Trial in Satanic-Style Murder Reopens Debate in Germany

Sects Linked to Neo-Nazism

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BERLIN, JAN. 17, 2002 ( The murder trial in Bochum, Germany, of a young couple involved in Satanic practices has reopened the debate on the criminal activities of these sects and their close links to neo-Nazi groups.

Identified as Daniel and Manuela R., ages 26 and 23, respectively, the public prosecutor of Bochum accused them Wednesday of «treacherously» murdering Franck Hackert on July 6, 2001, in the nearby town of Witten.

Hackert was stabbed him 66 times with a triple blade, the kind used in diabolic cults.

The court will probably order the couple to be admitted to an institution for long-term psychiatric care. According to a medical report submitted at the beginning of the trial, both suffer from «narcissistic mental disorders,» so their «responsibility is very reduced.»

Experts estimate that 7,000 people, the majority adolescents, engage in Satanic rituals in Germany. Authorities believe that in general there are no serious ultimate consequences from these practices, since their «sacrifices» are simulated.

Daniel and Manuela would probably not have committed the murder if they did not suffer from mental disorders, some doctors believe.

German police have singled out Daniel because of his links to Germany´s National Democratic Party, a neo-Nazi organization. Sympathy for National Socialism is the common denominator of many Germans participating in Satanic cults.

One of the initiates´ idols is Hendrik Moebus, who in 1993, when he was 17, strangled a classmate because he was «bothering» Moebus´ group, the Children of Satan.

Sentenced to eight years of juvenile detention, Moebus was granted conditional liberty in 1998, after completing two-thirds of his sentence. He then joined ultrarightist groups.

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