Certified Translation from the German Language
Public Prosecutor’s Office HESSE
Frankfurt am Main Crest
Konrad-Menauer-Strasse 20 60313 Frankfurt am Main
33/78 Js 22312/84
Frankfurt am Main, 11 December 2009
To the Regional Court
– Full Criminal. Chamber –
in Frankfurt am Main
Bill of Indictment
born on 18 April 1960 in Mooresville,
of no fixed abode in the Federal Republic of Germany,
currently in pre-trial detention in Weiterstadt Prison,
– in this matter arrested in Baltimore/USA on 08 March 2007 under the international arrest warrant of Bad Homburg Local
Court dated 13 January 2006 (case no. 33/78 Js 22312/84- 8 c Gs); on 17 August 2009 extradited from the USA to Germany and since that date in pre-trial detention in Weiterstadt Prison –
Chosen defense counsel:
1. Attorney Marcus Traut, Abraham – Lincoln – Strasse 16, 65189 Wiesbaden
2. Attorney Hans Wolfgang Euler, Kronberger Strasse 28, 60323
Frankfurt am Main
– next review of detention under Section 121 Subs. 1 Code of Criminal Procedure on 17 February 2010–
is indicted with
on 04 August 1984
in the vicinity of Bad Homburg v. d. Hohe
through two independent acts
1. having coerced another person to suffer the commission of sexual intercourse or other sexual acts by the perpetrator, which particularly demeaned the victim, especially where they involved penetration of the body (rape),
2. having killed a person to conceal another criminal offense.
On 04 August 1984 after 3:00 pm Accused Robert Brown met the then 19-year-old victim Nicola Stiel, already known to him, at a place not specifically established in or in the vicinity of Bad Kreuznach. They drove together in the VW Golf he had hired, license number SHG – CC 896, to a place not specifically established in the vicinity of Bad Homburg. Subsequently the Accused made a sexual advance to his victim Nicola Stiel. When Nicola Stiel showed her unwillingness, the Accused bound her by both arms. He tore the girl’s clothes from her body and used blows to force her to have sexual intercourse with him. The Accused ejaculated outside her vagina. As a result of the sexual act, the victim sustained a mucous membrane defect with extravasion in the vicinity of the lower section of the vaginal orifice. The blows caused the victim to sustain injuries in the form of abrasions and hematomas to the face, the right torso and limbs.
Thereafter, the Accused throttled Nicola Stiel with both hands using considerable force to the neck, intending to kill her, until she finally died owing to dyspnoea. Accused killed his victim in order to prevent his later identification with respect to the preceding rape.
Thereafter, he left the naked corpse of Nicola Stiel in woodlands approx. 100 meters from Kirdorf forest cemetery (Bad Homburg) and fled in his car.
The corpse of Nicola Stiel was found by witness Weig at about 10:15 am on the morning of 5 August 1984 while out walking. The Accused fled to the USA on 08 August 1984.
Felony, punishable under Sections 177 Subs. 1, Subs. 2 Sen-tence 1 and Sentence 2 No. 1, 211 Subs. 2 3rd Group 2nd Alter-native, 53 Criminal Code.
I. Statement by the Accused.
1. interview of the Accused dated 17 June 1985
2. interview of the Accused dated 5 December 1988
3. letter by the Accused dated June 1989
1. …. 84.
III. Expert witnesses
1. Prof. Dr. Bratzke, to be summonsed via the Centre for Forensic Medicine, Kennedyallee 104, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, re the post-mortem report/ autopsy record rendered by Dr. Luff since deceased, Centre for Forensic Medicine of Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main dated 06 August 1984, and the supplementary reports dated 10 December 1984, 22 February 1989 and 23 March 1989 (autopsy number: 599/84), and the results of the blood group typing of Nicola Stiel dated 13 August 1984 (No. S 48/84),
2. ROR Dr. Sonnberg, to be summonsed via Hesse State Criminal Police Office, Holderlinstr. 5, 65187 Wiesbaden, re the expert report on tire tracks dated 05 September 1984 (diary no. 844617- Sche), re the examination of the cigarette butts (results memo on 27 September 1984), re the examination of the blanket (results memo on 03 October 1984), re the report by the Hesse State Criminal Police Office on the examination of the exhibits for blood traces, sperm traces, saliva residues and textile fibers dated 31 October 1984 (IV/3-253/84/Dr. Sbg./Mü),
3. Prof. Dr. Gerchow, to be summonsed via the Centre for Forensic Medicine, Kennedyallee 104, 60596 Frankfurt am Main, re the blood alcohol concentration determination for Nicola Stiel dated 10 August 1984 (No. A 7128/84) and to re the toxicological report dated 05 September 1984 (No. D 568/84),
4. Dr. Kissling (blood group), re the official reports by the Federal Criminal Bureau on traces on the victim’s trousers and the blood group typing of the causer dated 29 October 1984 (case no. KT 3 – 1288/84) and dated 24 November 1989 (case no. KT 31 – 875/89)
5. Dr. Schneider, to be summonsed via Hesse State Criminal Police Office, Hölderlinstrasse 5, 65187 Wiesbaden, re the DNA reports dated 19 December 2002 and 01 December 2005, case no. 732- 253/84, and the already commissioned report
6. Ms. Schwetz, to be summonsed via Hesse State Criminal Police Office, Hölderlinstrasse 5, 65187 Wiesbaden, re the official report by the Hesse State Criminal Police Office dated 21 January 2008 case no. 73-253/84 (fiber report) and the commissioned fiber report
7. Dr. Dieter Jockel to be summonsed via Joint Practice and Reports, specialist physician for psychiatry, specialty
forensic psychiatry, Poststrasse 9, 35114 Haina, re the psychiatric expert opinion
IV. Documentary evidence
1. memo by former police officer Kriminalhauptmeisterin Frey (no longer interviewable) dated 05 August 1984 about the initial findings of the late Prof. Luff at the crime scene
