A very tragic and serious incident occurred at the Intercontinental Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany where a 41 year old Korean woman died during what appears to be an exorcism ceremony.
Police, prosecutors and I can imagine hotel staff are shocked and baffled by the incident and especially the nature of the crime which had the victim suffering before eventually succumbing to injuries and lack of oxygen.
The Korea JoonGang Daily reported about the matter (see here).
A 41-year-old Korean woman was found dead in a guest room of a hotel in Frankfurt last week, the victim of a supposed exorcism performed by her own family members.
German prosecutors said on Thursday five Koreans, including the dead woman’s teenage son, were arrested at the scene for suspected murder. Police found the woman’s body tied to a bed in a guest room at the Frankfurt Hotel InterContinental on Dec. 5. She had been beaten repeatedly on her chest and stomach over a two-hour period and finally suffocated to death, according to prosecutors.
The accused were mostly relatives of the victim. They included her 15-year-old son, a 44-year-old relative and her 21-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, and an unrelated boy aged 15. The family members had allegedly been trying to drive a demon from the woman, believing her to be possessed.
Her mouth had been gagged with a towel to stifle screams and a cloth-covered coat hanger was pushed down her throat. The woman died from suffocation as a result of massive chest compression, as well as trauma to her neck, according to prosecutors. It is unclear what religious sect the suspects belong to.
The German police were initially alerted by a Catholic priest, who discovered the body and notified the hotel’s reception desk, The Associated Press reported. “I’ve never come across anything like it,” Nadja Niesen, the chief prosecutor in Frankfurt, said about the case.
She said the victim had been subjected to “pain and agony” for two hours and that the suspects’ actions “were motivated by a callous and merciless attitude.”
A postmortem found that the woman had been smothered by a towel that had been pushed down her throat with a metal coat hanger. The suspects reportedly refused to remove the towel even after police arrived, allegedly claiming that the demon still possessed the woman.
According to prosecutors, the family arrived in Frankfurt six weeks ago. Korean media reported that the family originally came from the United States and had stayed for several months with a church located in Namyangju, Gyeonggi.
This is a horrible event and I think the act itself should be condemned and not commented further as the nature of this appalling crime speaks for itself.
The circumstances are strange though. A Korean family comes to Europe, rents a house and then a hotel room to perform such a ceremony on the woman. To top it all off, four of the five suspects are children or young adults. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
The article doesn’t elaborate on specific religious beliefs. Some cultures or tribes or religious sects indeed believe in evil spririts and witchcraft. One could even say the catholic church laid the foundation to it hundreds of years ago.
This will certainly be a highly publicized trial to come. Don’t expect heavy sentences though. Even if the case was clear cut (which is obviously isn’t) German law even for Murder in the first degree is 15 years and even less so for manslaughter. The suspects being Korean I’d imagine they would be deported after a certain time of their sentence has passed IF they’d be convicted. Considering the accommodation in a Korean jail I’d bet that most inmates would prefer to be in a German prison.