German police have arrested a man on suspicion of killing up to 21 co-workers by poisoning them.
An investigation into the deaths followed after an employee was caught trying to poison a colleague’s lunch. A search of the suspect’s home revealed mercury, cadmium and lead.
The man was arrested in Schloss Holte-Stuckenbrock in northwest Germany in May this year. Police were called in when a worker at a metal fittings company noticed some white powder on his food. A review of security cameras showed the suspect adding substances to the co-worker’s lunch.
The manager for ARI Armaturen, Tilo Blechinger said, “In the beginning we thought it was a misconceived prank between co-workers, and not a murder attempt.”
Police searched the 56-year-old suspect’s home and found the items which could be used to poison people. They are now trying to ascertain if there are any links to the deaths of 21 employees who have died since 2000. Two men are currently in a coma and another is on dialysis. Many of them died of cancer or heart attacks and police are trying to ascertain if they may be linked to heavy metal poisoning.
Candice DeLong, a former FBI criminal profiler has speculated that, “He did it because he liked it. If he didn’t get something out of it he wouldn’t have done it repeatedly. He would have done it once and stopped.
“The oddest quality of this serial killing is that a man used poisoning as the method of death; that’s usually a woman’s choice of methods. It’s slow and painful, and the killer can maintain distance from his victims.
“There is also an element of pure sadism on the killer’s part in that it took so long for so many of them to die. I can only assume that he was expert at dosing and knew exactly how much poison would kill, and how much would only cause pain and suffering. He probably got a lot of enjoyment just thinking about them in their hospital beds suffering.“