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German police probe weird guesthouse crossbow slaying

May 14, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A baroque Danube town included in many river cruise itineraries and visited by thousands of Australians annually has become the scene of a bizarre triple slaying – after a maid on cleaning duties opened the door of a picturesque guesthouse and found the corpses of three people shot with crossbows.

Investigators found two more corpses last night in a related search elsewhere, making the case even stranger.

The riverside guesthouse looks delightful in publicity shots. Reports have not named the property.

The three victims were all German citizens – a 53-year-old man and two women, aged 33 and 30. They are said to have booked in together, though the nature of their relationship is unclear.

Local reports say police searching the room found two crossbows. A third crossbow was later found packed inside a bag.

A police statement said: “At present, the reasons for the death of the three people are still completely open. There are currently no indications of possible involvement of other persons.”

“It was a strange group,” a guest recalled, according to the newspaper Bild, saying that the bearded man wore a suit while the women were dressed in black.


Classical crossbow

They had all wished a “good evening”, taken glasses of soft drink and water, and then disappeared into the second-floor room as rain fell outside.

Prosecutors have ordered an autopsy which is expected to be completed by next Tuesday, German media reported.

MEANWHILE, ANOTHER STRANGE DEVELOPMENT OCCURRED when police raided the apartment of one of the dead women. To their shock, in the woman’s apartment in Gifhorn, Lower Saxony, they found two more corpses, both female. The manner of their deaths, and whether crossbows were involved, has not yet been divulged.

Reporting on the initial three crossbow deaths in the Passau guesthouse, local media said that the man and the 33-year-old woman were found dead in the bed, holding hands, with crossbow bolts in their heads and chests, while the 30-year-old woman was found lying on the floor with a bolt in her chest, according to an account in

Another guest of the hotel told local media it was a “completely quiet night”. Unlike firearms, crossbows are silent.


Modern crossbow

The murder has been compared to something out of a detective novel or a “film noir” mystery. The victims had booked in for three nights, reportedly, but ended up staying for just one: their first and last.

Investigations continue and police yesterday seized a vehicle, said to be a white ute or van. Then came the apartment raid and two further corpses.

Passau, in east Bavaria near the Austrian border, is known as Dreiflüssestadt, the ‘City of the Three Rivers’ as it stands at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz.

Tourists love Passau’s baroque architecture. Tourism there focuses mainly on the rivers, St Stephen’s Cathedral (Der Passauer Stephansdom) and the “Old City” (Die Altstadt).


Written by Peter Needham

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