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View Full Version : Missing doctor found dead in rafters after 22 years


Gina_M
07-06-2007, 11:27 PM
A German doctor who went missing 22 years ago has been found - as a mummified skeleton under the rafters of his garage roof, <CITE>The Guardian</CITE> reports.

Police confirmed that the deceased's wife, a physiotherapist, was "shocked to learn that she had parked her car beneath her husband's body for two decades".

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/25/dead_doc_reappears/

philamena
07-06-2007, 11:38 PM
OMG that is unreal.

SadieMae
07-06-2007, 11:44 PM
Yes it is unreal. Something doesn't seem right though. I mean a decaying body, and no one smelled anything? Most suicidal people don't go to great lengths to hide their body. Not sure how their garage was built, but I had a dead mouse behind my refrigerator once, and I knew something was dead in the house.

pedinurse
07-07-2007, 12:09 AM
that's messed up.

philamena
07-07-2007, 12:42 AM
Yes it is unreal. Something doesn't seem right though. I mean a decaying body, and no one smelled anything? Most suicidal people don't go to great lengths to hide their body. Not sure how their garage was built, but I had a dead mouse behind my refrigerator once, and I knew something was dead in the house.

Hey SadieMae,
I think it's kinda of strange too. I think a decaying body would stink to high heavens.

beakiebean
07-07-2007, 01:20 AM
Hey SadieMae,
I think it's kinda of strange too. I think a decaying body would stink to high heavens.

When it's mummified it doesn't stink does it? I thought that was how it was but then again I could just be losing it.....frankly losing it is the greater possibility!

Becca

Wrinkles
07-07-2007, 01:23 AM
Well, I'm with you all who mentioned the "smell." It certainly seems like there would have been an odor. His wife didn't smell this? Does she have a bad nose or was his body not there at first or or or... On the other hand, I wonder about the "dovecote" wherein he was found, what does it looks like. Just how high up in this garage was it? Even so...don't people mention odor for a distance away from a dead body?

And...I agree, something doesn't seem right here...

Schnaps bottle? What is that supposed to mean? He sucked down schnaps until he croaked himself?

And what is this:
>>When they removed the layers of asbestos<<

He was under layers of asbestos? He crawled under asbestos and drank schnaps until he died?

He disappeared in 1985, when did the Berlin wall come down?

Okay...who can read German? (http://www.welt.de/welt_print/article895803/Leiche_lag_22_Jahre_lang_unbemerkt_unter_Garagenda ch.html)