2. post-mortem report by the Centre for Forensic Medicine of Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main dated 06 August 1984 by the late Dr. Luff, represented by Prof. Dr. Bratzke, (autopsy number: 599/84)
3. supplementary report on fine tissue examinations dated 10 December 1984 by the late Dr. Luff, represented by Prof. Dr. Bratzke, (autopsy number: 599/84)
4. supplementary report on the autopsy record and on the provisional post-mortem report dated 22 February 1989 by the late Dr. Luff, represented by Prof. Dr. Bratzke, (au-topsy number:599/84)
5. supplementary report on autopsy record and on the provisional post-mortem report dated 23 March 1989 by the late Dr. Luff, represented by Prof. Dr. Bratzke, (autopsy number:599/84)
6. expert reports on tire tracks dated 06 August 1984, 03 October 1984 by Kriminalobermeister Scheliga (diary number: 844617- Sche)
7. blood alcohol concentration determination for Nicola Stiel dated 10 August 1984 (No. A 7128/84)
8. results of blood group typing for Nicola Stiel dated 13 August 1984 (No. S 48/84),
9. autopsy record dated 06 August 1984
10. expert report on the examination of the VW Golf, license number SHG-CC, 896 dated 05 September 1984 by Kriminalobermeister Scheliga (diary no. 844617)
11. report on the reconstruction and evaluation of the vehicle tracks found at the location of the corpse dated 05 September 1984 by the late Kriminalhauptkommissar Spindler (central file number 1/28/84; diary no. 844617)
12. evaluation of the comparison of the fingerprint traces (vehicle examination) with comparison material from the Accused dated 04 March 1985 by Kriminalobermeisterin Ebert (No. 844617/Sche./Eb.)
13. expert report on the weather conditions on 4/5 August 1984 (case no. K2/60.30.39/c)
14. toxicological report dated 05 September 1984 by Prof. Dr. Gerchow (No. D 568/84),
15. Interrent lease agreement, Bruchköbeler Strasse in Hanau, dated 02 July 1984
16. receipt on the booking of overnight accommodation by the Accused for 7/8 August 1984 at Hotel Reuterskeller, Würzburg
17. receipt on flight booking dated 01 August 1984 as copy
18. military rate travel warrant for relatives of US soldiers
19. payment receipt dated 01 August 1984 for a flight booking on 09 August 1984 issued in the name of Robert Brown
20. report by Hesse State Criminal Police Office on the examination of the exhibits for blood traces, sperm traces, saliva residues and textile fibers dated 31 October 1984 by Dr. Sonnberg (IV/3-253/84/Dr. Sbg./Mü),
21. official report by the Federal Criminal Bureau on traces on the victim’s trousers dated 29 October 1984 by Dr. Kissling, case no. KT 3 – 1288/84
22. medical records of Merzig – Saar District Hospital September 1983
23. examination report on Robert Brown dated 11 July 1986 (psychological report / personality test)
24. official report by the Federal Criminal Bureau on traces on the victim’s trousers dated 24 November 1989 by Dr. Kissling (case no. KT 31 – 875/89)
25. official report by Hesse State Criminal Police Office dated 19 December 2002 by Dr. Schneider, case no. 732-253/84 (DNA)
26. official report by Hesse State Criminal Police Office dated 01 December 2005 by Dr. Schneider, case no. 732-253/84 (DNA)
27. Official report by Hesse State Criminal Police Office dated 21 January 2008 by Ms. Schwetz case no. 73-253/84 (fiber report)
28. official report by Hesse State Criminal Police Office dated 31 March 2008, case no. 732- 253/84 by Dr. Schneider (DNA)
29. expert opinion by expert witness Dr. Jockel dated 25 October 2009 on the issue of criminal responsibility
V. Real evidence
1. sketch of location of the corpse
2. photographs of the hitchhiker locations in Bad Kreuznach/Sobernheim area
3. photographs of the reconstruction and evaluation of the vehicle tracks found at the location of the corpse with VW Golf, SHG-CC 896
4. extracts from the victim’s diary (31 July 1984 – 02 August 1984)
5. the Accused’s birth certificate as copy (translation)
6. photographs of the VW Golf, license number SHG- CC 896
7. photographs of microscope images of fibers
8. photographs of Bad Kreuznach (discotheques)
9. photographs of the post mortem examination
10. photographs of the articles of clothing and the blanket with horse motif
11. set of photographs of where the VW Golf was found
12. photographs of the corpse (location of find)
13. DVD on the reconstruction of the vehicle tracks
Essential results of the inquiries
The Accused was born in Mooresville (USA) on 18 April 1960. He was 24 years old at the time of the offense.
As shown by the information provided by the Accused whilst in prison in the USA, the Accused has five sisters. His parents were divorced in the mid 1960s. From the age of 6 to 15, he attended school up to the 9th grade. As a child, he frequently ran away from home. He started but did not complete an apprenticeship as an electrician. He worked as a kitchen aide until he enlisted in the U.S. Army. (not true, R.B.)
Before serving in Germany, he apparently insulted a former employer over the telephone and was caught driving without a license.
(employer refused to pay me because of …….., R.B.)
In the period from May 1978 to January 1983, the Accused served in the U.S. Army. In January 1979 he was posted to Germany and was stationed in Baumholder from January 1979 to January 1981. From January 1981 to January 1983 he was stationed in Fort Hood (Texas, USA) before moving back to Germany again in 1983. The Accused had no regular work in Germany. The testimony of witnesses Wegmann, Brown (today Lee Vinson) and Kronz inter alia shows that Accused had casual work now and again and otherwise lived at the expense of others or supported himself though criminal offenses. The Accused regularly had relationships with women and was married to two women at the time of the offense.
