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Germany

Horse Stable Murder-For-Hire Plot Grips Germany

Police say the main suspect paid someone to kill his girlfriend in order to cash in on an insurance policy to buy a stud farm.

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Ulla Reinhard

LÜBARS - The murder of 21-year-old Christin R., a familiar well-scrubbed face at the horse stables in this upscale town outside of Berlin, has left investigators untangling a web of intrigue that has captured the German public's attention.

For starters, this kind of carefully designed murder plot tends not to happen in these parts. Berlin District Attorney Michael von Hagen put it this way: "This was a perfidious, pre-meditated killing that took place in a solidly bourgeois, upscale milieu."

Police believe the main suspect is Robin H., the 23-year-old boyfriend of the victim. He is suspected of getting two other men and a woman to help carry out the killing, with one of the men isalleged to have killed Christin R. near the public swimming pool in Lübars – for the paltry sum of 1,000 euros. As reported, that is where a passerby found the body of the qualified horse groom in the early morning hours of June 21. An autopsy showed that the victim had been strangled.

Investigators believe the motive for the killing was a 245,000 euro life insurance policy that Christin R. took out in early June listing boyfriend Robin H. as beneficiary. The boyfriend, who runs a stable in Friesack, in Brandenburg, northwest of Berlin, is considered a talented horse rider. He had apparently been planning to use the money he would come into after his girlfriend was killed to buy a stud farm in Dorsten, North Rhine-Westphalia.

A "cold-blooded" murder

But because his scruples stood in the way of killing Christin R. himself, he recruited a 26-year-old friend – a young woman from North Rhine-Westphalia whom he knew from the riding circuit. She is then alleged to have asked her 23-year-old brother, who has a prison record, to help her. He in turn contacted a 22-year-old man he'd done time with, who agreed to kill Christin R. for 1,000 euros. Call it: "Murder, Outsourced..."

As Jutta Porzucek, head of the Berlin murder squad, briefed reporters at a press conference called on short notice last Friday afternoon, she repeatedly used the word "cold-blooded."

On the day of the murder, Robin H. contacted Christin R. and used a phony pretext to get her to go to the place near the swimming pool where she would be killed. He would meet her there, he said. According to police, Christin R. was by this time either scared or at least suspicious of her boyfriend, and she had moved from his horse farm in Friesack, back in with her parents in Lübars.

To avoid being alone with Robin H., Christin R. took a female friend with her along to the meeting. According to police, the hired killer was waiting at this location, hiding in the bushes, but he didn't proceed with the killing because of the presence of Christin R."s female friend. After Christin R. returned home, she got another call from Robin H. asking if they could meet again. This time, he said it was because a friend was interested in buying a horse from her.

The friend was the 26-year-old female accomplice whom Christin R. had already met through her boyfriend, and who she liked, according to police. Feeling safe because the presence of the other woman, Christin R. showed up for the second meeting. This time the killer kicked into action, strangling the victim from behind.

Police arrested Robin H. shortly after the murder. He is in custody and has denied any involvement, but doesn't yet know that his three accomplices have also been in custody since Thursday and have all reportedly confessed.

Read the original article in German.

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