Arzt verschwand 1985 spurlos und ließ Familie zurück
Leiche lag 22 Jahre lang unbemerkt unter Garagendach
Bergholz-Rehbrücke - Mehr als zwei Jahrzehnte hat eine Familie ahnungslos nur wenige Meter entfernt von der Leiche des vermissten Ehemannes und Vaters gelebt. Vor 22 Jahren, im Jahr 1985, verschwand der damals 50-jährige Arzt Siegfried B. spurlos. Jetzt entdeckten Bauarbeiter den Leichnam zufällig in Bergholz-Rehbrücke (Landkreis Potsdam-Mittelmark). Bei Reparaturarbeiten an einem Garagendach an der Weerthstraße fanden die Handwerker am Montag in einem Spitzboden die sterblichen Überreste des Mediziners.
Die Obduktion der weitgehend skelettierten Leiche hat die Identität am Dienstag aufgrund einer Zahnstandsanalyse eindeutig geklärt, bestätigte gestern die zuständige Staatsanwaltschaft Potsdam. "Die Todesursache steht noch nicht fest. Es gibt jedoch keinerlei Anhaltspunkte für ein Fremdverschulden", sagte Staatsanwalts-Sprecher Wilfried Lehmann. Die Todesursache soll nun durch ein chemisch-toxikologisches Gutachten geklärt werden. Mit dem Ergebnis sei erst in einigen Tagen zu rechnen, so Lehmann.
Die Bauarbeiter hatten am Montagmittag mehrere Platten aus Wellasbest von dem Garagendach entfernt. In dem ehemals als Taubenschlag genutzten Spitzboden über der Garage fanden sie den Leichnam zwischen Unrat; sie alarmierten die Polizei. Bei dem Körper wurden auch Abschiedsbriefe gefunden. Zu dem Inhalt machte die Staatsanwaltschaft mit Rücksicht auf die Hinterbliebenen keine Angaben. Außerdem entdeckten die Beamten am Fundort eine Decke, ein Kissen und eine Schnapsflasche.
Der passionierte Jäger Siegfried B. hatte sich vor seinem plötzlichen Verschwinden von seiner Ehefrau Barbara nach dem gemeinsamen Mittagessen lediglich mit den Worten "Ich gehe noch mal raus" verabschiedet. Danach blieb der Mann verschwunden. Offenbar war er an diesem Tage auf den Spitzboden über der Garage gestiegen, anstatt, wie von der Ehefrau vermutet, das Grundstück zu verlassen. Barbara B. und ihre Tochter Claudia, die heute in Nachbarhaus eine physio-therapeutische Praxis betreibt, meldeten ihren Mann und Vater kurz darauf als vermisst. Eine umfangreiche Absuche des Hauses, des Grundstückes und der Garage durch die Volkspolizei blieb damals ohne Ergebnis. Auch ein am 9. April 1985 in der "Märkischen Volksstimme" veröffentlichter Bericht mit einem Foto des Gesuchten brachte die Ermittlungen nicht voran.
All die Jahre warteten Barbara B. und ihre Tochter vergeblich auf ein Lebenszeichen des Vermissten.
Die Ehefrau habe seinerzeit erklärt, ihr Mann habe sich "zuletzt komisch" verhalten, ohne dass ein Grund dafür erkennbar gewesen sei, teilte die Staatsanwaltschaft mit. In der Nachbarschaft war von Verwicklungen mit der Staatssicherheit die Rede. Anwohnern sei in der Zeit vor dem abrupten Verschwinden aufgefallen, dass mehrfach eine dunkle Limousine vor dem Haus gehalten habe. Siegfried B. sei dann jeweils von unbekannten Männern mit dem Wagen abgeholt worden. Dabei sei er auch schon mal ziemlich rüde in das Auto verfrachtet worden. Hintergründe zu diesen Vorgängen habe jedoch niemand erfahren. Belege dafür, dass die Kontakte und mögliche Forderungen von Stasi-Mitarbeitern B. in den Freitod getrieben haben könnten, sind bislang nicht aufgetaucht. Wilfried Lehmann betonte gestern, dass die Zentrale Ermittlungsstelle für Regierungs- und Vereinigungskriminalität (Zerv) diese Hinweise nach der Wende "akribisch untersucht" habe. Die Nachforschungen hätten jedoch keine Erkenntnisse erbracht, die mit dem Verschwinden des damals 50-Jährigen in Verbindung zu bringen seien.

SadieMae
07-07-2007, 01:27 AM
That's what I mean Wrinkles.
1. Nobody smelled anything
2. Body is hidden unde layers of asbestos, insulation
3. The bottle of Schnapps. I mean I once drank too much Peach Schnapps and thought I was dying.:sick: :doh:
Wonder if they can do some toxicology test after all this time? I just can't see how no one smelled him decaying. At least in the first few months after death. Later on I could see the smell going away as the body dried out & mummified.

Gina_M
07-07-2007, 01:30 AM
I wondered about the smell too. Apparently there is a large dovecote (aviary, or birdhouse) above the garage. In the discussion section after the article, it was suggested that any smells could have been mistaken for bird droppings, dead birds, etc.

Also, maybe when the guy was first missing, the wife was out a lot helping to search for him, and wasn't home enough to notice what her garage smelled like. After a while, the smell would have faded.

SadieMae
07-07-2007, 01:33 AM
I wondered about the smell too. Apparently there is a large dovecote (aviary, or birdhouse) above the garage. In the discussion section after the article, it was suggested that any smells could have been mistaken for bird droppings, dead birds, etc.

Also, maybe when the guy was first missing, the wife was out a lot helping to search for him, and wasn't home enough to notice what her garage smelled like. After a while, the smell would have faded.
A dead body is not going to smell like bird poop. The police would surely know the differnce. I wondered what a dovecote was! I thought it was some kind of attic space. Thanks Gina.