According to witness Wegmann, she met the Accused in St. Wendel in April 1980. At that time he was housed with the American armed forces at Baumholder Barracks. At the end of 1980, witness VVegmann became pregnant. When witness Wegmann told him about this, he had become very aggressive and had at first tried to deny paternity. When she offered to have an abortion, he said that he would “kill” her if she did. He had grabbed her by the shoulders and shaken her. On 15 January 1982 the Accused was posted to the USA and left Germany for the time being. On 16 June 1981 the joint daughter Denise Brown was born. During his stay in the USA he had only little contact with witness Wegmann.
( did not say this when … questions so important how could she forget false, R.B.)
In the USA, the Accused met witness Patricia Lee Brown (now Lee Vinson) and married her on 15 June 1982.
According to witnesses Brown and Wegmann, the Accused had returned to Germany in January 1983. Initially the Accused had then stayed about a month with Patricia Brown at their joint apartment in Hanau. She had then given up the apartment owing to the continuous quarreling and witness Patricia Brown had then moved to the “Barracks”. Witness Wegmann states that he had lived together with her and his daughter Denise and the parents and grandmother of witness Wegmann in Marpingen until the end of 1983. On 08 August 1983 they got married. The Accused did not inform witness Wegmann that he was already married to witness Patricia Brown. From 05 September to 21 September 1983, the Accused worked as a fork-lift truck driver for the company Birkhardt, Intern. Spedition GmbH & Co. KG in Aschaffenburg. According to witness Wegmann and her father, witness Schneider, there was friction in the family. In two cases, the Accused apparently stole money from members of the family.
On 27 September 1983, the Accused tried to commit suicide by taking “Mandrax” tablets and inhaling exhaust fumes from the car of his father-in-law, witness Schneider. Thereafter he spent two months in the psychiatric unit in Merzig. As shown by the medical records, the doctors diagnosed that the Accused was suffering from considerable inferiority complexes, in part caused by his relationship with white fellow citizens. He was very sensitive, but if irritated, could become very aggressive in a kind of “second I”.
In December 1983, the Accused and witness Wegmann moved into a social apartment in Marpingen. During his period, his aggressiveness increased. According to witness Wegmann, the Accused became very violent. Once he had throttled her neck with both hands from the front that the next day she had a red strangulation mark on her neck. Thereupon witness Wegmann had moved out of the apartment. She last saw him in May 1984. In 1988 witness Wegmann divorced the Accused.
According to witness Kronz, the Accused had started a love relationship in January 1984 with her after separating from witness Wegmann. At that time he had worked for approx. 2 weeks at “Kentucky Fried Chicken” in Baumholder. In March 1984 he moved in with Ms. Kronz and they lived from her income. In mid May 1984 the Accused moved out. He last visited her at the beginning of July, and on that occasion he stole witness Kronz’ EC card. (what is this, R.B.)
From the beginning of 1984 the Accused also had a relationship with witness Gläser. He led her to believe that he wanted to rent an apartment together with her, and had her hand him EUR 3,500 for the furnishings. Witness Glaser had had to take out a loan for this and never saw the Accused again after giving him the money.
Witness and the Accused’s ex-wife Patricia Brown states she had first moved to Germany in August 1983. She was serving in the US Army and was stationed at Erlensee airbase at the time of the offense. The Accused apparently last visited her in Erlensee on 29 June 1984 in order to enter into a lasting relationship with her. He
had not been willing to take up regular employment. She had separated from him because he had been very aggressive. She claims to have last seen him in Germany in July or the beginning of August . The Accused had repeatedly been aggressive, but never violent to her.
In June 1984 the Accused apparently had a relationship with witness Gertrud Damm, at that time a waitress in the Maibaum public house in Hanau, too.
St. Wendel Local Court had issued a deportation arrest warrant for the Accused (case no. 12 III 283) dated 20 June 1984. Thus at the time of the offense his presence in Germany was illegal.
The extract from the federal central register dated 17 August 2009 has no entries. However, the Accused was found guilty of robbery in Pennsylvania in 1985, inter alia, and served several years in “York County Prison” in Pennsylvania. During this period, he underwent psychiatric therapy. The case file has already been requested from the USA by way of an official judicial assistance request.
Enquiries conducted during the preliminary proceedings have established that during his stay in Germany the Accused seems to have committed numerous criminal offenses. In particular, the testimony of witness Sheridan and Farrington shows that on 20 July 1984 the Accused had attempted to fraudulently “sell” the VW Golf, license number SHG -CC- 896, he had hired to witness Farrington and on 30 July 1984 or 02 August 1984 had offered to sell the VW Golf to witness Sheridan, whereupon witness Sheridan gave him EUR 1,050, but the agreed handover of the vehicle never took place. These criminal offenses were also reported to the police. Owing to the passage of time, the corresponding case files no longer exist.
II. To the matter:
1. The victim Nicola Stiel
The slain Nicola Stiel was born in Mengerschied. In 1984 she passed the matriculation examination at Herzog-Johann grammar school in Simmern. At the time of the offense she was 19 years old. Her family and friends describe her as an open and sociable girl. She was a member of the gymnastics association and the dance group. She was also politically active and fought against discrimination. She apparently always believed only in the goodness of people. She is described by witness Metz, her best girlfriend at that time, as very hardworking, intelligent and reliable.
