Man Admits to Killing US Tourist Near German Castle

( – An unnamed American man, 31, stood trial in Germany on Monday, February 19, and confessed to charges of murder and rape linked to a horrific incident near the iconic Neuschwanstein castle last year. German news agency DPA (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) reported the admission made during the trial’s opening. Unlike the US system, defendants in Germany don’t formally enter pleas.

Describing the crime as “unfathomable,” defense lawyer Philip Mueller expressed dismay over the defendant’s actions. The accused, whose identity remains undisclosed in accordance with German privacy regulations, affirmed the accuracy of his lawyer’s statement but refrained from responding to any further inquiries.

The defendant faces a slew of charges, including rape, murder, and possession of child pornography. In Germany, murder charges carry the possibility of life imprisonment as the maximum penalty.

The horrific attack happened on June 14, 2023, near the Marienbruecke Bridge – which offers stunning views of a gorge near the popular tourist destination. Prosecutors say the defendant randomly encountered two unidentified American women, aged 21 and 22, on a hiking trail and lured them off the path.

Initial reports allege he forced the younger woman to the ground and tried to undress her. When the older woman intervened, a struggle ensued, ending with the suspect shoving her down a steep slope. Despite suffering severe head trauma, bruises, and abrasions, she miraculously survived.

Subsequently, the assailant allegedly assaulted the younger woman – he strangled her until she became unconscious. Afterward, he proceeded to rape her. According to prosecutors, he pushed her down the slope, which resulted in her unfortunate death.

Additionally, investigators uncovered damning evidence against the defendant, seizing a laptop and cell phones containing materials indicative of child sexual abuse.

Authorities have confirmed that the victims were not acquainted with the man before the fatal encounter near Neuschwanstein. The suspect was immediately arrested and detained following the assault.

The trial proceedings are anticipated to culminate in a verdict, slated for announcement in mid-March at the earliest.

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