Wrinkles
07-07-2007, 01:34 AM
Okay...

Well I know that translation software often spits out laughable translations...

Let's try a little Babelfish to see what we might, maybe something might make sense, until someone who can translate comes along:

First paragraph:
Mountain wood deer bridge - more than two decades a family notionless only few meters far away from the corpse of the missed married man and father lived. Before 22 years, in the year 1985, that disappeared at that time to 50-jaehrige physician Siegfried B. without trace. Now building workers discovered the body coincidentally in mountain wood deer bridge (district potsdam central Mark). With repair work at a garage roof to the Weerthstrasse found the craftsmen on Monday in a pointed soil the mortal remnants of the physician.

Second paragraph:
The autopsy of the to a large extent skelettierten corpse clarified, confirmed the identity on Tuesday due to a teething and analysis clearly yesterday the responsible public prosecutor's office potsdam. "the cause of death is not certain. There are however no reference points for a foreign being to blame for ", said public prosecutor speakers Wilfried Lehmann. The cause of death is to be clarified now by a chemical-toxicological appraisal. On the result only so Lehmann is to be counted in some days.

Third paragraph:
The building workers had removed several plates at Monday noon from waving asbestos from the garage roof. In that formerly as pigeon impact they found used pointed soil over the garage the body between Unrat; they alarmed the police. With the body also farewell letters were found. Contents the public prosecutor's office in consideration of the survivors did not give data. In addition the officials at the discovery site discovered a cover, a cushion and a liquor bottle.

Fourth paragraph:
The passionierte hunter Siegfried B. had itself before his sudden disappearing from its wife Barbara after the common lunch only with the words "I goes still times raus" discharged. Afterwards the man remained disappeared. Obviously it had risen on this day to the pointed soil over the garage, instead of leaving, as from the wife assumed, property. Barbara B. and its daughter Claudia, which operates a physio therapeutic practice today in adjoining house, announced its man and father briefly on it as missed. An extensive searching of the house, property and the garage by the people police remained at that time without result. Also on 9 April 1985 in the "Maerki voice of the people" published report with a photo of the search did not get the determinations going.

Fifth and Sixty paragraph:
All the years waited Barbara B. and their daughter in vain for a sign of life of the missed one. The wife explained at that time, their man has himself "last amusingly", without a basic for it was recognizable, communicated the public prosecutor's office with restraint. In the neighbourhood the speech was from entangling with the public security. In the time before abrupt disappearing it noticed to adjacents resident that multiple held a dark sedan before the house. Siegfried B. was then fetched in each case from unknown men with the car. It was shipped already times quite ruede into the car. Background to these procedures however nobody experienced. Vouchers for it that the contacts and possible demands of state security service coworkers B. could have floated into free death, did not emerge so far. Wilfried Lehmann stressed yesterday that the center determination place for government and combination criminality (Zerv) had these references after the turn "with the utmost care examined". The investigations would have furnished however no realizations, which were to be brought with the disappearing at that time of the 50-Jaehrigen in connection.

SadieMae
07-07-2007, 01:38 AM
Ok...so nobody ever cleaned the birdhouse in 22 years? :confused:

Wrinkles
07-07-2007, 01:40 AM
Another article in English:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/article/0,,2088611,00.html

And why is this guy's last name as a "B?" only?

Wrinkles
07-07-2007, 01:53 AM
I smell rotten "schnitzels!"

Here is another story:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,485064,00.html

Wife says:
"He had left the house -- she thought -- saying, "I'm just going out for a while." She still lives in the house adjoining the garage, which she used for years unaware that her dead husband was just a few feet overhead."

Note: "I thought?"

Now go have a look at that house... No small lil house in 1985 in East Germany. Interesting the garage is not shown...but that is not a chintzy little place... Have you been to Europe? What did something like that take to own in 1985 "behind the wall?"

The article says:
"The man's skeleton was found last Monday by workers repairing the garage roof. There were some farewell notes and a bottle of Schnapps next to him. The body was wrapped in a blanket."

Well, so he was cold with his Schnaps? SCHNITZEL SMELL HERE!

