Gangland feud suspected as six die in Frankfurt brothel

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The Independent Online
THE ELEGANT, unmarked villa is now described as 'Frankfurt's most secret address for quick lust and discretion'. Gabor and Ingrid Bartos, the couple who ran the luxury, by-recommendation-only brothel, were among the six murder victims, along with four prostitutes, said by police yesterday to be from the former Soviet Union.

The victims were all strangled, reportedly with hairdryer cables. Hairdryers were found from which the cables had been cut off. The police assume that there was more than one killer: there were no obvious signs of resistance and the victims were found on dif ferent floors of the house. All the

victims were found face down. One theory is that a gun was held to their heads while they were


Among the explanations put forward is that this was a gangland revenge killing. Police have suggested the Bartoses were involved in 'other business'. It seems that the brothel's owner, Gabor Bartos, regularly flew by private plane to Poland and Russia to bring girls back from there. One theory is that the killings were intended to get rid of unwanted competition.

The killings were first discovered by a businessman customer who arrived with two Russian girls but received no answer when he rang the bell. He contacted Ingrid Bartos' mother, who let him in with a key. He discovered three bodies in the basement and alerted the police.

Some neighbours said they were not aware the building had been used as a brothel. Another neighbour said: 'The women were young and pretty. The guests arrived with big cars. Only Mercedes, BMW, or Jaguar.' The authorities said there had been no complaints about the use of the house. It is alleged one could not get into the building without a personal recommendation or without using a password. As one taxi driver told the Kolner Express: 'This was an insider's tip.'

The building was outside the permitted zone for brothels and the authorities in 1988 tried to close it down. But Bartos had successfully appealed against the closure, saying only four women worked in the house - fewer than officially constituted a brothel.