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Austrian PR Exec Murders Family with Axe – His Wife Worked for the Finance Ministry

Alex Constantine - May 14, 2008

Austrian father murders family with axe
AP/The Independent
14 May 2008

An Austrian father axed his wife, child, parents and father-in-law to death after suffering ruin through a series of financial deals. The 39-year-old public relations executive, who said he went on the killing spree to spare his family "the shame" of his downfall turned himself in to police today.

Police found the bodies of the man's wife and seven-year-old daughter in his home in a wealthy district of Vienna. The daughter's body was found in a walk-in wardrobe and the wife in a bathroom, they said. Both had cloths draped over them. They then discovered the bodies of his parents and father-in-law in Upper Austria province, in the cities of Ansfelden and Linz.

The man said he wanted to spare his family the shame of financial ruin he caused through speculative financial dealings, a police spokesman said. His wife worked in the Finance Ministry.

The man, whose name has not been released, indicated he had "massive money problems," police said. He had borrowed the money he lost from family members, a six-figure euro total.

Police said the man told them he began by killing his 42-year-old wife and daughter yesterday morning, before driving to Ansfelden where he killed his parents, aged 72 and 69, to death. He then drove to Linz, where he murdered his 80-year-old father-in-law in the early evening.

The man is currently undergoing further questioning in Vienna.

"He is completely matter of fact ... almost without emotion," the spokesman said.


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