According to her girlfriends and the information supplied by her family, Nicola Stiel did not seem to have a regular boyfriend at the time of the offense. During the course of the enquiries it was established, however, that at the time of the offense she was going out with witness Arnd Weber. According to witness Weber they had both intended to officially announce this at a family party. But this did not happen owing to the offense. They had not, however, had any sexual intercourse together.
She apparently told her girlfriends, Annette Steffens nee Gumm and Stefanie Metz, that she wanted intimate contact only after a longer relationship of approx. 2 years. She said she was still young and had plenty of time for a serious relationship. According to witness Metz she had had more platonic relationships with young men at that time. To her knowledge, she had not yet had any sexual contact with a man. Witness Riedel and witness Tertel had, however, shown an interest in Nicola. They also confirm, however, that there had not been any sexual intercourse. Her friends also assume that Nicola Stiel would not have frivolous sexual intercourse. On the contrary, they believed that Nicola would resist strongly if she was put under pressure. Witness Angresius states Nicola had a reputation of being a good friend. She had not been a girl who went out to pick up “guys”. Neither her parents nor friends thought it was probable that Nicola hitchhiked alone and got into the car of a strange man. Nicola had hitchhiked now and again together with witness Steffens and also with witness Metz. Witness Metz states they had promised each other never to hitchhike alone. Therefore she could not imagine at all that Nicola had hitchhiked alone and got into a strange man’s car.
After the matriculation examination Nicola Stiel moved to Bad Kreuznach to start an internship in the diaconate. Accordingly she lived from 31 July 1984 in the diaconate Bad Kreuznach, where she commenced her internship on 01 August 1984. Her room mate during this period was witness Kuhn.
2. Contact with the Accused
Nicola Stiel’s diary shows that she was with the Accused Robert Brown in a discotheque in Bad Kreuznach on 01 August 1984. That evening the Accused invited her to dinner. At the end of the evening, they made a date and went out together on Friday evening, 03 August 1984. They drank sparkling together wine and Nicola Stiel got home at about midnight.
3. The day of the offense
On Saturday 04 August 1984 Nicola Stiel finished her shift at the diaconate at midday. Then she intended to go home over the weekend until the coming Monday. According to the information supplied by witness Kuhn, Becker and Riedel she had planned to go to witness Riedel’s birthday party. According to witness Becker she left the nurses hostel at about 2:55 pm and said goodbye for the weekend. She had said she was going to the station to look for a train.
In her interview, witness Fleischmann confirmed having seen the girl at Bad Kreuznach station at about 3:00 pm. When the interviewing officer showed her a photograph of Nicola Stiel, she responded that she was absolutely certain.
There are also witnesses who reported in response to the published photographs of Nicola Stiel and claimed to have seen the victim or a girl with brown hair hitchhiking at various places from Bad Kreuznach, the B 41 highway in the direction of Sobernheim as far as Friedrichsdorf and Oberursel. Witness. Dr. Ott says he saw her in Oberursel at about 6:40- 6:45 pm, whilst witness Richtsteig claims to have seen a hitchhiker who might match the description on the exit ramp Bad Kreuznach north of the B 41 bypass at 9:00 pm. Whether Nicola Stiel actually took that route on the day of the offense and was seen by the witnesses remains unclear.
The further course of events can today no longer be completely established. In particular, it remains unclear as to when and where Nicola Stiel met the Accused. However, it can be assumed that the offence took place in the vicinity of Bad Homburg.
4. Discovery of the corpse
Nicola Stiel was found dead by the walker Franz Weig at about 10:15 am on the morning of 05 August 1984. The location of the corpse lies approx. 100 meters from Kirdorf/Bad Homburg forest cemetery. This can be reached via a forest track from the B 455, the road from Bad Homburg in the direction of Friedrichsdorf, approx. 200 m into the woods. When the crime scene officers arrived, they found the victim lying on the right breast and stomach side with her right leg extended. The entire torso lay on the right arm. Around her waist was a crumpled up red/purple top with both strap torn. Below her the waist were halfway crumpled up black 3/4-length popeline trousers. The victim was naked apart from the top crumpled around the waist. Directly beside the victim were torn worn panties and a panty liner. The panties were torn through at the two patterned outer sides and had a tear in the crotch. A few meters away were a dark blue cloth sports bag and a pair of brown lady’s sandals. In the sports bag were items for a short outing, including the victim’s diary.
5. Forensic medical examination
As shown by the autopsy report and the provisional report by the late Prof. Dr. Luff dated 06 August 1984 the cause of death was mechanical suffocation through strangulation. This is shown by the typical visible strangulation marks with crusts and internal bleeding. From the intensive bleeding in the soft tissue of the neck it has been established that the perpetrator squeezed the girl’s throat with considerable force. In addition, on the torso, face and the limbs abrasions with crusts and bleeding into the skin were established which are due to moderate brute force (for example blows or kicks). There were blood adhesions on the nasal openings; mucid bloody liquid was visible in the mouth.
In addition, according to the post-mortem findings, a mucous membrane defect with extravasion was found in the vicinity of the lower section of the vaginal orifice that had been caused by brute force. Whether this brute force was due to an erect penis, insertion of fingers or objects cannot be determined from the injury alone In the region of the vaginal orifice there was somewhat blood. In the vagina somewhat aqueous liquid, in the lower sections also somewhat runny blood. According to the forensic pathology reports dated 06 August 1984 and dated 22 February 1989, a sexual offense is to be assumed in the light of the further attendant circumstances. In general, such injuries do not occur during normal sexual intercourse. Defloration, which may have led to the injuries, could be excluded. No sperm traces were found in the vagina. Furthermore, in his supplementary report dated 23 March 1989, Prof. Dr. Luff came to the conclusion that the injury in the pubic area (mucous membrane defect) occurred before the onset of death, i.e. while the victim was still alive. However, the injury had not occurred immediately before death, i.e. before cardiac arrest.
