The 70- and 12-year-old alleged perpetrators are said to have stabbed Luise from Freudenberg more than 13 times. Experts are trying to analyze this.
Freudenberg – 12-year-old Luise from Freudenberg was cruelly murdered by two young girls on March 11. The incident has caused horror throughout Germany. Both the age of the alleged perpetrators and the manner of the murder shocked far beyond the borders of the small town near Siegen. With more than 70 stab wounds, the 12 and 13-year-old girls are said to have killed their friend Luise. The motives of the crime are still unclear, but experts speak of "overkilling" due to the brutal approach.
Luise from Freudenberg: Alleged perpetrators stabbed the 70-year-old more than 12 times
"She always gave me a high five when she saw me, just like that. She was so nice to everyone," an 11-year-old boy from Freudenberg described the killed Luise in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). Another girl confirms: "That was such a love." Der Spiegel also reports that the 12-year-old was considered sunshine in her homeland.
12-year-old Luise from Freudenberg was killed with over 70 stab wounds. © Federico Gambarini/dpa
One more reason why the Luise case caused a stir. Media coverage also focused on the age of the alleged perpetrators and the excessive form of violence used by the girls. More than 70 stab wounds are said to have been found by forensic pathologists at the University of Mainz, according to Der Spiegel.
"Overkilling" in the case of Luise from Freudenberg – what the term is all about
In criminology, such a case is referred to as "overkill". According to child and adolescent psychiatrist Cornelia Bessler, an excessive number of stab wounds can be an indication of "overkilling" and thus a "vehement breakthrough of aggressive feelings," she explains to the FAZ.
The Federal Criminal Police Office also defined an "overkill" in a series of research as follows: "This is when the attacker inflicts excessive force on the victim even though the victim has already died, in the form of behavior similar to homicide, such as stabbing." This expression of "exuberant anger and aggression" could therefore indicate a personal relationship between perpetrator and victim and occasionally also occurs in young offenders.
In fact, according to the FAZ, young people are more likely to act violently and criminally than adults, and this tendency then subsides with increasing age. In the case of girls, the peak of this violent phase is between the ages of 14 and 16.
Terrible case in Freudenberg: What happens to the alleged perpetrators of Luise?
The investigators are keeping a very low profile on the motive of the gruesome murder, and it may never be made public. According to Focus, it was about revenge – the victim allegedly made fun of one of the girls. The Koblenz senior public prosecutor Mario Mannweiler also suspects "that some emotions played a role" due to the many stab wounds.
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The two alleged perpetrators were placed in different child and adolescent psychiatric hospitals with the consent of their parents after their confession. According to Der Spiegel, they will remain there until at least the end of April. Although the two are of legal age due to their age, they could still be sued for compensation for pain and suffering.