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The German Mother Who Killed Her Daughter's Killer In Court

Marianne Bachmeier opened fire on a crowded courthouse her target was a 35-year-old sex offender on trial for the death of her daughter; he took six of her bullets and died.

By Chukwuebuka SundayPublished 2 months ago 4 min read

Marianne Bachmeier opened fire on a crowded courthouse in what was then known as West Germany on March 6, 1981. Her target was a 35-year-old sex offender on trial for the death of her daughter; he took six of her bullets and died.

Bachmeier immediately became a famous person. Her ensuing trial, which was avidly watched by the German public, raised the topic of whether or not her attempt to avenge her murdered child was justified.

Even after forty years, the case is still remembered. It was termed by the German news agency NDR as the "most spectacular episode of vigilante punishment in German postwar history."

Anna Bachmeier Is Murdered By Their Neighbor.

Before she became known as Germany's "Revenge Mother," Marianne Bachmeier was a struggling single mother who owned a tavern in West Germany's Lübeck in the 1970s. She resided with her third daughter, Anna. Her two elder children were placed with adoptive parents.

Anna was murdered by their neighbor

Anna was regarded as a "happy, tolerant youngster," but tragedy struck on May 5, 1980, when she was discovered dead.

According to NDR, the seven-year-old girl skipped school following an altercation with her mother on the fateful day and ended up in the hands of her 35-year-old neighbor, a local butcher called Klaus Grabowski who already had a criminal record for child molestation.

Later, investigators determined that Grabowski kept Anna at his residence for hours before strangling her with pantyhose. It is unknown  whether or not he sexually abused her. Then, he placed the child's body in a cardboard box and dumped it on the nearby canal bank.

Grabowski was apprehended the following evening after his fiancee notified authorities. Grabowski admitted to the murder but denied abusing the child. Instead, Grabowski told a bizarre and unsettling tale.

The murderer said he strangled the child after she attempted to blackmail him. Grabowski asserts that Anna attempted to seduce him and threatened to report him to her mother if he did not give her money.

The face of the killer

A year later, when Grabowski went to trial for the murder, Marianne Bachmeier exacted her vengeance.

Grabowski is shot by German 'Revenge Mother' Six Times

Bachmeier presumably felt sorrow during Grabowski's trial. His defense attorneys asserted that he acted as a result of a hormonal imbalance caused by the hormone medication he had after being castrated voluntarily years previously.

Grabowski was not castrated to avoid recidivism, as was common practice at the time in Germany for sexual offenders.

Marianne Bachmeier drew a.22-caliber Beretta pistol from her purse and pulled the trigger eight times on the third day of the trial in Lübeck district court. Grabowski was struck by six bullets and died on the courthouse floor.

After shooting Grabowski, Bachmeier allegedly made damning remarks, according to witnesses. According to Judge Guenther Kroeger, Bachmeier heard the devastated mother scream, “I wanted to kill him.” after she shot Grabowski in the back.

Bachmeier is said to have added, "He murdered my daughter... I planned to shoot him in the face, but I ended up shooting him in the back instead... I wish he were dead." Two police officers stated that they heard Bachmeier refer to Grabowski as a "pig" after she shot him.

She Was Charged With Murder.

Bachmeier claimed during her trial that she shot Grabowski in a dream and saw visions of her daughter in court. 

Bachmeier later stated, in reference to Grabowski's claims that her seven-year-old was attempting to blackmail him, "I heard he wanted to make a statement." "I thought, here comes the next lie about my child, the victim,"

Marianne Bachmeier was suddenly at the epicenter of a public uproar. Her trial attracted international news due to her ruthless vigilantism.

Marianne gathered world-wide attention after her act of vengance

The German weekly Stern published a series of pieces about the trial that delved into Bachmeier's life as a working single mother who had a very difficult upbringing. According to reports, Bachmeier sold her story to the magazine for approximately $158,000 to pay for her legal fees throughout the trial.

The response from the magazine's readers was phenomenal. Was Marianne Bachmeier a heartbroken mother seeking vengeance for the horrible murder of her child, or did her vigilante act transform her into a cold-blooded killer? Numerous others expressed compassion for her motivations but denounced her conduct.

In addition to the case's ethical dilemma, there was a legal argument regarding whether or not the shooting was premeditated and whether or not it constituted murder or manslaughter. Different decisions resulted in various sanctions.

In 1983, the court convicted Bachmeier of intentional manslaughter and sentenced her to six years in prison.

28 percent of Germans, according to a survey by the Allensbach Institute, believed that her six-year sentence was an appropriate punishment for her acts. Another 27% thought the sentence was too heavy, while 25% thought it was too light.

Marianne Bachmeier was released from prison in June 1985 after having served barely half of her sentence. She relocated to Nigeria, married, and resided there until the 1990s. Bachmeier traveled to Sicily after her divorce, where she remained until she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and then returned to a reunified Germany.

She passed away on September 17, 1996, at age 46. She was interred alongside her daughter, Anna.


About the Creator

Chukwuebuka Sunday

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Comments (1)

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  • Jen Mouzon2 months ago

    This is a fascinating story. I've come across it before, but often wonder if she was justified in her actions. I cannot imagine the pain she must have been going through to shoot him in court so easily.

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