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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

'Shamed' Austrian man kills family with ax - CNN.com

(CNN) -- An Austrian man has confessed to killing five members of his family with an ax, Vienna police said Wednesday.


The body of the father-in-law to a man who murdered five family members is taken away in Linz, Austria.

The man walked into a Vienna police station in the early hours of Wednesday morning and told authorities he had killed his wife and seven-year-old daughter early Tuesday, police spokesman Michael Braunsperger said.

The man, a self-employed public relations consultant according to The Associated Press, said he had also murdered both his parents and his father-in-law in the cities of Ansfelden and Linz, respectively, the spokesman said.

Police then found the five victims, who had all been killed with an ax, Braunsperger said. The man said his motive was "financial difficulties."

"He said he'd been speculating on the financial markets and had lost everything, so he... wanted to spare his family the shame," Braunsperger said.

The man is now in custody awaiting further questioning, he said.

"He is completely matter of fact ... almost without emotion," criminal investigator Thomas Stecher told a news conference, AP reported.

The case is likely to unnerve Austrians on the heels of a highly-publicized incest case in Amstetten, outside Vienna.

Josef Fritzl, 73, confessed last month to holding his daughter captive in a cellar below the family home for 24 years, repeatedly raping her, and fathering seven children with her. One of the babies died.

Fritzl told his wife their daughter had run away, and he and his wife adopted three of the children.

In 2006, Austrian teenager Natascha Kampusch escaped from the basement of a house in Strasshof, another Vienna suburb, after being held there for eight years. Her stepmother said Kampusch had been repeatedly abused by her captor, Wolfgang Priklopil, who killed himself by throwing himself under a train hours after she escaped.
'Shamed' Austrian man kills family with ax - CNN.com
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