Furthermore, the reddening identified in the victim’s forearm region was caused in all probability by constriction of the skin with a suitable cord-shaped instrument (for example strips of textile, leather strap or suchlike) whilst the victim was alive.
6. The Accused as suspect
The enquiries soon focused on Accused Brown.
The diary found in the sports bag had been kept by the victim since 31 July 1984, the day she arrived in Bad Kreuznach and made handwritten entries. On 02 August 1984 she noted that the previous evening she had had dinner with a black American called Robert in a discotheque. She also wrote that she was seeing Robert again on 03 August 1984. The diary entry for 03 August 1984 reads that Robert had wanted to give her a cassette recorder as a present and she had drunk sparkling wine with Robert.
It was suspected that the aforementioned colored person, who spoke English, was a member of the military or an American civilian working for the Army. Therefore, the CID in Bad Kreuznach were contacted and asked to look for Americans called Robert. The CID, witness Eric Anderson, had already initiated preliminary proceedings in another matter against the Accused for fraud to the detriment of witnesses Sheridan and Farrington. In those proceedings he was accused of having offered his hire car (the aforementioned VW Golf) for sale in American barracks.
Whilst the police started searching for the Accused, he left Germany for Baltimore on flight 031 from Frankfurt am Main at 2:20 pm on 08 August 1984.
Witness Freiy, who worked for American Express in Bad Kreuznach, has stated that on 01 August 1984 the Accused appeared at the American Express office to obtain a World Airways flight ticket for 09 August 1984. After the witness had issued him a travel warrant for family members of U.S. – Army personnel, he had returned with it completed after approx. three quarters of an hour. Witness Patricia Brown, who had to sign the travel warrant, has stated that at that time she had not signed any travel warrant, so that it is to be assumed that the Accused forged the signature. On 03 August 1984, the Accused then received the ticket for the 09 August 1984. The Accused thus ultimately flew to the USA one day earlier than originally planned.
On 27 August 1984, during the course of the enquiries a white VW Golf, license number SHG – CC- 896, was recovered in the underground garage of Frankfurt airport. Enquiries have shown that the Accused had hired this car from the interRent company in Hanau on 02 July 1984 and that the car had been left in the underground garage of Frankfurt airport on 08 or 09 August 1984.
7. The then investigation results
At the body location tire tracks were recovered that led directly to the body location. In an initial report they were traced to the manufacturer Michelin and the type designation XZX. From the measurements made at the crime scene, the track had been caused by tire size 145 SR 13. The VW Golf recovered on 27 August 1984 had Michelin tires with tire size 155 SR 13. As shown by the report by the Hesse State Criminal Police Office dated 05 September 1984, it is possible, however, that the tire tracks found and sketched at the location where the victim was found had been made by the VW Golf C, license number SHG CC 896, used during the reconstruction.
Sperm traces were recovered from the black trousers and panties found at the crime scene. A small blood trace was also found in the rear crotch area of the panties. The trousers with the small sperm traces were examined for blood group specific characteristics in order to narrow down the group of possible perpetrators.
Today’s possibilities for determining DNA were not yet available at that time, so that only blood group typing in conjunction with blood group traces using the recovered sperm traces, from today’s perspective with a high error potential, could be used.
From the current and more recent state of criminal forensic knowledge this procedure of furnishing proof is deemed superseded and is no longer applied given the high error potential
From the only very small traces of sperm on the trousers the origin was attributed to a causer with blood group 0, who also had the additional characteristic PGM 1+. The Accused has blood group 0, so that there was a further indication that the Accused was the perpetrator.
The nine cigarette butts recovered from the car were also examined. In the saliva residues on three butts (one Cool brand, two Marlboro brand) characteristics attributable to a secretor of blood group 0 were identified. On two butts (Marlboro and Reno brand) there was saliva from a secretor of blood group A. The victim had blood group A. As shown by the recovered diary Nicola Stiel smoked. She writes in her entry dated 03 August 1984 that she had smoked too much that evening. Witnesses and the Accused himself have also stated that the Accused smoked Marlboro brand cigarettes in Germany.
In the car recovered at the airport, VW Golf, license number SHG – CC -896 a brown blanket with horse heads was found in the trunk. Traces of human blood were found on three areas of the blanket. Two of these areas were examined and it was established that the human blood was of blood group “A”. This is the blood group of the deceased Nicola Stiel.
Saliva from a secretor of blood group A was also found on the blanket.
The origin of the blanket could not be definitively established. However, there is witness testimony showing that the Accused was in possession of this blanket at least at the time prior to the offense. When witness Patricia Brown was shown photographs of the blanket found in the car, she stated that she had such a blanket. She could no longer recall, however, whether the blanket had horses’ heads or lions’ heads. Nor could she remember whether she had taken the blanket with her when she moved out. Nevertheless, she confirmed that at the time of the interview she was no longer in possession of the blanket. She had bought the blanket in Hanau in 1983 at a sales stand outside a PX shop.
Witness Maness, a US Army serviceman, has stated that he had seen the said blanket in the trunk of the white VW Golf whilst driving with the Accuse in July 1984. Witnesses Kirsch and Chauvel have stated they had seen the said blanket with horse motif at the Accused’s during his hospital stay in August 1983.
Fiber traces were also found on both the victim’s articles of clothing and also on the corpse itself that came from the recovered white VW Golf, SHG – CC- 896, itself or from objects found in it.
For example, fibers matching the fiber material of the blanket recovered from the car were found on the victim’s top, trousers, panties, and on the pubic hairs and the adhesive film on the corpse.
