A married German couple is currently awaiting trial after spending years luring and torturing women. The couple, 46-year-old Wilfried W. and his wife Angelika (whose last names are withheld by German privacy laws), apparently used dating advertisements to bring women to their home, according to the Associated Press. Once the women arrived, the couple would capture and physically torture them.
The duo reportedly wanted to lure women to their home so they could use them as slaves. The torturing that took place was allegedly so terrible, a local newspaper refers to the house as the “horror house of Hoexter.” Police began investigating the ongoings of the home in April 2016, after Wilifried and Angelika tried to drive Suzanne F., a 41-year-old woman, back to her own home.
Their car had broken down on the drive, but while waiting for a taxi, Suzanne’s health quickly deteriorated to the point that the couple had to call an ambulance. She was suffering from life-threatening injuries that resulted from the weeks of torture at the hands of Wilfried and Angelika. Suzanne eventually died in the hospital. Her injuries — severe bruising, missing toenails, and rotting flesh from being left immobile for several weeks — raised suspicions, prompting a police investigation. According to Sky News, police found that Suzanne had to sleep on the floor of an unheated room for at least two months.
The Washington Post reports that once police eventually entered the house of horror, they found hundreds of slips of paper on which victims had written that their injuries were all self-inflicted. The wallpaper was peeling and there was mold everywhere, making it a clear sign that those kept against their will were not being taken care of.
Angelika also confessed to police that Suzanne wasn’t the only one to die because of their torture. A 33-year old woman, Anika W., had responded to the dating advertisement in 2013 and suffered extreme physical torture for several months. She died in August 2014 after trying to escape and hitting her head after falling outside.
The couple then allegedly cut the body into pieces and stored it in a freezer, burning it in their fireplace every so often to dispose of the evidence. Angelika even claimed to have used a hammer on Anika’s teeth and bones until they were reduced to dust. But worst of all, the couple kept Anika’s phone, often texting her mother to keep her from looking into her daughter’s whereabouts.
Angelika and Wilifried are being charged with murder by omission and bodily harm. Police believe that a total of eight people were tortured by the couple, and at least one will appear to testify against them in court. Their trial began Wednesday, and is expected to continue into March 2017.