On Saturday morning, the staff at an InterContinental hotel in Frankfurt, Germany, found the bruised body of a woman whose death is apparently the result of an attempted exorcism.
A “big family” from South Korea arrived in Germany six weeks ago, rented a house in a town north of Frankfurt, but rarely stayed there, the Associated Press reported.
At some point, six of these people — one the now dead, and unnamed, 41-year-old victim — headed to the hotel. She was tied to a bed in the hotel room and beaten repeatedly for two hours. Eventually, she suffocated, Deutsche Welle reported.
In order to banish the “demon” that had possessed her, her family — including her teenaged son — allegedly pounded her in the chest and stomach and stuffed a towel and clothes hanger in her mouth to stifle her screams, said prosecutor Nadja Niesen. Agence France-Presse reported that the beating was an attempt to “drive out the devil.”
Ultimately, her death was the result of suffocation due to “massive chest compression and violence to her neck.” When hotel staff, and then police, found the body, it was covered in bruises.
The prosecutor described the viciousness of the exorcism death.
“According to our current information the suspects subjected the victim to pain and agony for at least two hours, and their actions were motivated by a callous and merciless attitude.”
Niesen noted that she’d never “experienced everything like it,” describing the behavior of the suspects as “unfeeling and pitiless.” Such a violent and bizarre death isn’t something often seen in Germany, and a spokesman with the prosecutor’s office told the Local “It’s an extremely unusual case.”
The body was found after the suspects realized that their attempt at exorcism had resulted not in the expulsion of a demon, but in their relative’s death. They reportedly called a priest, but it’s not clear what day they made the call.
During questioning, a 44-year-old woman involved mentioned exorcism. Now, the dead woman’s family is facing murder charges in Germany. The accused include the woman, aged, 44, her son and daughter, aged 21, and 19, and two boys, both 15. One of the boys is the son of the victim. All have been remanded into custody.
Police don’t yet know which religion, if any, the suspects and victim followed, and haven’t indicated whether any cult objects were found in the room where the exorcism and death took place. It’s also unclear whether the woman had asked her relatives for the exorcism, and the authorities haven’t addressed why they came to Germany from South Korea.
She was severely dehydrated, hypothermic, and exhausted, and taken to a hospital for treatment. It’s not clear why she was being kept in the garage or how she was involved, or even if she was related to the family who performed the exorcism.
“It’s not clear exactly what happened to her, we are still investigating that,” Niesen said.
Another exorcism death made headlines recently, this one in the U.S. The granddaughter of actor Morgan Freeman was walking down a Manhattan sidewalk this summer when she was stabbed 16 times in an apparent exorcism.
The perpetrator was her live-in boyfriend, Lamar Davenport, 30, who police said was experiencing a drug-induced psychosis at the time. After he plunged a hunting knife into the chest of E’Dena Hines, 33, he yelled “Get out, devils! I cast you out, devils! In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast you out!” Then, when she was dead, he shouted “Jesus Christ is born!” over her body.
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