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Jan H. murder case in Hanau: mother of the four-year-old arrested

2020-09-25T22:11:43.678Z

The alleged sect leader and murderer of little Jan from Hanau was arrested in court after the verdict was announced. Now the public prosecutor's office has also arrested the four-year-old's mother.



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Convicted of murder: Sylvia D. at the pronouncement of the verdict in Congress Park Hanau (CPH)

Photo: Boris Roessler / dpa

Last autumn, Claudia H. had to stand for three days in front of the 1st major criminal chamber of the Hanau Regional Court.

She did it with evident displeasure.

It was about the death of her son Jan. The boy died on August 17, 1988 in the house of a close friend, he was four years old.

He choked on vomit gruel in his sleep.

After 32 years, that friend sat in the dock: Sylvia D., 73 years old, elegantly dressed and, according to her own statements, blessed with unearthly abilities.

A woman who sees herself as God's mouthpiece and is said to be in direct contact with him.

She was charged with murder.

On Thursday the 1st major criminal chamber convicted Sylvia D. of murder and had her arrested by two plainclothes officers in the room and taken to a correctional facility.

Claudia H. has now also been arrested.

Immediately after the verdict was pronounced, the Hanau public prosecutor filed an application for an arrest warrant - because of the urgent suspicion of complicity in murder.

The 59-year-old, who has a doctorate in biology, was in Leipzig when she was arrested.

It shouldn't really come as a surprise to those who had followed the grounds of the verdict in Congress Park Hanau: The presiding judge Peter Graßmück had held Jan's parents responsible.

It affected the chamber, said Graßmück, that they had left their child Sylvia D., although it was clear that the boy was neglected and experienced violence.

The parents contributed to Jan's death.

"He was always so provocatively mean"

Graßmück quoted from diary entries that Claudia H. had noted a few hours after Jan's death.

In it she wrote: "He was always so provocatively mean."

And: Sylvia D. had warned her of "his unstoppable heartless nature".

According to Graßmück, these records are a "vile reckoning of an adult with a defenseless child".

According to the Chamber's conviction, Jan was exposed to Sylvia D's arbitrariness: he was kicked, beaten, his hair pulled, beaten with a wooden spoon, he was given a cold shower, his mouth was washed out with soap.

He had to sleep and starve on a mattress between the toilet and the sink, or his food was stuffed in until it came out of his nose.

For Sylvia D. Jan was - as her notes can be seen - the "reincarnation of Hitler", a "nasty guy who grins dirty", a "show monkey", a "sadist, there to be tortured".

Jan's parents, who did not appear as co-plaintiffs in the trial against Sylvia D., saw it similarly.

Worse still, they presented themselves as defense witnesses.

And they sometimes got caught up in contradictions.

Claudia H. once said that she felt cornered by the court's questions. 

"She has been looking for God all her life and has gained a lot of wisdom and has been able to help many people," enthused Claudia H. about the alleged murderer of her son.

Sylvia D. is not to blame for the death of her son.

"I know that Ms. D. loved all of the children."

She admired Sylvia D. for how she treated her two biological sons and seven other children whom she had taken care of or adopted.

She described her own child as a difficult, insensitive person who consciously chose "the dark side".

Sylvia D. is said to have described Jan as "possessed by evil".

When the investigation resumed a few years ago, Jan's body was exhumed.

In the child's grave, which has now been re-occupied, the coroner found only six bone fragments that came from Jan's spine.

Where the usually well-preserved bones such as skull, thigh and humerus bones are, is still unclear.

The cemetery administration did not attempt to dissolve the children's grave in 2012;

it was Jan's parents themselves.

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Source: spiegel

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