Defendant Christiane K .: Only her eldest son got away
Photo: Tim Oelbermann / imago images / Tim Oelbermann
It is the 16th day of the trial in the Solingen infanticide trial, at the beginning of which the light from the TV spotlights is once again directed at Maître Thomas Seifert.
In the corridor of the Wuppertal regional court, Christiane K's defense lawyer, who is based in Belgium, claims that an acquittal for his client is "within reach".
Because not only she comes into question as the murderer of five of her six children.
Seifert presented a possible alternative perpetrator to the RTL reporter: The child's father was demonstrably not in the apartment on the day of the crime.
But this child father, who posted a kiss photo of himself and his new girlfriend on Whatsapp on the morning of the day of the tattoo to show Christiane K. the end of the relationship - he could have hired a hit man to come after a divorce Escape child support payments.
He gives the man's full name.
One should check the account of the Hartz IV recipient for suspicious movements.
An assertion in the dark, it brings him a case on account of false suspicion, with a self-disclosure Seifert forestalled the public prosecutor.
The lawyer hired a private appraiser
For weeks Seifert has been bombarding the court with a wide variety of requests for evidence, the most important of which is to lead to a breakthrough on this day: the lawyer has hired a private psychiatric expert to help avert the threatened "life sentence".
Christiane K., now 28 years old, is charged with insidiously killing five of her six children in her Solingen apartment on September 3, 2020.
In the morning between 7:20 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. she mixed Melina, 19 months old, Leonie, two, Sophie, three, Timo, six, and Luca, eight years old, an anesthetic cocktail of drugs into the drinking cups and bottles.
When they fell asleep, she ran the bath water and drowned and suffocated the children one after the other.
Only Christiane K's eldest son got away, he was in school at the time of the crime.
Christiane K. threw herself in front of an approaching train at Düsseldorf Central Station, but survived.
Since mid-June, the 5th criminal chamber has been researching the reasons for the crime with chairman Jochen Kötter.
Two months later, Christiane K. told a prison psychologist for the first time that a masked stranger had broken into her apartment and forced her to push the children underwater.
She sticks to this version.
She is silent in court.
The experts commissioned by the court and public prosecutor, the forensic psychiatrist Pedro Faustmann and the forensic psychologist Sabine Nowara, spoke to Christiane K. for a long time.
They consider them fully culpable.
This morning, the Munich psychiatrist and neurologist Thomas Schwarz appears in court, Seifert's husband.
He also spoke to Christiane K., for about an hour and a half, in the presence of the lawyer.
Schwarz describes the course of the conversation.
Accordingly, Christiane K. essentially didn't tell him anything different from what Faustmann and Nowara had previously told him.
But he draws different conclusions from this than his colleagues.
"That is inexplicable for me"
Schwarz points to 40 years of professional experience: "I once had someone who killed her children in an extended suicide due to endogenous depression, but she knew what she was doing," says Schwarz.
"That one still defines oneself as innocent after more than a year is inexplicable for me."
When Christiane K. told him about the mask man, “her tears flowed in the right places. Your feelings looked real, but nothing else fits together. «Schwarz weighs possible diagnoses and motives for the crime, everything is mixed up: psychosis or depression? He excludes. Ms. K. had "worked flawlessly in everyday life, at least externally". Despair? It could be that Christiane K. did not speak about it directly. But maybe she also found motherhood a trap. Schwarz mentions research that shows that most of the women who kill their children are housewives. The infanticide is then to be understood as an "act of female resistance, but disease-worthy".
Nowara, too, has decades of experience with homicides like this, she's big eyes, but Black can't see that in his place.
In science, he goes on to say, Medea syndrome is also known, named after the legendary queen who in a mad rage killed her beloved children to meet her husband Jason, who has turned to another woman.
Anger or hatred of the husband are not recognizable here;
Nevertheless, Schwarz delves deeply into Greek mythology, lecturing on “ecdiketic motifs” ... “Dr.
Black! «The presiding judge tries to slow him down, the associate judge can't help but grin.
"But Medea perpetrators do not commit suicide," continues Schwarz undeterred.
"That's not typical for her, she threw herself in front of the S-Bahn."
Yeah, but what then?
Affect offense or personality disorder?
Schwarz admits that he knows that it is not permissible for a psychiatrist to infer the subject's psychological state from the fact.
"But the fact that I'm killing my children right now because of a picture" - meaning the WhatsApp post in the morning - "is a behavior that is hardly comprehensible from a normal psychological perspective."
Surprisingly, Schwarz comes to the conclusion that Christiane K. must have a personality disorder after all, namely a "combined with histrionic-narcissistic traits".
Perhaps "in combination with prenatal brain damage": Christiane K., which has not yet received any attention in this procedure, had been lying in the incubator for weeks as a premature birth.
Schwarz types that a prenatal lack of oxygen in the uterus could have caused "pseudopsychopathy" in her.
She also committed the act with affect: "After seeing the photo, she found herself in a quasi acute situation of desperation, completely overwhelmed," explains Schwarz.
"And then suddenly she was able to do such a thing."
The chairman looks doubtful: "Affect offense or personality disorder - what now?" - "All together," says Schwarz.
And comes to the result: "In combination with the brain damage, this has a guilt-reducing effect." The "basic psychopathological structure of Ms. K.", as intangible as it is in his description, can hardly be adequately dealt with in prison.
He recommends that Christiane K. be placed in a psychiatric ward.
»That's a circular argument«
Expert Nowara asks how the brain damage showed up outside of the crime, "I would expect that".
Black seems touched: »In the personality.« Among other things, she was »impaired in her social behavior«.
Nowara, on the other hand, described Christiane K. as a socially competent woman when it came to protecting her own interests.
"How do you fix that?" She asks.
"Well, just how she built one child on top of another and lived on the money from the community of solidarity."
The adjunct judge seems exasperated: "That is a logical circular argument, what you are presenting here: The act is so singular, it can only have been done by someone with a mental disorder." am commissioned, I do not lose my objectivity! "
Maître Seifert slides in between: »I request that the associate judge be rejected because of bias.
She accuses the appraiser of deliberately pathologizing the defendant. "
Such a request must be made in writing; the chairman interrupts the meeting to give Seifert the time to do so.
After the break, hardly anyone has any questions for Dr.
Black who has to move quickly.
Christiane K's public defender Felix Menke and Gerd Meister watched the scramble in silence and with sphinx-like expressions.
At the end of the day of the trial, Master asks the court to release him from the mandate.
The Chamber will have to decide on this and on Maître Seifert's petition for bias next Thursday.