Zeitenspiegel Reportagen

Who shot Michèle Kiesewetter?

Erschienen in "The Germans", Nr. 6, Juli/August 2013

Von Autor Frank Brunner

A policewoman dies. For years her colleagues search for a phantom serial killer whose DNA they find at this crime scene and many others. That DNA is eventually traced to an employee at a supplier of cotton swabs. Now prosecutors in Munich hope to lay the case to rest by pinning the murder on deceased “National Socialist Underground” members Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt. Witnesses tell a different story. And was the USA more involved than the NSU?

April 25, 2007. Shortly before losing consciousness, Officer Martin Arnold looks in the rear-view mirror. So he sees him coming, the man who steps out of the shadow of an electrical substation to approach the silver-green BMW where he sits with his partner. Middle-aged, short-sleeved shirt, dark jeans, dark shoes, dark hair. He stands at the passenger-side door. Another figure approaches the other side of the car where his partner sits behind the wheel, smoking a Gauloise on her break. A warm, sunny day. The windows are down. The men apparently want something. His partner’s last words: “You can’t get peace and quiet anywhere.” Arnold recalls seeing the fine gray hair on his assailant’s forearm. He remembers hitting the gravel face-first. That’s all he remembers. He survived a bullet through the head and told his story to homicide detectives. His partner Michèle Kiesewetter did not survive.

It is one of Germany’s most mysterious unsolved crimes. At first the police suspected involvement by carnival workers who had been camping near the parking lot. Then they wasted two years hunting a DNA phantom whose genes turn up at 40 different crime scenes. And now they think the murder was the work of the “Zwickau Terror Cell,” its perpetrators conveniently dead ….