There were fibers matching the fiber material of the car’s seat covers on the trousers found at the crime scene and on the adhesive film on the corpse.
A fiber matching the fiber material of the trunk floor lining was found on the top.
Likewise, fibers were also found in the car that stem from the victim’s articles of clothing.
Fibers matching the material of the trousers were found on the rear seat, both on the seat surface and also on the backrest. Such fibers were also found on the towel found in the car, on the blanket, on the trunk floor lining, the rear seat belt and the interior panel left behind the driver.
Furthermore, the following witnesses made significant observations.
In his interview witness Sheridan stated that he had been with the Accused at the Century Club in Bad Kreuznach between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm on 01 August 1984. The Accused had told him that he had met a young German girl with brown hair in Bad Kreuznach. This girl was still a virgin. He told him words to the effect that he wanted to “screw” the girl and that he had a date with her that day.
Witness Farrington has stated that she first met the Accused at the Bowling Alley in Bad Kreuznach on 07 July 1984. The Accused had tried to sell her the white VW Golf he was driving. In the week following 27 July 1984 she had seen from her window in Minick Barracks that the Accused had a girl with curly dark brown hair with him in his car. When the witness was shown a photograph of the deceased Nicola Stiel, she stated that there was an incredible likeness to the girl she had seen.
Bad Homburg Local Court v.d. Höhe issued an international arrest warrant for the Accused on 18 September 1984 (case no. 79 Js 22312/84 – 7 Gs).
An extradition request was then directed to the USA. In a ruling dated 10 July 1985 the District Court in Pennsylvania approved the extradition. At that time, the Accused was in York County Prison for robbery. He was first to be tried for those offenses in August 1985 and then serve the imposed penal sentence. Extradition was therefore not envisaged before 22 February 1990 at the earliest.
8. Discontinuation of the proceedings
The preliminary proceedings against the Accused in the present matter were discontinued by notification dated 20 December 1989 under Section 170 Subs. 2 Code of Criminal Procedure despite the numerous aforementioned indications that the Accused was the perpetrator. The reason therefor was in particular that in the Federal Criminal Bureau report dated 24 November 1989 the Accused was excluded as the causer of the sperm trace on the victim’s trousers. In the report, expert witnesses Dr. Kissling came to the conclusion that at that time blood group characteristics 0 and PGM 1+ were found in the trace material (sperm traces on the trousers), whilst the Accused’s comparison blood sample had characteristics 0 and PGM 1+2+.
The Bad Homburg Local Court arrest warrant dated 18 September 1984 was revoked and the extradition request withdrawn.
9. Reopening of enquiries
In view of the progress made in criminal forensic examination methods, here: DNA, the proceedings were reopened at the end of 2002 in conjunction with an examination commission, addressed to Dr. Schneider at Hesse State Criminal Police Office Wiesbaden for a renewed examination of the still available trace material on the victim’s trousers for usable DNA patterns.
In his report dated 19 December 2002, Dr. Schneider came to the conclusion that usable findings could be made from both of the still available traces on the trousers. Furthermore, he came to the conclusion that both traces were from one and the same person. Thereafter, an attempt was made to obtain a comparison sample from the Accused in the USA, notwithstanding an earlier exclusion of the Accused as a suspect owing to blood group characteristics differing from the classification “0 PGM 1+”, in particular as this investigative approach could no longer be a restricting feature in view of the now known high error potential. After a judicial assistance request directed to the US judicial authorities in 2003 for provision of a saliva sample from the Accused was rejected in a letter dated 05 August 2005, body cells in the form of voluntary saliva samples were taken from the divorced wife, witness Wegmann, and the Accused’s daughter, Denise Brown, to compare the DNA patterns.
In the report dated 01 December 2005 Dr. Schneider comes to the conclusion that all the Accused’s daughter identified paternal alleles were also present in the sperm trace. Accordingly there was no doubt that the sperm contributor was the biological father of Denise Brown, and thus the Accused.
An international arrest warrant was issued for the Accused on 13 January 2006 under case no. 33/78 Js 22312/84 – 8c Gs. His whereabouts in the USA at that time were unknown.
On 08 March 2007 the Accused was arrested in Baltimore. On 23 April 2007 he was heard on the ordering of extradition detention, with the consequence that the extradition detention was upheld. On 06 September 2007 the Accused filed for release, whereupon detention was suspended and he was released subject to electronic monitoring.
On 07 March 2008, the Accused voluntarily agreed to give a saliva sample. As shown by the report by. Dr. Schneider dated 31 March 2008 both sperm traces recovered on the trousers have a DNA profile matching the Accused’s comparison sample.
On 22 September 2009 the Federal District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore approved the extradition of the Accused and once again placed him under extradition detention, with the consequence that the Accused was extradited to Germany on 17 August 2009.
10. Further enquiries
As shown by the official report by expert witness Schwetz dated 21 January 2008, textile fiber traces on a person’s exposed skin are displaced when the person moves (e.g. during the course of their everyday activities). Traces adhering to the skin are also washed off during cleaning (e.g. showering).
This shows that the fibers found on the corpse itself and traceable to the seat covers in the VW Golf, SHG- CC 896 and the blanket found in the car adhered to the victim’s exposed skin after she last washed. In addition, it is improbable that the victim had moved for a longer period of time after the fiber traces had adhered to her skin. With high probability, it is likely that the fiber traces adhered to the victim’s exposed skin close to the point in time when she was killed.
With respect to the textile fiber traces recovered from articles of clothing, it is not possible to determine when the traces adhered. However, fibers on articles of clothing that are worn are lost over time. On the one hand it is to be assumed that the victim showered at least on the morning of the day of the offense, if not even after finishing work. On the other hand, it is to be assumed that the victim changed her clothes after work. It can therefore be practically excluded that the fibers had already adhered to the skin at an earlier point in time.
