German satanists with Harry Potter obsession on trial for taxi killing

Pair accused of planning killing while being motivated by satanic ‘bloodlust’

Two self-described satanists went on trial in southern Germany yesterday accused of murdering a Czech taxi driver in a Prague cemetery.

A 16-year-old youth identified only as Jan D and 22-year-old Hendrik M, both from Rottenburg-am-Neckar in Baden-Württemberg, are accused of planning the killing while being motivated by satanic "bloodlust".

The older of the two told investigators he believed he was Bellatrix Lestrange, an evil witch from the Harry Potter books.

“Both accused had a keen interest in satanism and vampirism,” said the state prosecutor ahead of the trial in the southern city of Tübingen.


Prosecutors say that on the evening of June 8th last taxi driver Jan Knytl collected the two men from a taxi stand in Prague. He was killed a short time later by 42 blows to the head and throat from a wrench and a hatchet.

A postmortem revealed the driver, a father of three whose girlfriend was pregnant with their fourth child, tried to escape the scene.

His assailants continued to beat him after he had collapsed on the ground before a Prague cemetery.

The day after the attack prosecutors say the two went to a Prague hospital for medical attention after the younger man accidently struck his accomplice’s left hand with the hatchet.

They were detained by police on a train back to Germany where a background revealed they were registered as missing.

Satanic music
A further investigation revealed they share an interest in satanic music and books as well as satanic films with "extremely violent elements".

In addition to the Prague attack, the two men are accused of attempting to murder a driver in Metzingen, Baden Württemberg, in April of last year.

Both accused were known to police, were from troubled homes, described themselves as brothers and viewed themselves as “evil”.

Some 70 witnesses are set to be called in the high-profile trial, including staff members at children’s homes where they once lived.

While living in a care facility Jan D reportedly painted pictures of vampires with bloody mouths and threatened to tear the baby from one pregnant staff member’s womb.

He also threatened to wench another staff member’s head in a vice and hammer it into pieces.

According to Focus magazine, Hendrik M told a psychologist he identified with the Harry Potter witch Bella Lestrange and liked to be addressed with the name. After the Prague killing, the two had planned to take a Harry Potter-themed tour to Britain.

Derek Scally

Derek Scally

Derek Scally is an Irish Times journalist based in Berlin