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Episode 78 - The Hinterkaifeck Murders

Sometime on the evening of March 31, 1922, six people were killed at a deserted farm in Bavaria. Despite decades of investigations and more than 100 suspects, the case was never resolved. This would come to be known as the Hinterkaifeck murders. Tonight on the train we delve into the crazy that surrounds this case. Who did it? Why did they do it? Incest? That is gross… But also… Yes. There are tons of crazy theories, websites, documentaries and articles that delve into this case. We used two main sources for this episode which are amazing resources for actual information and not just myth and conjecture. They are and both have incredible amounts of information and discussion. Also pictures cus we know you guys are sick and you like that creepy gross shit. So with all that out of the way… in the immortal words of Michael buffer… Let's get ready to ruuuuuuuummmmmmble!!!!

Kaifeck was a small settlement to the north of Waidhofen, around 50 miles north of Munich in Bavaria, Germany. A mile or so to the north-east of Kaifeck was the village of Grobern. Between them lay the Witches’ Wood. At the north-west corner of the Witches’ Wood stood an isolated farm. Colloquially it was called ‘Behind Kaifeck’, or Hinter Kaifeck in German. This is where our story takes place. Lets run through a timeline of events and then get into the craziness that surrounds the case. Also as a disclaimer we've done or best to sister fact from fiction with this case when it comes to what happened. There may be some things in this episode that are shaky and far as being factually correct as there is tons of information and misinformation on this whole case. Also much of this information was translated from german so there are some odd wordings.

The fact that the chronology does not end with the act, but on the contrary continues to this day, is due to the special fact that the case was never resolved and that it continues to concern people to this day.

The following is a detailed chronology of events from Hinterkaifeck as well as details on the people involved. Some of the details may seem tedious so bare with us!

1849, November 27.

Birth of Cäzilia Sanhueter, later Gruber

1858, November 9th.

Birth of Andreas Gruber.

1874, 08/16.

Birth of Lorenz Schlittenbauer.

1877, May 14.

Cäzilia Sanhüter (later Gruber) married Josef Asam von Hinterkaifeck for the first time. Josef Asam received the property HK from his widowed father Johann Asam on April 24th, 1877, and a notarial marriage and inheritance contract was signed between Cäzilia and Josef Asam. After the marriage, Cäzilia Asam was co-owner of the property.

1886, April 14.

Wedding of Cäzilia (née Sanhüter, used Asam) and Andreas Gruber.

A possible further marriage of Cäzilia Asam / Gruber to a Josef Ostermeier, which was possibly only of short duration and which according to Leuschner (3rd edition) should have existed after the death of Josef Asam, can now be almost ruled out after appropriate research.


Lorenz Schlittenbauer takes over his parents' farm in Gröbern.

This yard is about 500 meters from HK.

At an unknown point in time, LS becomes ´local guide´ in Gröbern.


According to Lorenz Schlittenbauer (interrogation in 1931), 16-year-old Viktoria Gruber tells his first wife - Viktoria Schlittenbauer - that she was seduced / abused by her father.

1914, April 3rd.

Viktoria marries Karl Gabriel from Laag, and the Einödhof is assigned to her beforehand. Allegedly KG leaves Victoria after a short time and goes back to his parents. These are said to have sent him back to Hinterkaifeck. (Note: Unclear source, needs to be checked!)

1914, 12.12.

Karl Gabriel is killed in France near Neuville St. Vaast during World War I.

1915, January 9th.

Birth of Cäzilia Gabriel, the daughter of Karl and Viktoria Gabriel.

1915, May 28.

On May 28, 1915, the district court in Neuburg sentenced old Gruber to one year in prison for incest, his daughter Viktoria to one month.

1918, July 14th.

Viktoria Schlittenbauer, Lorenz Schlittenbauer's first wife, dies.

1918, Aug (?) - Dec (?)

Around this time, Schlittenbauer had an intimate relationship with Viktoria.

According to his information (during interrogation in 1931), LS had sexual intercourse with Viktoria Gabriel about five times, the first time about two weeks after the death of his wife.

Viktoria Gabriel literally “imposed herself” on him after his portrayal.

A statement by the neighbors Pöll and Sigl (April 5th, 22) guarantees that LS wanted to marry Viktoria - possibly during her pregnancy or after the birth of little Josef. The old Gruber had strictly refused this.

1919, 07.09.

Birth of little Joseph.

In the period from 09/13/1919 to 09/27/1919 Andreas Gruber had to go to prison for incest, Schlittenbauer testified against Gruber on 09/10/1919. At the urging of Victoria, he revokes his testimony on September 23, 1919 and also assumes paternity.

It remains to be seen whether LS or old Gruber was the father of little Josef.

1921, March 27.

The maid Kreszenz Rieger gives birth to a daughter in Hinterkaifeck.

1921, 7:05 .

Lorenz Schlittenbauer marries his second wife, Anna Dick (29) from Diepoltshofen, who brings a son Josef (8, born on March 31, 1913) into the marriage. Another 3 children she had before this marriage had already died. They had only known each other for 3 weeks, so it seems to have been an arranged marriage. From this marriage there are 5 children. Schlittenbauer has become debt-free this year and is building a certain wealth. Schlittenbauer's eldest daughter, Magdalena, also gets married that year and moves to Tierham.


At the end of August, the maid Kreszenz Rieger gave notice.

1922 (?) March (?)

Allegedly, about two weeks before the night of the murder, Pastor Haas found 700 gold marks in an envelope that had been in the confessional. The money is said to have been deposited by Viktoria Gabriel as a donation for the mission.

