bild reported that the trio of victims in Bavaria had shared a fascination with the Middle Ages, including knights’ tournaments, jousting, medieval weaponry and alchemy.

Bild said Torsten W. had for the past five months owned a shop called ‘Milites Conductius’ that sold medieval-style swords, axes, knives, flags and clothing as well as mead.

Tattooed on his arms were symbols of the medieval alchemists or natural philosophers, it said.

The shop in Rhineland-Palatinate state had also provided space for sword-fighting lessons in the evenings, said Bild.

Undertakers carry a body bag from the house in Wittengen

Undertakers carry a body bag from the house in Wittengen

Undertakers carry a body bag from the house in Wittengen

Also on display in the shop was a bizarre female mannequin wearing suspenders, tied with ropes and chains, smeared with red paint and its head bandaged.

The local prosecutor’s office said it was treating the case as a ‘requested killing and suicide’, suggesting Farina C. first shot the couple and then herself.

Contrary to prior reports, police said on Tuesday no crossbows or arrows were found at the Wittingen crime scene, inside a timber-framed house, where Farina C.’s partner and the 19-year-old were found. 

‘The modus operandi cannot be compared,’ said a police spokesperson.

The three killed by crossbow had checked into the riverside hotel Zur Triftsperre, close to the Austrian border, on a rainy Friday night.

They were on their way back from Austria, according to Bild, where at least on of the crossbows had been bought. 

Farina C. reportedly paid the £260 (300 euros) in advance for three nights without breakfast before they all disappeared into their room. 

Police said three crossbows were found in the room where three bodies were discovered with bolts sticking out of them on Saturday

Police said three crossbows were found in the room where three bodies were discovered with bolts sticking out of them on Saturday

Police said three crossbows were found in the room where three bodies were discovered with bolts sticking out of them on Saturday 

The guesthouse which stands near the Ilz river surrounded by trees in Passau, Bavaria, where two women and a man were found dead on Saturday

The guesthouse which stands near the Ilz river surrounded by trees in Passau, Bavaria, where two women and a man were found dead on Saturday

The guesthouse which stands near the Ilz river surrounded by trees in Passau, Bavaria, where two women and a man were found dead on Saturday

The three were carrying no luggage and returned to the carpark only later to collect the crossbow bags.

Three crossbows were later found in the room, one still packed in its bag. 

Torsten W.’s  former landlord Alexander Kruger told RTL he always saw the older man with a ‘lesbian couple,’ adding: ‘They all wore black, had their eyebrows painted black.’

Kruger said he began noticing a man sneaking around his property and when confronted, he explained he was a private detective hired by the parents of one of the women to locate her. 

Undertakers load a coffin onto the back of an SUV in Wittingen on Monday

Undertakers load a coffin onto the back of an SUV in Wittingen on Monday

Undertakers load a coffin onto the back of an SUV in Wittingen on Monday

A police car stands in front of a building where the bodies of two women have been found at an apartment, in Wittlingen on Monday

A police car stands in front of a building where the bodies of two women have been found at an apartment, in Wittlingen on Monday

A police car stands in front of a building where the bodies of two women have been found at an apartment, in Wittlingen on Monday

The trio were discovered lying with fatal crossbow bolt wounds at the 'pension' room in Passau, Bavaria

The trio were discovered lying with fatal crossbow bolt wounds at the 'pension' room in Passau, Bavaria

The trio were discovered lying with fatal crossbow bolt wounds at the ‘pension’ room in Passau, Bavaria

Farina C. was a bakery sales manager with a ‘passion for the Middle Ages community, the hustle and bustle of medieval markets with jugglers and knight tournaments,’ reported Merkur. 

The trio were members of the International Jousting League, which re-enacts the medieval sport, according to Merkur.  

German law tightly restricts firearms but archery equipment is freely available as sports equipment and anyone over 18 can purchase a high-powered crossbow.

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