Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Horror Films May Be Inspiration for Teen Accused of Killing Elderly Landlady

The 'Saw' mask prosecutors say Fabian Kramer wore when he killed his landlady.

A sadistic killer, a hideous horror mask, and butchered corpses play a big role in the modern horror movie classic Saw. But what paramedics witnessed when they allegedly found 19-year-old Fabian Kramer kneeling beside the corpse of his 82-year-old landlady was very real.  Kramer, prosecutors say, stabbed his elderly landlady over 40 times.

According to a report in The Daily Mail, Kramer was wearing a replica of the mask worn in Saw. The central plot of the movie involves two men who are chained by their ankles in a subterranean room and are ordered to kill each other by a sadistic voice on a microcassette recording.

Just before killing his landlady, whom German newspapers call Hanna L. to protect her identity, Kramer watched Saw in the apartment he shared with his mother in Bielefeld, Germany, according to the The Daily Mail.  He then took a large knife from the kitchen and walked down to the floor below where Hanna L. lived. There, while wearing the mask, prosecutors say Kramer began stabbing his landlady between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Hanna L. died of puncture wounds that perforated her rib cage and aorta, leaving a large and uneven gash wound on her chest.

Kramer called paramedics at 9:30 p.m. on the night of the murder to report that a woman was bleeding to death in her apartment. Kramer said he had found her bleeding on the floor when he arrived. When help came, Kramer said he was trying to save the woman, who died on the spot. Investigators quickly identified the victim’s blood on the knife and on the mask they found in Kramer’s apartment.

However, Kramer maintains his innocence, although he has not communicated any more details during his ongoing trial that might explain why his late landlady’s blood was found on the knife and mask. Kramer has allowed himself to be photographed by court reporters, according to German daily newspaper Mindener Tageblatt, which his lawyer, Andreas Chlosta, said shows that he has nothing to hide.

Chlosta said Kramer will continue to stand by his account of what happened by maintaining that his only contact with Hanna L. on the night of the murder was when he came to her aid before calling paramedics. His lawyer also says prosecutors lack a motive to account for why Kramer would want to kill Hanna L., the Mindener Tageblatt reported.

However, prosecutors claim that Kramer’s stabbing of Hanna L. was a pure act of malice and a senseless murder, which they say is enough to explain why Kramer murdered his landlady as they continue to make their case against Kramer.

On display during the trial this week was a life-size dummy wearing the horror mask that was found with the victim’s blood splattered on it.

Prosecutors are also petitioning the court to prosecute Kramer as an adult, since perpetrators under the age of 21 are still considered juveniles under Germany’s penal system.

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