Couple sentenced for torturing and murdering women in German ‘house of horrors’

'The Fred and Rose West of Germany' beat, strangled and burnt victims then disposed of bodies, court told in case that sparked widespread revulsion

Jane Dalton
Sunday 07 October 2018 00:23
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Angelika Wagener smiled as she was sentenced to 13 years in prison
Angelika Wagener smiled as she was sentenced to 13 years in prison

A sadistic couple who tortured and killed women they had lured to their home in a “house of horrors” case that rocked Germany have been sentenced.

Angelika Wagener and her former husband Wilfried, who have been described as “the Fred and Rose West of Germany”, had entrapped at least eight women, mostly enticing them through personal newspaper adverts to then physically attack and mentally torment them.

Two of the victims died of their injuries.

Angelika Wagener was jailed for 13 years and Wilfried was sentenced to 11 years in a locked psychiatric ward.

Wilfried, in checked shirt, awaits the verdict

Shortly before the verdict, she apologised to their victims, and her ex-husband claimed: “I didn’t know right from wrong”, adding: “A therapy wouldn’t be bad”. The wife smiled as the verdict was read out, and embraced her lawyer in apparent relief.

The pair tortured their victims at their house in North Rhine-Westphalia by beating, strangling and burning them.

They also scalded them with hot water, used electric shocks and pepper spray, and ripped out the women’s hair, the trial heard.

When a 33-year-old woman died of her injuries in 2014, they dismembered her corpse and froze the remains before later burning them in their fireplace.

The victim had responded to a dating advertisement. They spread her ashes along village roads, the court heard.

The couple were caught in May 2016 after they had severely beaten a 41-year-old woman, and their plan went wrong.

They were driving the unconscious victim back to her home but their car broke down, and because there were witnesses around, they were forced to call an ambulance.

Hospital doctors’ suspicions were aroused and police were alerted.

After their arrest, the couple tried to blame each other.

The case sparked public revulsion, and forensic teams descended on the couple’s home in Höxter-Bosseborn. Prosecutors had demanded life prison terms for the pair in the almost two-year trial.

Several deeply traumatised survivors said they would speak out only once the Wageners were in jail.

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