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Food for Thought

by Irene Maschke

London Times, November 13, 2017

Berlin — The remains of a child found last Thursday in a wood near Berlin, Germany, were now identified to be six-year old Bertram Weller from Oranienburg. He had been reported missing four months ago when he failed to come home from school. The autopsy could not provide certainty on the cause of death due to the advanced stage of decomposition. Forensics experts confirmed that body parts had been removed presumably with a butcher knife and remain missing. At this point the police are not providing further details, in order to avoid compromising the case.

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London Times, November 25, 2017

Berlin — Police have provided additional information on the case of six-year old Bertram Weller, whose remains had been found and identified two weeks ago without his arms and legs. On Wednesday, trash dump workers found arm and thigh bones which were DNA-tested and turned out to be Weller’s missing limbs. The torso and head had been partly decomposed but were otherwise intact. The arms and legs found were bare bones showing various knife marks.

Police released a detail that they hope might help find the perpetrator. An unusual shoe had been found under the body. It is blue with a pointed tip and small wings. The police are asking anybody who has seen such an unusual shoe to come forward with information.

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London Times, December 4, 2017

Berlin — Inquiries into the death of six-year old Bertram Weller who disappeared on his way home from school in Oranienburg, Germany, in July took a shocking turn. The body had been found without arms and legs, and two weeks later, arm and leg bones were found on a trash dump in Berlin. Thorough examination showed that the limbs had been cooked and the meat cut from the bones.

Investigators have discovered similar cases in other countries. The body of five-year old Amelie van Doorn was found without arms and legs in Helmond, Netherlands, where she had disappeared in June of this year. The body of seven-year old Pieter Hoogstad was found in Leuven, Belgium, in August, also without arms and legs. The body of six-year old Michelle Müller was found in Esch, Luxemburg in September, also with arms and legs missing.

Police departments from these countries have formed a special task force to investigate the possibility of an international crime syndicate.

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London Times, December 29, 2017

Berlin — Police announced this morning the arrest of Martin K. in the mysterious murder cases of six-year old Bertram Weller and three more children found butchered in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg. Police suspect that Martin K. is not the only person of interest. The police declined to provide any more information, to avoid compromising the case.

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London Times, January 11, 2018

Geneva — Europol yesterday afternoon announced the arrest of five additional suspects in the serial murder cases of Bertram Weller, Amelie van Doorn, Pieter Hoogstadt and Michelle Müller. All the suspects’ DNA has been identified in Europol’s DNA database. It was found mixed with the mortal remains of the murdered children.

Europol Director Antonis van Emyck pointed out that the newly created DNA database has been instrumental in identifying perpetrators. “Without this database,” van Emyck said, “we would have had to wait for a chance identification of the persons setting the DNA traces. This database gives us the tools we need to identify dangerous criminals.”

The introduction of a Europe-wide DNA database had been highly controversial, and passed the European Parliament by only one vote last September. The suspects refuse to make any statements to the police. Psychiatric reviews have been ordered to determine the suspects’ mental state, but so far they have refused to cooperate.

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London Times, March 4, 2018

Geneva — Europol conducted a research in conjunction with national police forces into all unsolved missing-children cases and has identified seven more cases of children murdered and partially eaten by Martin K. and his associates.

Martin K. had provided some cooperation to investigators by disclosing the locations where the remains of missing children had been buried. His associates, Annemarie E., Dirk B., Peter W., Miriam W. and Irene M. have continued to refuse giving evidence, stating that they are not allowed to discuss the issue.

Psychiatrists who had been ordered to assess all suspects’ mental condition stated that although none of the suspects has cooperated, it is clear that Martin K. is the leader of the group and controls all the other members. They assume he has ordered all other group members to keep silent about the crimes.

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London Times, July 17, 2018

Berlin — The proceedings were opened this morning in Berlin against Martin K. and his associates for murdering eleven children and eating their arms and legs. While the other suspects refused to make any statements, Martin K. declared that he is the religious leader of the group. The religion demands ritual killings of children and eating their arms and legs. Therefore, he and his followers could not be punished, since freedom of religion is guaranteed by the German constitution as well as the European Union.

Judge Robert Entner, who presided over the proceedings, adjourned the court session for a month in order to give the prosecution time to assess the case.

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London Times, July 18, 2018

Berlin — Our reporter, Jennifer Sattmann, has been allowed to interview the suspected murderer and self-styled religious leader Martin K. The main parts of the hour-long interview are printed below:

JS: Mr. K., you gave everybody a big surprise yesterday, when you announced that all these children had been killed and eaten in the performance of your religion. Can you tell us some more about this religion? Do you hate children?