(Note: This issue first appeared in a report written down from memory by the police officer Xaver Meiendres in 1948. The truth of the matter - for example, as regards the temporal proximity to the later murders or the amount of the sum - is difficult to assess. The police officer Meiendres is first Was transferred to Hohenwart in 1931 and was not involved in the original investigation.)

1922, March 29.

At the age of only a few weeks, Anna and Loorenz Schlittenbauer's first daughter probably dies of sudden infant death and is born on March 29th. buried. In the church register, "whooping cough" is found as the cause of death.

1922, March 30th

In the morning Andreas Gruber discovers that the lock of the engine house has been broken into. However, through this attached house there is no access to the stable or barn behind it.

There are also traces of an attempted break-in on the door to the feed room.

On the way into the forest, Gruber meets Lorenz Schlittenbauer at 11 o'clock and tells him about the break-in or attempted break-in and a trail in the snow that leads to the farm but not back. Shortly afterwards, Gruber meets the farmer Kaspar Stegmair from Gröbern and tells him about it.

It is said that shortly before the crime, either Viktoria (statement 1951 Sophie Fuchs, classmate of Cilli) or her mother (statement Sophie Fuchs 1984 and notes in the files) ran away in desperation at night. The woman was found crying on the couple. The next morning Cilli was very tired at school and when asked by the teacher why she was doing this, she told them about this incident. During this search, a current edition of the Münchner Zeitung is said to have been found, which so unsettled Andreas Gruber that he asked the postman Mayr on the following day whether anyone in the area was getting this newspaper. That was not the case.

1922, March 31.

In the morning of that day, Andreas Gruber and Viktoria Gabriel are said to have gone shopping in Schrobenhausen. Gruber is said to have reported inexplicable nocturnal noises in the attic in a hardware store and a cattle that was untied / got rid of at night. Supposedly Viktoria also reports about it in another store.

(Note: Neither the date of these purchases nor the exact circumstances are certain. Apparently there are only statements about it ´of hearsay´ by Johann Krammer and Wenzeslaus Bley from 1930.)

At 4.30 p.m. the new maid Maria Baumgartner, accompanied by her sister Franziska Schäfer, arrives in Hinterkaifeck. After an hour the sister leaves the yard.

1922, March 31st, probably between 7.30pm and 9pm / Friday

An unknown perpetrator kills Viktoria first, then her mother, then her father and then her daughter (order assumed / reconstructed) with a so-called Reuthaue (probably in the barn).

Then he kills the 44-year-old maid Maria Baumgartner with the same weapon in the maid's room and then kills little Josef in Viktoria's room.

The murder weapon comes - secured by the testimony of the former Hinterkaifeck farmhand Georg Siegl - from the possession of the Gruber.

1922, April 1st. / Saturday

Little Cäzilia is missing at school. The coffee representatives Hans and Eduard Schirovsky do not meet anyone in Hinterkaifeck during a visit (approximately between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.).

Late in the evening / at night, the carpenter Michael Plöckl walks past the HK property. He is blinded by a stranger with a flashlight. A fire is burning in the oven.

It is uncertain to what extent the animals were looked after and the cows milked until the bodies were discovered.

1922, April 2nd. / Sunday

friends of Victoria want to pick them up for church service, but find Hinterkaifeck abandoned.

[Note: This issue appears for the first time in Hecker's Donaukurier series and is otherwise not proven]

The Grubers are missing in the church. A son of the farmer Sigl from Rachelsbach wants to buy lard at HK and doesn't meet anyone there.

1922, April 3rd. / Monday

The postman Josef Mayer reports in 1952: “As usual, I put the newspaper in the kitchen window. The only thing that struck me was that I didn't see the pram in the kitchen as it usually was when I walked this way. The kitchen door itself was half open. I would also like to say that I watched the child, who always rocked himself in the car, on my deliveries through the kitchen window. "

1922, 04.04. / Tuesday

The fitter Albert Hofner arrived in HK on Tuesday, 04/04/22 at around 9:00 a.m. to repair the cylinder head gasket on the 4 hp diesel engine. Before that, he talked to Mayor Greger in Wangen for about 30 minutes and informed him that he was on his way to HK.

Since the garden door (presumably on the house garden) was locked, he went around the house to check on the residents. There he found the back door locked, looked through the kitchen and stall windows and heard the barking of a dog (inside the house) and the roar of the cattle.

Afterwards he waited about an hour near the house garden under an apple tree (west side) for the HKer to return. In the meantime he whistled through his fingers a few times to attract attention.

Because he couldn't wait any longer, he gained access to the engine shed on the north side of the building and repaired the engine there for about 4.5 hours. He testified that he sang and whistled while he was working and then carried out a test run of the engine to draw attention to himself.

Then he locked the door of the engine hut and then went through the house garden into the courtyard again.

Only now did he notice that the “barn door in all directions” was open. He came within ten feet of the open door but did not enter the building. Then he walked along the house to the front door. At the front door he found the barking dog tied up. The front door was locked now too.

Comment on the dog: The yellow Spitz is described as a “good and watchful dog” (Pöll) or “a very watchful dog” (Sigl), “who was locked in the stable every evening” (Sigl). On 04/04/1922 the witnesses found the dog in the stable, but with one injured eye, he was disturbed and aggressive towards anyone who approaches him. After the death of the Hinterkaifecker, the dog comes to Laag because it finds a new home there with the father of a Jakob Gabriel (Karl Gabriel Sr.?), According to the Augsburg files.