That the victim changed her clothes after work is also shown by the information supplied by witness Kuhn, who worked together with the victim in the diaconate in Bad Kreuznach. During her work she work white in the form of a tunic dress_perhaps with white trousers. According to information supplied by witness Kuhn, only this clothing was worn at work.
According to Ms. Schwetz, the commissioned detailed final report on the fiber traces will be available by the beginning of next year.
Besides the victim’s trousers, on which there are sperm traces, other exhibits (blanket, cigarette butts, finger nails, necklace, watch, pubic hairs) were sent to Dr. Schneider for examination for DNA. A final report has yet to be received. Dr. Schneider has, however, already stated that not only blood adhesions with victim Stiel’s DNA but also the DNA of the Accused and a further unidentified female person were found on the blanket recovered from the car. With respect to the necklace and watch Dr. Schneider has stated that owing to the material the prospects of success are low. The final report will be sent promptly after completion of the still outstanding examination of the pubic hairs.
11. Information provided by the Accused
In his interview in prison in America on 17 June 1985, the Accused stated to FBI agent Haltermann that he had nothing to do with the rape and murder of the deceased girl. He claimed he had been in Germany twice altogether. In later 1979 or 1980, he had served with the American armed forces in Baumholder. Then he had returned to the United States. In 1983 he had gone back to Germany. The Accused initially asserted that he left Germany in October 1984. Later he stated he left Germany again on 18 or 19 September 1984. During his stay he had mainly lived in St. Wendel, where he had had various jobs. He had distributed advertising material worked and had then worked for Johann Berkhart.
Before leaving Germany, he travelled from St. Wendel to Frankfurt, where he met another American. The latter had then driven him to the airport.
The Accused claimed that during his stay in Germany he had also visited Bad Kreuznach, but could not recall being in Bad Kreuznach shortly before returning to the USA. He had been there a number of times, visiting among other places the bowling bar, the American EMMCO Club and a disco. However, he could not recall ever having met a German girl called Nicola. In the disco in Bad Kreuznach he had once met a German, had bought her a drink and danced with her. He had then left when she talked to other Americans. He alleges he only gave one girl, a black American, a ride in his car. He denies ever giving a German girl a ride.
The Accused has stated that he had an Opel in Germany. This he had been given to him by his father-in-law, witness Schneider, but he took it back from him after a quarrel. At the beginning of 1984 he had then hired a French car, a white or light blue estate car. This he had hired from Interrent in Neunkirchen. About four weeks before returning to the United States he had given it back in Hanau.
Before his return, he stayed a few days at a motel in Nuremberg. There he had met his friend, “Specialist Fourth Kirby”.
Immediately prior to his leaving he had returned to St. Wendel, where he had learned that the police were looking for him for fraud. On the fraud charges he has stated that he does not want to dispute them. He had been together with an American friend “Curtis” twice. They had been in Bad Kreuznach – “to pull a fast one ” namely trying to sell a car. He had been using his hired car, which might have been the white Golf. The potential buyer had taken a test drive in his car and had given Curtis an advance payment of about 1,000 dollars. He himself had received 400 dollars from Curtis. They had then simply not appeared for the agreed handover date on the next day. He had previously done the same thing with Curtis in Landstuhl. They had “sold” an old Audi, with Curtis handling the whole matter. On that occasion the Accused had received EUR 500.
While he was in Bad Kreuznach with Curtis and had received the 400 dollars, he had booked his return flight to the United States.
He had then learned in St. Wendel that the police in Bad Kreuznach were looking for somebody for fraud in conjunction with the selling of cars. In addition, the police in Bad Kreuznach were apparently looking for somebody because a girl had had her money stolen. He states that thereupon he had driven straight to Frankfurt and got a plane to the United States, taking an earlier flight than the originally booked flight. Now the Accused stated that he had returned the hired car to the Interrent office at Frankfurt am Main airport. He had parked the car in the parking area and left the keys on the counter.
He has stated that he had never heard anything about a murder in Bad Kreuznach. Nor did he know anything about Curtis murdering somebody or having something to do with the murder. Curtis had been allowed to drive his car for only about an hour. It was possible that Curtis had driven his car while they were both staying in Bad Kreuznach.
When asked about the brand of cigarettes that he smoked, he stated he was currently smoking Kool and Newport, whilst in Germany he had only smoked Marlboro.
In the Accused’s second interview on 05 December 1988 the Accused followed his legal counsel’s advice to invoke his right to remain silent.
The Accused notified Public Prosecutor Gimbel in June 1989 in writing that he was willing to answer his questions. It was the state that did not want him to answer the questions. No answers to the questions of Public Prosecutor Gimbel were received, however, in the subsequent letters from the Accused.
The Accused provided no further information.
The information provided by the Accused in his interview on 16 June 1985 is contradictory. At the beginning of the interview he stated that he had flown back to the United States in October 1984. Later he stated he had already flown back to the United States on 18/19 September 1984. In fact, the Accused had booked a flight for 09 August 1984 and flew to the United States already on 08 August 1984.
Furthermore, he at first stated he had been driven to the airport by an American friend driven. Subsequently he then claims he had handed the car he had hired to the Interrent company at the airport.
His alleged American friend called “Curtis”, who was supposed to have been involved in the fraudulent car sales, could not be found.
The information provided by the Accused is also contradictory to the police enquiries.