MK: Not at all. We adore children and believe that they are the most valuable gift in the world. Our religion requires us to believe in the proper balance of all deeds. Whenever one of our members commits a sin, we have to do penance and offer up our most valuable sacrifice, and that is a child.

JS: But why do you have to eat them?

MK: We don’t really eat them. We devour them in the guise of our Superior Beings, our God, if you want to call it that.

JS: But you and your followers eat these children, don’t you?

MK: You don’t understand. When these children are eaten, or rather their arms and legs, then we are not ourselves, our mere mortal selves. We turn into the Superior Beings. As mere mortals, we never could and never would kill a child or anybody else. Our religion forbids killing and any type of violence by mortals. Only the Superior Beings are masters over life and death.

JS: How do you turn into gods? What do you do?

MK: I can’t give you all the details; they are only for the initiated to know. But I can tell you how outsiders can plainly see us as Superior Beings. When you see that we are wearing our winged shoes, then you know that we have converted into Superior Beings.

JS: You mean shoes like the one that was found with one of the bodies?

MK: Yes. It was lost accidentally, and the person who lost it had to do penance and sacrifice another child to atone for it.

JS: Mr. K., you still haven’t explained what you and your followers believe in and how this religion was started.

MK: How do religions start? Ask Abraham and Mohammed and Jesus.

JS: You mean, it was revealed to you?

MK: Exactly. The Great Superior Beings visited me many times and told me what I had to do and how we have to live. I wrote everything down. You can buy my book, by the way. It is titled Penance and Value. It is available for various e-readers as well as in hardcopy and paperback. I am planning to make an audio book version as soon as I find the time to do the recording.

JS: Mr. K., I am trying to understand your religion, but I just can’t understand how you are able to kill children and how you justify that.

MK: We believe that the world ought to be in balance. Balance is the ultimate goal of the Superior Beings. As I said, children are the most valuable gift, and when somebody sins, he or she upsets the balance and we must right the balance by offering up a child.

We don’t just kill children, as you call it; we perform a cleansing ritual that must be followed without any deviation. Only if everything is done correctly will the sin be neutralized and the world saved from damnation.

JS: Can you describe this ritual?

MK: You’ll find all the details in my book. That’s why all our members must have a copy for reference. It is important that all the details be followed to the letter. The child used for the ritual must be no younger than five years and no older than ten years. It cannot be a member of our religion and it must be found alone on the street without any adult accompanying it.

We build a tent in the woods, change into Superior Beings and then perform the ritual. After the ritual is complete, we tear down the tent, clean up and go back to our homes, happy in the knowledge that we saved the world from chaos.

JS: Mr. K., do you think that you will be acquitted? After all, eleven children have been killed...

MK: All we did was live by our religion. Why should we be punished for that? As you know, the European constitution recognizes religious freedom as a human right and is legally bound to defend it as such.

JS: Mr. K., thank you for the interview.

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London Times, July 25, 2018

Strasbourg — As a result of Martin K.’s claims that ritual killings are exempt from prosecution on the basis of human rights and that the European Union guarantees religious freedom, intense discussions have been started in the European Parliament as well as in most national parliaments about the allowable extent of freedom of religion. All concerned agree that individuals must be allowed freedom of belief, but opinions differ on its implementation.

In the early 21st century, similar arguments were exchanged over the rights of certain religious groups, particularly Jews and Muslims, to perform physical harm on male children by performing circumcision, which is mandated by these religions.

At that time, the decision was reached that the followers of these religions must be allowed to adhere to their religious duties and that the mutilations performed on the male children are not classified as bodily harm.

Opponents argue that the right to physical integrity is also a human right. If physical harm through circumcision is allowed, argue defenders of religious freedom, why not allow ritual sacrifices?

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London Times, March 19, 2019

Berlin — Political argument on religious freedom and its boundaries is still ongoing, but the case of the serial murders of children has been resolved. Surprisingly, the issue of religious freedom and its boundaries had little bearing on the case.

Martin K. claims that killing and eating the children is an act mandated by his religion. He refers to his book Penance and Value for the description of the required ritual. Martin K. and his followers, who never denied having killed the children, were sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Amelie van Doorn.

Forensics experts discovered after extensive testing and analysis that Amelie had been killed before midnight on June 4, 2017, the night before her fifth birthday, which is prohibited by the perpetrators’ religion. The court held that the discrepancy constitutes a homicide for which all participants in the killing could be convicted. Since they had violated their own law, they could not claim religious freedom for killing Amelie.

Copyright © 2014 by Irene Maschke

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