The Unsolved Case of Hinterkaifeck Murders

Hinterkaifeck Murders Barn Photo
31 March 1922
The Story: 

On the night of March 31, 1922, the disaster struck a small Bavarian farm at 43 Miles north of Munich, Germany. All the residents of the farm were killed with a mattock and the mysterious murders remained unresolved. A few days before these murders, the father, farmer Andreas Grueber, told the neighbors that he had discovered a mysterious imprint that led from the edge of the forest to the farm, but none of them went home. Furthermore, the keys to the house disappeared a few days before the terrible crime.

Life on the farm became strange when thier maid, Maria, told the family to leave the farm immediately. She had listened to the voices around the house and was awake at night by the sound of stairs with no one in attic. When she realized that the evil had invaded the house and feared for safety and mental health, she told the family to leave and within 6 months it would have been tragically proven that she was right.

The Death Night

There were six victims of this bloody night. The parents, Andreas and Cazilia, their widow daughter Viktoria Gabriel, their children Cazilia and Josef, the new maid, Maria. We will never know exactly what happened that night, but it is thought that the person who killed them brought all the family members one at a time into the barn. Except for the little Josef who was killed in bed and the maid. Autopsy report by Dr Johnn Baptist Aumuller, a doctor at the court, showed that Cazilia showed signs of strangulation and seven blows to the head that caused a broken skull.

Her husband's face was beaten so that his cheekbones protruded from his broken face. Viktoria's skull was broken and her head carried several star shaped wounds. The jaw of young Cazilia was broken and her neck and face were covered with large open wounds. The 7-year-old girl was not killed on the spot and it is thought that while she was stuck in the dark with her dead parents beside her in the barn, there was a real panic. He was terrified and tore his hair with a terrible fear, too terrified to ask for help. Inside the farm, little Joseph and the maid were killed with a blow to the head and face.

The killer probably stayed at home for another four days after the murder, the neighbors saw the smoke coming out of the chimney. The farm animals were fed and someone, probably the murderer, took the trouble to milk the cows. The killer himself used the kitchen and prepared meals on the farm.

The Investigation

On 4 April, the neighbors arrived at the farm because the family had not been seen for 4 days and Cazilia had not gone to school. Moreover, the postman noticed that mailbox had remained untouched, which was no surprise, because the whole family, including the maid, had been terribly murdered in cold blood. The police at first pointed the finger at vagrants or vague traveling men of bad repute as potential culprits, but this theory was abandoned when large sums of money were discovered untouched in the house.

The previously employed maid was questioned and said that she heard out strange noises of the house, that gave feeling of cold and being watched. The police contacted Lorenz Schlittenbauer, who had a love affair with Viktoria and was none other than the man who brought the research group home on 4 April. Lorenz was suspected of being Josef's father and married Viktoria without his father's intervention. The police also considered a pact for murder and suicide between Andreas and Viktoria, but this idea was abandoned when the injuries proved incompatible with such an event.

In 1923, the farm was burned to the ground. In 1999, the police were contacted by an elderly woman who claimed her former landlord had information about the Hinterkaifeck affair. Officials investigated, but discovered the suspect had already died. With relatives still alive, the name of the suspect was never circulated. In 2007, a team of police academy students used modern detection techniques to investigate the unsolved murder. The students narrowed the search down to one suspect, but they didn’t name him or her,again out of respect for the suspect’s living relatives. So the case remains open and likely to stay that way.


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