In so far as the Accused has stated he had not given a ride in his car to any German girl and in particular not to Nicola Stiel, this contradicts the results of the enquiries. Nicola Stiel was in the car he had hired. This is shown in particular by the report dated 31 October 1984 on the examination of the exhibits recovered from the car for blood traces, sperm traces, saliva residues and textile fibers. Apart from this, witness Sheridan states having seen the victim in his car. As shown by the fiber report dated 21 January 2008 it has also been established that immediately before the offense the victim must have come into contact with his car, because such fibers do not adhere to the body over a longer period, in particular fibers traced to the car were found on the naked corpse.
That it was the Accused who raped and killed Nicola Stiel is shown in particular by the fact that the sperm traces on the victim’s trousers were unmistakably identified as being from the Accused. For this reason too the preliminary proceedings were recommenced and the extradition proceedings conducted.
In so far as the Accused claims to have had erection problems and for that reason alone could not have committed the offense, this is also refuted by the sperm traces. Furthermore, this is contradicted by the following witness testimony.
In her interview witness Wegmann has stated that already since his return from the USA and in particular since his being admitted to the psychiatric ward in 1983 the Accused had had erection problems and therefore regular sexual intercourse was not possible. However, witness Wegmann also has stated that at the beginning January 1984 despite the erection problems she had slept with the Accused and there was ejaculation. She stated that it was only a very small amount. The sperm traces recovered from the victim’s trousers also involved only a small amount.
Apart from this, witnesses Kronz and Becker stated that they had regularly had sexual intercourse with the Accused at the beginning of 1984 and had not noticed anything unusual.
Besides the witnesses interviewed in Germany, the Accused and also witness Winder were interviewed in the USA. Witness Winder was in prison with the Accused. Like the Accused, he served his sentence at York County Prison in Pennsylvania. As shown by the certified translation dated 25 September 1985, witness Winder told an FBI agent, witness Haltermann, on 23 July 1985 that the Accused had at first denied the charges to him, but then admitted it. He had told him that he had strangled the girl, Nicola Stiel. She had been a prostitute and had died on 04 August 1984. After they had had sex together, she had demanded more money. That had made him very angry and he had throttled her. He had then sat with her in the car for about half an hour before noticing that the girl was dead. He had removed the girl’s body from the car and left it in the woods. The witness has also stated that he had seen a letter by the Accused in the cell. This letter said that the reason for what he did had been that he had thought he was bleeding to death from some stomach wound he had suffered. The Accused apparently also stated that he had raped the girl on the back seat of the white VW Golf. It had been a white VW Golf with a tail gate that had a seat you could fold down. She had been a virgin. This Winder had concluded from what the Accused said as he told him she was “brand new”. She had been undressed and beaten. The Accused had thrown her trousers out of the white VW Golf. In the area where the corpse was found, she had been beaten and strangled. The Accused apparently also stated that he had already had some dates with the victim. On that evening he had promised to go out with her to a club in Frankfurt, called “The Stallion”.
After his interview by FBI agent Haltermann on 02 August 1985 witness Winder wrote a letter stating that the Accused had told him he had hired a compact car. Furthermore, he had stated that the rape had taken place on the back seat of the car and she had also been beaten and strangled there. The girl, the Accused had called her Niki, had been a prostitute. The diary she kept was the reason for his arrest. Witness Winder stated he had written this letter, because the interviewing officer had not asked any specific questions.
In the second interview of witness Winder on 01 December 1988, at which Public Prosecutor Gimbel and witness Fehl were present, the witness could no longer recall a few points. But he did remember that the Accused and the girl had already met in the week before the day of the offense. Also the Accused had stated, that she was a young girl, “brand new”. Furthermore, he stated that the Accused had talked about a blanket and a cloth with which he had wiped something up after the offense. He had placed the cloth under the front seat and the blanket in back of the car. He stated he should have got rid of the cloth after the offense. The Accused had always admitted the offense only indirectly. For example, he had not said “I killed her”, but only “I did it”. He had once talked only of strangulation and another time about rape and strangulation. The witness has stated that the strangulation had taken place in a wooded area. The Accused had boasted that he had been able to flee to the United States. He had had a hire car that he had left at the airport.
The written record on the interview of witness Winder is in indirect speech. Therefore, questions and answers are not clearly expressed. Nor is it clear what was put to him by the interviewing officer and what he stated from his own knowledge. Apart from this, Winder told the press that such an interview never took place. It can be left open as to what extent the interview of witness Winder will help to solve the case. Witness Haltermann in the USA has been informed and can appear as a witness at the main hearing.
Independently of the information supplied by witness Winder, the Accused will be found guilty in the main hearing from the results of the investigation.
12. Expert examination
In his report on the basis of the files dated 25 October 2009, expert witnesses Dr. Jockel came to the conclusion that there is nothing to indicate that the criminal responsibility of the Accused at the time of the offense was diminished. It was the case that current evaluation could suggest that Accused experienced a dissocial development in the years 1982 to 1985, possibly against the background of psychopathic tendencies within the meaning of HARE. However, the severity of a dissocial personality disorder had not been reached. There were no indications of a far-reaching disorder of consciousness at the time of the offense. The expert witness did not establish any dependence on alcohol or narcotics either, so that in his report he draws the conclusion that no measures under Sections 63, 64 Criminal Code need be considered, even if alcohol or drugs had played a role in the charges.
Motion is filed,
1. upon acceptance of the indictment, the main proceedings be opened before the Regional Court -Full Criminal Chamber- in Frankfurt am Main,
2. the arrest warrant issued by Frankfurt am Main Local Court dated 13 January 2006 be upheld and continuation of detention be ordered.
Sauer Public Prosecutor
Certified hand-written signature illegible Court Clerk stamp: Frankfurt am Main Public Prosecutors Office
Certified a true translation of the document before me to the best of my knowledge and ability.
At: Frankfurt am Main On: 11 January 2010