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The Hinterkaifeck Case

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posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 08:44 AM
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Due to me be unable to sleep, I stumbled upon this weird, unsolved crime from 1922's Germany. I'm man enough to admit this story gives me the heebie-jeebies.


The Gruber family home and barn.

On March, 31, 1922, The Gruber family: Father Andreas; his wife Cäzilia; their daughter, Viktoria Gabriel; who was the widow of Karl Gabriel, who died in 1914 during WW1; and Viktoria's two children, Cäzilia and Josef. Their second maid, Maria Baumgartner, was also murdered along with the family.

Six months before the murders, the family's first maid, who's name I cannot find, quit after being spooked because she heard random noises, footsteps, and voices who were not of the families'.

Later, Andreas discovered foot prints in the snow that led directly to his home, from the forest, but none that returned to the forest. Andreas then did a routine check around his property, however never finding anything strange from the mysterious foot prints. That same night, Andreas was awoken by noises in the attic. Remembering the comments the previous maid told him, he check the attic but found nothing again. That morning he awoke to find a newspaper, that neither he or his family had purchased, on his front porch.

A day before the murders, a set of keys suddenly disappeared and couldn't be found anywhere. In search for his keys, Andreas was shocked to find that someone had tried to pick the lock to his tool shed.

The new maid, Maria, arrived to the home hours before the murders took place. It's believed both Viktoria and Cäzilia were killed first, followed by Andreas and Cäzilia; inside the barn, then the maid in her room and baby Josef inside the family home.

Before the family and their maid's body's were discovered, whoever killed them took care of their livestock, ate their food, and used their fireplace; where neighbors reported seeing smoke from the chimney. Also, even though it seems the killer(s) didn't take anything but eat their food, paper money has reportedly been stolen during the time the killer(s) would have stayed at the home.

People started to get worried after it was reveled that Cäzilia has been missing school, the family missed church services, and didn't get their mail.

After forming a search party, they decided to check out the family's farm. Upon entering the barn, the search crew was met with a horrible sight. The bodies of parents Andreas, his wife, Viktoria and Cäzilia were stacked on top of each other and were covered with hay. Josef was found dead in his crib, and the maid, Maria, was found killed in her bedroom.

The autopsies reveled that the killer used an mattock, which is very similar to a pickaxe. The murder weapon was discovered when the property was tore down about a year later.

Despite the murders have been unsolved since the crime scene was discovered, multiple people have submitted their own theories as to what happened, and who could have killed the family and their maid.

It is believed Viktoria and Cäzilia were the first victims, but it's reported that Cäzilia died after several hours of agony, Andreas and Cäzilia were killed shortly afterward in the barn. Both Viktoria and her daughter were dressed, but Viktoria's parents were in their pajamas. As mentioned before, the maid and baby Josef were killed inside the home shortly afterwards.

Lorenz Schlittenbauer was consider a suspect. It was reported he was a suitor for Vikrotia, who claimed that he was the biological father of her son, Josef. However, there were reports of incest between the father, Andreas, and Viktoria, which resulted in the birth of Josef. Also, Viktoria was on the verge of suing Schlittenbauer for child support payments.

Supporting people's suspicion on Schlittenbauer, he was one of the search party. Upon arriving to the barn, the family's dog took a disliking to him. From there they discovered the four bodies within the barn, where he began to move the bodies without having the authorities inspect the crime scene. I also read Schlittenbauer messed around within the house while knowing just the right way to open the door of the maid's room.

Before the murders Viktoria withdrawn money from her bank account; with $700 being donated to her church, and some unaccounted for. It was revealed that the family was dysfunctional and that Andreas beat his wife. Viktoia is the only known child I can find, but it's possible that Andreas and his wife could had other children too, who ultimately passed away.

In my opinion I think Viktoria was involved in someway, but did not help in anyway commit the murders. Due to her being in her 30's, a widow of a German solider, and mother of two children under 10, I could imagine she found her own suitor at the church she regularly attended, which I also mentioned she donated money to before her death.

I believe the suitor was hiding out in the house for 6 months, scaring the family and the previous maid. Maybe he was mentally unstable who was accustomed to farm work. Reports mention both Vikortia and her daughter were dressed, compared to her parents who were in their pajamas. Maybe something happened with the killer and Viktoria, that they were supposed to runaway together, but the killer snapped and killed everyone.

This is just my guest but something I feel is possible. Being in her 30's, Viktoria would still be consider young and due to the family having money she could have charmed someone with money, remember Germany was suffering due to the depression. Earlier I mentioned that some paper money would have been stolen, but it's reported that no gold or jewelry wasn't reported to be missing. So maybe there's more this story that's missing, and I believe Viktoria is a key to unlocking that.

