The storefront window of Torsten Weiss’s medieval fetish shop in Hachenburg, Germany, is adorned with a mannequin splattered with fake blood sitting open-legged on a counter. A periwinkle blue rope is tied several times around her wrists and neck. Thick silver chains are draped across her shoulders like suspenders. A stained blindfold is pushed up above her eyes. The store offers replicas of ancient weapons like longbows, spears and battle axes alongside Knights Templar flags. It also offers medieval reenactment and jousting classes.
Weiss, 53, was the tattooed and pierced owner of the shop who police say once owned a dog that used to maul and bite other canines to death.
Last weekend Weiss was found dead with crossbow bolts protruding from his neck and skull on a double bed on the second floor of a quaint B&B in the picturesque Bavarian town of Passau. By his side was 33-year-old Kerstin Enders, who had succumbed to similar fatal injuries.
On the floor in front of them in a pool of blood was 30-year-old Farina Caspari, suspected of honoring Weiss’s dominator command to first kill him and Enders and then take her own life, which she clearly did, according to investigators.
Weiss and Enders left wills at their sides, presumably to ensure that the motives were clear. "Investigators suspect they were all members of a kind of sex circle with a focus on the Middle Ages,” according to RTL news quoting local investigators on the scene. “[Weiss] may have been the guru of the group.”
Caspari, who hailed from Lower Saxony some 250 miles north of Passau, had booked the triple room online so investigators naturally started their investigation at her house to determine whether anything on her computer or in her possession would shed light on the motive for the strange deaths. They found two more female victims, One, identified only as Gertrud C., was her lover, according to police.
Police spokesman Stefan Gaisbauer told The Daily Beast that neighbors interviewed by investigators say Weiss was a frequent guest who used to command the two female lovers to engage in sadomasochistic activities, or at least that's what it sounded like through the thin apartment walls.
The other woman in Caspari's apartment was a 19-year-old identified in the press only as Carina U. Bild interviewed her parents, who said that she was a medieval folklore enthusiast who had recently met Weiss at his store, which was evidently a place where such devotees gathered. “She was raving about Torsten, Torsten, Torsten,” her father told Bild. “I don't understand how someone manages in four to six weeks to manipulate someone like that.”
Gaisbauer said that friends of the four female victims interviewed by police say the women had all been under Weiss's hypnotic control. They reportedly engaged in extreme sexual acts, often involving BDSM, under his direction.
But what police don't yet know is what led the fivesome to their deaths rather than just continuing their fantastical life. Nor do they know if there are other victims involved in this macabre mystery. “We have five dead, that much is clear,” Passau prosecutor Walter Feiler said at a press conference Wednesday. “Everything else is in doubt.”
They are concerned that Weiss may have instructed Caspari to kill others. The two women found dead in her apartment have no obvious wounds or signs of violence. Toxicology reports will show if they were poisoned, and, if so, with what.
Caspari’s neighbors described her as a peculiar woman who dressed in Goth fashion and who rarely spoke to anyone. Police say they found a trove of evidence inside the apartment, but nothing that clearly proves how the victims there died.
At one point, all five victims reportedly lived on a farm that Weiss rented from Alexander Krüger, who told Bild that other women were also seen on the property. “His tone with them was strange. They were almost submissive; I had the impression that they are hardly allowed to talk to me,” Kruger told Bild. “Their reaction, the body language was submissive, holding their heads down. If I did not know better, I’d say they were really scared of him.”
Krüger evicted Weiss and the women after his dog was found mauled to death. At that time, he discovered that Weiss had given him a false identity document, which made it impossible to press charges for the dog's death.
Investigators say that they will issue a full report by the end of the month and that they do not exclude finding other victims of this most peculiar killing spree.