The article says:
"The man, known only as Siegfried B., was a medical doctor and may have poisoned himself with drugs, prosecutors said. "

Really...why only "B" - now that is VERY strange to me...hmmmmaaa hmmmaaa.

The article also says:
"Local media reported rumors among villagers at the time that he had been in trouble with the East German secret police, the Stasi, and that he had been a critic of the Communist regime."

So the wife called for help, the place was searched and they didn't smell this? Well now.

I SMELL ROTTEN SCHNITZEL!

w

Wrinkles
07-07-2007, 02:15 AM
Yah! Der is Schnitzel Schtinken...

http://www.maerkischeallgemeine.de/cms/beitrag/10939609/62249/

You'll have to play with "der Babelfish" to see what I mean.

W

PS. Here is a tip in one paragraph:
"The farewell letters, which the police found now with the corpse, were later falsified, by the state security service - some in the municipality close of potsdam means. At all: Which sense do farewell letters in a hiding place have? Perhaps even the corpse was platziert later there. Differently it is hardly to be explained that the Ermittler found no traces of the missed one at that time, although the area was searched. "the speculations shot already at that time bad in the herb", remember a former coworker of the dead one."

SadieMae
07-07-2007, 02:38 AM
So by "falsified", do they mean forgeries? Like it wasn't his handwriting I'm assuming. I still can't get over not cleaning up the birdhouse in 22 years....you're right, stinky schnitzel! If he left letters, he wanted his body to be found shortly after his death.

Mygirlsadie
07-07-2007, 04:21 AM
Seriously she might not of noticed the smell because this whole country stinks like poo all the time anyway. I love Germany don't get me wrong but it STINKS! The first year we lived here I considered moving back to the states because I couldnt handle the smell...guess you eventually get used to it.

Wrinkles
07-07-2007, 01:23 PM
Hello Mygirlsadie,

You wrote:
>>Seriously she might not of noticed the smell because this whole country stinks like poo all the time anyway<<

Wait a minute now, you are talking about the beautiful country of my forefathers :) Poo? It stinks like poo? Now don't get me wrong, but I think you might need a nasal clean up...there might be something stuck in there (my son had a piece of drainage tubing left in his head after a nose surgery, the thing made him think something smelled bad all the time, you haven't had a nose surgery have you?)

At anyrate, even if a place smells like poo...that doesn't mean that "sensible" noses won't have other smells waft through, does it? Me thinks that someone figured out how to "defeat the smells" and I don't think it was a suicidal person who did.

Nah...there is something wrong here, but what is it?.

SadieMae wrote:
>>So by "falsified", do they mean forgeries? Like it wasn't his handwriting I'm assuming. I still can't get over not cleaning up the birdhouse in 22 years....you're right, stinky schnitzel! If he left letters, he wanted his body to be found shortly after his death.<<

Seems like there is a question about forgery of the note. Also seems like a suicide note would be left somewhere more "findable."

Hey...we have two "sadies" here? What up with that? Are you two sadies related? :)

But... Think about it, the law comes to look and can't find his body... Now if they had something to do with it during the politics of the time, how clever to not find the body (when they knew where they put it, if they had anything to do with it.) Who would EVER think to look there again?

I'm going back to the "look" of that VERY nice house, no small streudel. Who was paying this doctor, and for what, and why oh why is his last name "B" only? Weird. What does that B stand for, and why is only an initial being used.

There was something in one of the articles that intimated that back then doctors were able to get about and "talk to people" (they were treating people, so they could be good messengers that might scoot under police radar?) SO...if this fellow was blabbing to help people stick together for some future force, perhaps one of his patients ratted on him and got his weiner schnitzeled :(

I think that this case could become VERY interesting. I'd like to see someone come out of the closet and expose the truth. It seems that the neighbors had seen some things, do they just get ignored? My bet is that many people saw many things back then, but dared not say it for fear. NO ONE opens their mouth much when they live in a place like that was at one time. Everything is quite secretive or you end up, in the words of Popeye, "Diskappearin!" Actually...this isn't funny, my mother lived through something like that, and had friends who just suddenly disappeared, never to be heard from again. So so sad.

