BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 31 January, 2002, 15:01 GMT
German Satanists jailed
Daniel and Manuela Ruda
The couple will receive therapy in prison
A German couple who killed a man by stabbing him 66 times in a Satanic ritual have been jailed for murder at the end of a trial that has horrified and fascinated the country.

Daniel Ruda
Daniel struck defiant poses for the cameras
Daniel and Manuela Ruda never denied killing their victim, but argued it was not murder because they were acting on the Devil's orders.

They received sentences of 15 and 13 years respectively in a secure psychiatric ward.

The decomposing body of the dead man, Frank Haagen, was found in the couple's flat in July with a scalpel protruding from his stomach and the sign of the Devil carved into his chest.

The couple were arrested a week later.


The presiding judge, Arnjo Kerstingtombroke, stipulated that the couple should receive therapy in jail, to ensure that they never repeated their crime.

Manuela Ruda
Manuela first dabbled in vampirism in London
The defence had called for acquittal on the grounds that the couple were mentally unfit, but the sentences were one year longer, in each case, than the prosecution had requested.

The couple have shown no remorse for their crime and shocked the court with their extrovert behaviour, striking defiant poses for photographers.

Experts told the court in Bochum, in Germany's western Ruhr region, that they were suffering from "severe narcissistic personality disturbances".


Accounts of the gruesome killing, in a room full of human skulls, cemetery lights, and a coffin in which Manuela slept, have been given detailed coverage in the German media.

Manuela Ruda, aged 23, told the court that Satan had called her when she was 14.

She said she shunned strong light and had become involved in vampirism at "bite parties" in London.

She and Daniel, aged 26, said they attempted suicide during several days on the run after killing their victim, who worked with Daniel selling car parts.

Daniel also bought a chainsaw, saying he did not want to be empty-handed when the Devil called again.

Hilda Braun, WestDeutsche Rundfunk
"They say the devil ordered them to kill"
Mateus Puhlman, Protestant Church Institute, Berlin
"This case is not typical for Satanism"
See also:

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories