A Swiss town was shocked to find out that a local soccer coach is being held in connection to four brutal murders. The picturesque town of Rupperswil, Switzerland has a population of 5,000, and has previously been known for its sugar mill. After four shocking murders of a family in December 2015, however, the village has gained notoriety for the horrific crime.
Local authorities took the 33-year-old suspect into custody Thursday, and itv.com says he reportedly made a “comprehensive confession.” The man, referred to by local media only as “Thomas N.” is accused of killing 48-year-old Carla Schauer, and her family: her two sons, 13 and 17 years of age, and the oldest son’s girlfriend, 21.
Headlines – Swiss town in shock after soccer coach held over 4 killings: https://t.co/99wU69UHxv Martin Diaz Alvarez
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Police have said the case was difficult to solve because there was no apparent connection between the suspect and the victims of the murders. They believe there were financial and sexual motives to the murders, but have made no comments about why he chose this particular family. Roland Wenger is the spokesman for the FC Sarmenstorf soccer club where the suspect had coached. He said everyone in the club was horrified by the news.
“Nobody in the club would have thought Thomas N. would be capable of this, he was always decent.”
According to authorities, he tricked his way into their family home, then forced the mother to bind and gag the other victims before making her withdraw $11,000. When she returned from the bank, he tied her up and raped the younger son. He then killed all four victims of the family by slitting their throats and set fire to the house to destroy evidence. A report from Fox News stated that Police captain Markus Gisin said the man’s arrest may have prevented further similar crimes.
“Based on yesterday’s search of the home, further investigations and questioning, we have to assume that the perpetrator had concrete plans for similar crimes.”
On December 21, 2015, neighbors of the family reported a fire at the Schauers’ home after seeing dense smoke. When emergency teams responded and were able to go inside the house, investigators found all four bodies, bound and gagged with tape and cable ties, stabbed and then doused by accelerant and burned.
Police searched both nearby areas and further, even contacting Interpol to find out if any other murders had occurred under similar circumstances. They were able to collect DNA evidence from the scene, but it served very little purpose earlier in the investigation because there were no matches found in the criminal databases they searched.
Investigators have taken into account the personal nature of the murders, although no connection between the perpetrator and the family he killed has been revealed. The soccer coach had a gun, yet chose the far more personal and intimate murders with a knife. Psychiatric criminal profilers say that when a murder is committed reluctantly, the murderer often prefers to kill his victims from a distance. It is unknown as of yet whether the soccer coach has told police why he took the actions he did.
Local residents, neighbors and members of the soccer club are shocked, as the suspect was well-known in the community and liked. He was not only a coach for the youth soccer club, but was known to be friendly to those he met and with whom he interacted. Unmarried, he lived alone with his two huskies in the area. The neighbors viewed him as “the nice young man next door,” according to a report by 20 Minute News. He was seen as friendly and engaging, quick to greet others but held back from further engagement. He was helpful, say members of the soccer team who formerly called him their coach, but still a loner.
A special police force of 40 investigators, including both local officers and others from outside agencies, was assembled to help solve the murders. Even though a large reward was offered, and the community was very active and helpful with information, neither factor figured in the successful conclusion of the investigation. Police solved the crime on their own, in this case. The murders of a local family has left an entire town in shock, wondering if they ever really knew the soccer coach at all.
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