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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 22:13 GMT
German design guru 'was murdered'
Rudolph Moshammer with his dog Daisy
Rudolph Moshammer was well known on Germany's celebrity circuit
Police have begun a murder inquiry after a flamboyant German fashion designer was found apparently strangled to death at his Munich villa.

Rudolph Moshammer was discovered by his driver on Friday morning with a telephone cable around his neck.

Police said an autopsy showed the cord had been the murder weapon.

Mr Moshammer, 64, built a reputation for the extravagant clothes he designed and wore, and was well known on Germany's celebrity circuit.

'No burglary'

Munich prosecutor Peter Boie said there was no apparent motive for the attack but police were conducting investigations in Munich's gay scene.

Mr Boie said: "Everything indicates that he was murdered. He had neck injuries."

He said there were no signs of a burglary or fight and no items of value had been removed.

Flowers are left in front of Rudolph Moshammer's Munich boutique
Well-wishers have left flowers in front of Moshammer's boutique

Harald Pickert, the officer leading the inquiry, said Mr Moshammer had last been seen alive at about 2200 local time (2100 GMT) when he went home alone in his car after dining in Munich.

A police spokesman said the designer had probably been killed at about midnight.

Among his clients were Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger, now Governor of California, tenor singer Jose Carreras and the Las Vegas-based magicians Siegfried and Roy.

Mr Moshammer opened a boutique in Munich's most expensive street, the Maximilianstrasse in 1967, where he offered his fur, cashmere and silk garments.

In 2002, he sold a shirt thought to have been worn by Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo at auction for more than 40,000 (62,000 euros), donating the proceeds to a Munich homeless charity.

He claimed to be 59 but was revealed to be 64 when he appeared in an Austrian court for a driving offence.

The designer's Yorkshire terrier Daisy, who accompanied him everywhere, was found unharmed at his villa, police said.

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