Maybe the family knew more about the mysterious sounds than they told the neighbors before their deaths. Knowing that the previous maid probably knew everything that happened on the property, It wouldn't surprise me the family could have allowed someone to live on their property. But then why wouldn't the first maid report anything like that? She was the first one to report all these stranger noises happening within the home. And months later, the father discovers footprints in the snow leading to the house, hears the same noises, and discovers things like a newspaper and his keys missing. Obviously someone that they knew was living on their property, with or without, their knowing.

Forgive me for missing any details. I'm tired and just wanted to start an opening post for tonight.


The Maid's room


Viktoria's room, showing Josef's bassinette



Crime scene within the barn


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posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 09:03 AM
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That's some creepy stuff. Will there ever be a way to solve this crime 94 years on??? I doubt it. Don't think it could have been a demonic possession? This is basically the kind of stuff we see in Paranormal activity and such. They were on an isolated property in the woods. Spooks could be a possibility.



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 09:34 AM
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Eerie unsolved murder.



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 11:50 AM
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Likely feuding neighbour



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 01:41 PM
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a reply to: Teddy916

Very sinister. Someone (or something!) had to be really, really angry to commit a crime like this...angry in a personal way.

I think you are right, the guy being sued for child support did it.

Also, thanks OP for posting this in the Urban Legends Forum. I forgot that this Forum even existed. There are many great threads to read on a chilly and rainy day in Dallas - plus my Cowboys are all washed up this season, so really boring Sunday NFL day.



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 04:21 PM
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originally posted by: RP2SticksOfDynamite
Likely feuding neighbour


You know, I think you might be on to something. The family would have had working relationships with their farming neighbors during harvest season. I don't believe they would be on friendly terms to socialize when not working. However, it seems the father did communicate when he was worried about someone, or something, was trespassing on his property.

Whoever killed the family, knew how to use a mattock, with ease. Also, the killer(s) knew how to easily navigate their surroundings as if they would been familiar with the property before the murders.

I'm skeptical of the reports like the family and their first maid hearing strange noises, and how the killer stayed at the barn for a while after the murders. Think about it this way, if you killed people would you stay at their own for a good while. Also, I understand someone who's mentally ill would act differently despite the circumstances.

Maybe a neighbor held a grudge against the family; knowing they had a lot of money but decided to hightail after he came to realize that he killed six people in cold blood. Someone on friendly terms with them would know both the good and bad. Who would have easily killed them while singling out the four in the barn first, then broke into the home and killed the maid, then the baby.

Only if we had more evidence and back story, we could understand what really happened.



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 07:08 PM
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My theory: There was incest and fruit of this sin was kept at attic/cellar. Pure kid grew up, was allowed to work in yard but bad genetics with social and probably sensory deprivation took its toll. Kid started to be aggressive logistical nightmare. Family, knowing that something have to happen, devised some plan (fake story about footprints etc) but at final ours something went bad and horror kid killed everybody. He/she lived few days more at farm, finally straying somewhere. Country was after war full of impoverished mentally ill kids without papers so he/she could stay under radar/never be connected with farm.


BTW, there was a dog. It is hard to imagine some alien was living with family without their knowledge. It is small house and even with barns and sheds and other farm prowl it would be impossible not to be discovered. Keep in mind that animals like goose are territorial, they are guarding yard like dogs. But ... this happened in March 1922 in Germany, so probability of living goose is ... eeee ... small.
edit on 27-12-2015 by JanAmosComenius because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 27 2015 @ 11:54 PM
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originally posted by: JanAmosComenius
My theory: There was incest and fruit of this sin was kept at attic/cellar. Pure kid grew up, was allowed to work in yard but bad genetics with social and probably sensory deprivation took its toll. Kid started to be aggressive logistical nightmare. Family, knowing that something have to happen, devised some plan (fake story about footprints etc) but at final ours something went bad and horror kid killed everybody. He/she lived few days more at farm, finally straying somewhere. Country was after war full of impoverished mentally ill kids without papers so he/she could stay under radar/never be connected with farm.


BTW, there was a dog. It is hard to imagine some alien was living with family without their knowledge. It is small house and even with barns and sheds and other farm prowl it would be impossible not to be discovered. Keep in mind that animals like goose are territorial, they are guarding yard like dogs. But ... this happened in March 1922 in Germany, so probability of living goose is ... eeee ... small.


Same exact scenario I was thinking.

Since incest was mentioned, wouldn't be surprised if it was a Fritzl sort of thing. Farm kid went nuts and killed em all



posted on Dec, 28 2015 @ 12:28 AM
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a reply to: Teddy916

Interesting case! S&F for a very good read (still reading, actually...pausing for notes).

Looking at the different links, I see a few discrepancies -

1. Some articles state that the man and his wife were in nightclothes, and their grown daughter and her daughter dressed, but at least one states that it was the grown daughter and her mother who were dressed. The grandmother and child did share a name, though, so such confusion is easily understood. I do wonder which of them was dressed, and which was in nightclothes, though. Such a detail is surely important in piecing together the events.

2. Most sources state that the tracks in the snow led to the house, then stopped, but the video states that they returned to the woods. I suspect the former is true, since Grueber did search for an intruder after seeing these tracks.

Alright, what happened? My speculation is as follows:

We know some things. We know that incest was likely between Andreas and his daughter Viktoria. We know that Viktoria wanted to marry the neighbor, Schlittenbauer, and that her father strongly protested this. Also, we know that Schlittenbauer was accused of being the father of little Josef, and that he paid a sum of money to get out from under responsibilities for this. He also claimed the child as a result of more incest between Andreas and Viktoria. We know that he married and had a child, who died, according to one of the sources, days before the murders. We know that Viktoria withdrew some sum of money, donated some to the church, and no accounting is given for the rest. We have a maid who quit six months prior to the deaths, because of voices not those of the family, and footsteps in the attic. We have a new maid whose first day was her last; the day of the murders. We have Andreas finding footprints leading to, but not from, the house, a tool shed break-in attempted, and the weapon seeming to be one made by Grueber himself, and likely stored in that same shed. Oddly, we also know the weapon wasn't located for a year, when the farm was torn down. Schlittenbauer showed a real familiarity with the farm, and even, from one source, prepared a meal there while waiting on the police. He is said to have slept in his barn the night of the murders, to look out for burglars, because of Gruener's findings. Yet, he had asthma. The dog didn't like him, and he didn't seem disturbed by the bodies. Then there is that odd comment, that he needed to find his boy, given as a reason to move the bodies. He talked in a local pub, a year later, in the first person when discussing the murderer, as well. Profiling, maybe, but very odd.

No proof, but this all adds up to him being the best suspect. The murdered family was not well liked, and there was known animosity between the two men, a relationship between S and V, and the issue of Josef. Likely, there were various little problem between these people over time, given these facts and that they lived so close to one another. The death of his child could been a trigger for S to snap, and kill the family, believing them to all be evil, because of the incest, with the poor maid being caught up in the mayhem. He could have met Viktoria in the barn, strangled her to subdue her, then killed her. The mother comes along, and is likewise killed. Andreas carries the child out, looking for the women, perhaps because the girl wanted their comfort, and they are both killed. Then, the killer goes to the house, kills the maid and the baby, and that's that. There are, however, some issues with this. The animals were cared for over the weekend. Meals were prepared in the home, and smoke was seen coming from the chimney. We don't know if S had time to do this without being seen or not. Perhaps he did, and did this to throw suspicion elsewhere, hoping to confuse the time of death, so that he'd have an alibi. This is possible, but it doesn't explain why he'd move the bodies and everything else later. He'd have had time to cover his tracks, if he'd been there for two days, even if only a while for each day. A wife distraught at the recent loss of a child might be easy to fool into thinking he was around his own place working. We aren't told how many other family members, if any, he had living at his place, though. So, his being the one on the farm that weekend is iffy at best. The comment about needing to find his boy could have been the stress of these murders causing him to snap in another way, knowing a baby was there, and looking for it, confusing Josef with his own recently deceased child. This long after events, we have no way to know. Also, if he snapped, then stealing a key beforehand doesn't fit. That implies planning, not a spur-of-the-moment killing spree. The newspaper is weird as well. Nothing else fits with that. That small fact seems to indicate that someone else was on the farm, someone unknown. Someone who was, on occasion, in the attic, and even speaking in the house. Well, maybe not totally unknown. Viktoria is said to have been promiscuous, so she could have sneaked in a lover, to avoid her father knowing. I can't get over the new maid being killed on her first day, either. I don't know why, but that feels important. Who was she? Did she have some relationship with the killer?

I'd love to know a few things:

1. From what direction did the tracks come? Perhaps the direction of Schlittenbauer's residence, or elsewhere?

2. Did the maid who quit report anything besides voices and footsteps in the attic? Food missing, perhaps?

3. Did anyone take fingerprints?

4. Why did it take a year to locate the murder weapon?

5. Did the police ever check Schlittenbaur's clothing for blood? Was his family questioned about the weekend days, as well as the night of the murder?

6. How much money did Viktoria withdraw from the bank, and what happened to the rest of it?

I wonder if the person who killed these people is the same one who was in the house over the weekend. Perhaps someone really was hiding on the property. We cannot determine that now, since the lace was demolished, and any hidey-holes would be long gone. Perhaps the neighbor really did the killings, and the hidden stranger simply moved in for a couple of days, before moving on, out of fear of being caught and blamed. Such a person could not come forward, claiming to have seen what happened, without being blamed himself for the crimes.

Quite the case, this one!!!



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