W

luthersmama
07-07-2007, 03:43 PM
The use of only his last initial is common in respectable European newspapers. They are more protective of the privacy of folks. It isn't strange at all.

SadieMae
07-07-2007, 03:51 PM
The use of only his last initial is common in respectable European newspapers. They are more protective of the privacy of folks. It isn't strange at all.
Thanks for that info! It makes sense and one mystery is solved. I love this place...I learn something new all the time! :)

Mygirlsadie
07-07-2007, 06:40 PM
No I never had nose surgery lol...Its just what they use to spray the fields around here..I think they use manure. The Americans around here are the only ones who complain about the smell I think the Germans are just used to the smell since they were born and raised here... Like I said I am not trying to be rude at all but it does smell pretty stinky alot of the times.




Hello Mygirlsadie,

You wrote:
>>Seriously she might not of noticed the smell because this whole country stinks like poo all the time anyway<<

Wait a minute now, you are talking about the beautiful country of my forefathers :) Poo? It stinks like poo? Now don't get me wrong, but I think you might need a nasal clean up...there might be something stuck in there (my son had a piece of drainage tubing left in his head after a nose surgery, the thing made him think something smelled bad all the time, you haven't had a nose surgery have you?)

At anyrate, even if a place smells like poo...that doesn't mean that "sensible" noses won't have other smells waft through, does it? Me thinks that someone figured out how to "defeat the smells" and I don't think it was a suicidal person who did.

Nah...there is something wrong here, but what is it?.

SadieMae wrote:
>>So by "falsified", do they mean forgeries? Like it wasn't his handwriting I'm assuming. I still can't get over not cleaning up the birdhouse in 22 years....you're right, stinky schnitzel! If he left letters, he wanted his body to be found shortly after his death.<<

Seems like there is a question about forgery of the note. Also seems like a suicide note would be left somewhere more "findable."

Hey...we have two "sadies" here? What up with that? Are you two sadies related? :)

But... Think about it, the law comes to look and can't find his body... Now if they had something to do with it during the politics of the time, how clever to not find the body (when they knew where they put it, if they had anything to do with it.) Who would EVER think to look there again?

I'm going back to the "look" of that VERY nice house, no small streudel. Who was paying this doctor, and for what, and why oh why is his last name "B" only? Weird. What does that B stand for, and why is only an initial being used.

There was something in one of the articles that intimated that back then doctors were able to get about and "talk to people" (they were treating people, so they could be good messengers that might scoot under police radar?) SO...if this fellow was blabbing to help people stick together for some future force, perhaps one of his patients ratted on him and got his weiner schnitzeled :(

I think that this case could become VERY interesting. I'd like to see someone come out of the closet and expose the truth. It seems that the neighbors had seen some things, do they just get ignored? My bet is that many people saw many things back then, but dared not say it for fear. NO ONE opens their mouth much when they live in a place like that was at one time. Everything is quite secretive or you end up, in the words of Popeye, "Diskappearin!" Actually...this isn't funny, my mother lived through something like that, and had friends who just suddenly disappeared, never to be heard from again. So so sad.

W

deanws
07-07-2007, 10:32 PM
That's what I mean Wrinkles.
. I mean I once drank too much Peach Schnapps and thought I was dying.:sick: :doh:

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Spazkat9696
07-08-2007, 12:19 AM
Weird. That's all just Weird.

Wrinkles
07-08-2007, 01:30 PM
Hello Luthersmama,

You wrote:
>>The use of only his last initial is common in respectable European newspapers. They are more protective of the privacy of folks. It isn't strange at all.<<

Not that I doubt what you say, but only looking for some proof of this in German newspapers. I found the use of only the "last initial" in this situation to be quite odd, you say it is quite typical due to privacy. What you have written rings true, but I was just looking to see some back up newspaper articles for support of what you wrote.

Can you help me to some German news articles where they deal with such as a murder, violent crime etc. where the person's last initial is all that is used? I'd sure appreciate it.

W

luthersmama
07-08-2007, 03:27 PM
Hello Luthersmama,

You wrote:
>>The use of only his last initial is common in respectable European newspapers. They are more protective of the privacy of folks. It isn't strange at all.<<

Not that I doubt what you say, but only looking for some proof of this in German newspapers. I found the use of only the "last initial" in this situation to be quite odd, you say it is quite typical due to privacy. What you have written rings true, but I was just looking to see some back up newspaper articles for support of what you wrote.

Can you help me to some German news articles where they deal with such as a murder, violent crime etc. where the person's last initial is all that is used? I'd sure appreciate it.

W


Scroll down to item 8.1 regarding the use of names and photographs:

http://ethics.iit.edu/codes/coe/german.press.council.html

There was much discussion of this, perhaps not on this forum but on others, during the early stages of the Natalee Holloway case. One of the things that just baffled the Dutch and Arubans was the public identification of individuals involved in the case. To publish the full name of a person under investigation is just unheard of.

Lanie
07-08-2007, 04:14 PM
I spent several years in Germany as a child, and yes, for several months out of the year, it does smell like poo. We lived in a very nice neighborhood, unfortunately at the edge of town right next to either asparagus or rutabaga fields, and they do use manure, and I believe at that time (70's) I heard they possibly used human waste. The smell is overwhelming, and there is no escaping it.
That being said, I agree this story stinks to high heaven!!

luthersmama
07-08-2007, 05:03 PM
Hello Luthersmama,

You wrote:
>>The use of only his last initial is common in respectable European newspapers. They are more protective of the privacy of folks. It isn't strange at all.<<

Not that I doubt what you say, but only looking for some proof of this in German newspapers. I found the use of only the "last initial" in this situation to be quite odd, you say it is quite typical due to privacy. What you have written rings true, but I was just looking to see some back up newspaper articles for support of what you wrote.

Can you help me to some German news articles where they deal with such as a murder, violent crime etc. where the person's last initial is all that is used? I'd sure appreciate it.

W


Here's an example from the same magazine:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,460176,00.html

The suspect's last name isn't given - just his initial. If you read other articles in the same issue about embarrasing things (drunk caught in window) and crimes (thief pretended to be mannequin) they don't give any names at all. Just "the 38 year old man" or something.

luthersmama
07-08-2007, 05:11 PM
It would be interesting to know what the weather was like. It would have been fairly cold. If there was a really cold snap, he might have "freeze dried" over the course of a few weeks. Then there would be less smell.

kgeaux
07-08-2007, 05:30 PM
I, too, am intrigued that there was no odor detected----not by the wife who parked there, and not by searchers. That's very odd.

Is anyone else wondering if perhaps he ROLLED himself up in the quilt/asbestos to "stifle" the odor?

I'm having trouble understanding about the notes.....they were "later falsified?" What does that mean? Did he write the notes or not?

As an aside: I sure hope it wasn't REAL asbestos they are talking about. My brother in law died of mesothelioma two years ago, and my God, I wouldn't wish that fate on anyone, much less the workmen who were waving it around!

PS, maybe they are using only his last initial to preserve some privacy for the wife?

Wrinkles
07-08-2007, 05:32 PM
Hello Luthersmama,

Thanks so much. That certainly helps in understanding the last initial, but now I am curious why any name at all.

Additionally, I become confounded why they would publish a photo of the home - which seems to breach a privacy. I don't recall which articles had the photo, but someone knew the address. It might have made more sense to publish a photo of the garage and dovecote, which might have helped understand some things. At the same time, if it was hidden behind the house, perhaps it would have been less of a breach of privacy while focussing upon where the man's body was found.

Now then... I wonder how anyone would identify the man or the situation to come forward with information if they had any.

I sure appreciate your help with attaching that article.

W

luthersmama
07-08-2007, 05:56 PM
I, too, am intrigued that there was no odor detected----not by the wife who parked there, and not by searchers. That's very odd.

Is anyone else wondering if perhaps he ROLLED himself up in the quilt/asbestos to "stifle" the odor?

I'm having trouble understanding about the notes.....they were "later falsified?" What does that mean? Did he write the notes or not?

As an aside: I sure hope it wasn't REAL asbestos they are talking about. My brother in law died of mesothelioma two years ago, and my God, I wouldn't wish that fate on anyone, much less the workmen who were waving it around!

PS, maybe they are using only his last initial to preserve some privacy for the wife?


I saw somewhere that they thought he might have poisoned himself. If he used warfarin, which is prescribed to thin blood in humans but is also the primary ingredient in rat poison, then drank himself into a stupor, the warfarin would have caused him to sort of dessicate.

Wrinkles
07-08-2007, 06:42 PM
Hiya Gang,

Luthersmama, could have been cold. I just looked again...that was May, it didn't say at what time in May (I don't think.) I also tried to look up the altitude of the city (Bergholz-Rehbrücke). The Wikipedia page is in German, ugh, I wish I could read it. I did find what appears to be an altitude of about 34 meters, about 111 feet. The city is towards the north of Germany, and doesn't appear to be terribly far from the sea to the north (at about 100-150 miles). The latitude is about the same as Amsterdam or Birmingham (UK), which is north of London. I haven't been to Europe for quite a few years, but my guess is that it could have been quite cold in May at that latitude. I just don't know that it would have been "freeze dry" cold. I was thinking that if the city was at a high altitude, maybe freeze dry cold...

But thinking... It seems that one of the articles that I read mentioned something about horses, or where the horses were kept...in reference to the garage. That reminded me of a circumstance in Europe, visiting friends in a country neighboring Germany. The house at the front was huge, like the one in the picture. In the back, reasonable enough distance from the house, were long stables, probably very nice at one time, about 2 or 3 stories tall (2 floors and a high roof) as you looked at them and if I am remembering correctly. The lower floor, the stables, had been converted to garages for renting out. The upper floor, above the stables, was converted to living space (homes or apartments, if you will.) It seems to me that there was still quite a height of roof over that upper floor.

If I picture the place I visited and think of that picture of the man's home (something like a manor house of sorts, certainly not a small apartment), perhaps they once had a very formal set of stables like I saw AND a nice sized and high dovecote. That would have put his body quite high above a converted garage? NOW then...if they did have their garage next to actual stables housing horses, perhaps there was a dung smell. It is hard to tell what type of setting that house is in, i.e. is it surrounded by land or by other buildings. It definitely has some land to one side of it. (http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,grossbild-878959-485064,00.html)

Kgeaux, your point is well made about the searchers not smelling anything as they purposely went looking. But how soon did the searchers begin after he was missing? Was it still icy cold that May?

And Kgeaux my condolences at the loss of your brother in law. The memory is probably still very fresh to you :(

Luthersmama, he could have poisoned himself. As a doctor, surely he would have had things available to do almost anything to make things easier on himself in a suicide, IF it was a suicide. But then...the note, why have it near his body, hidden away, instead of on a desk in his office, or at his home?

Ultimately, IF this was a murder, and not a suicide, we may never know. The regime the man was under was only 20 or so years ago. Who of those that might be responsible will speak up? If this was a murder, there are likely those who were involved that are still living and maybe quite nearby to the man's wife.

W

luthersmama
07-08-2007, 08:01 PM
The article I read said March rather than May. March could be quite cold.

dufresnecw
07-08-2007, 11:00 PM
But then...the note, why have it near his body, hidden away, instead of on a desk in his office, or at his home?

W


If it was a suicide, he may have put the note next to his body with the intentions that someone would find him before 22 years.

Maybe he felt that if he put the note on a desk that he might be found before he accomplished the "deed".

JanetElaine
07-10-2007, 11:20 PM
The article I read said March rather than May. March could be quite cold.

The winter of 1984/1985 was very cold in that area. From 1901 until now this winter is listed as the 8th coldest winter. Temperatures were around 30-32F in March.

Sources are in Dutch but are:
http://www.knmi.nl/klimatologie/lijsten/hellmann.html
http://www.vandehakopdetak.nl/geschiedenis/1985.htm

CaliKid
07-11-2007, 12:49 AM
But to be mummified, wouldn't you need hot, dry weather?

Gina_M
07-11-2007, 12:53 AM
Some mummies are preserved wet, some are frozen, and some are dried.
The Egyptian climate lent itself well to the mummification process, being both very hot and dry.

More interesting stuff at link:

http://www.egyptartsite.com/mummy.html

Looks like hot and dry weather helps, but the body can also be frozen.