"Hinterkaifeck was the name of a small and lonely Farm situated between the Cities Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen about 70 kilometres north of Munich.
In 1922 the whole farmer family and a female farmhand were found murdered, It was ascertained that all victims were dead for about 4 days when they were found. That meant the killer(s?) had stayed on the farm for several days and fed the animals (cows, swine, and a dog) and milked the cows.
Neighbours told LE that Andreas Gruber, the farmer, had told them, that he found footsteps in the snow which led from the woods to the farm but not back. One neighbour offered Gruber a revolver, but he declined.
Andreas Gruber had a very bad reputation. He was called greedy and avaricious. And it was well known that he had an incestuous relationship to his grown daughter Viktoria Gabriel.
Viktoria was widowed. Her husband was killed in the First World War. She had two children Caecilia (7 years old in 1922) and Joseph (2). Little Joseph was rumoured to be the fruit of the
incestuous relationship. Both Viktoria and her father were send to prison for incest.
The farmhand named Maria Baumgartner had arrived on the farm just the evening before the murder took place.
In the night from March, 31 to April, 1 Andreas Gruber, his wife Caecilia, Viktoria and little Caecilia were obviously lured one by one in the stable and killed with a hoe. Maria was found killed in her room, little Joseph was dead in his bassinet.
Autopsy showed later on that little Caecilia was alive hours after she was badly injured. Laying in the straw next the bodies of her grandfather and her mother she tore out her hair in tufts while dying.
In the days following the murder several people came to the farm for professional causes. They executed their orders and left without thinking much about no one being around. The postman came and delivered mail and newspapers, leaving it on the windowsill after no one answered his calling. A mechanic for whom Andreas Gruber had called came and repaired a motor in the barn.
On April, 4 three neighbours came to the farm and discovered the bodies. They send a boy on a bicycle to the mayor of Wangen, (a village about 1 kilometre south-east) to asked him to call the police in Munich. By the time LE arrived (it was quite a journey then) dozens of onlookers where on the farm. The neighbours who had found the bodies, had fed the animals, moved the bodies (Although they were hidden under straw and an old door, when discovered) and one of the neighbours allegedly even had a snack in the kitchen. After that of course there was not much of securing of evidence anymore.
On April, 5 the autopsy was performed in the barn. The doctor removed the heads from the bodies. LE took them later to some psychics in Nuremberg. Obviously they were badly in need of a clue.
While the villagers nearly in hysterics roamed the forests and fields with axes and pitchforks looking for vagabonds and strangers, the inquiry stagnated. Georg Reingruber, the inspector from Munich, who directed the inquiry, found out quite soon about the incestuous relationship but there were few other clues. It couldn?t be asserted whether money was stolen from the farm. Although there was very little paper money, a casket with quite huge amount of money in coins was found in a cupboard.
(One German website I found stated that the killers must have robbed a lot of paper money. But this was the time of the inflation after the First World War (Although the really bad inflation-time started not before the murder of Walter Rathenau in June 1922), and I don?t think that a character like Andreas Gruber did have much trust in paper money.)
The police made immense efforts to investigate the crime. Although they were heavily overloaded with work, because of numerous political murders committed by the early Nazis and the Communists at this time. Over 100 suspects and witnesses were questioned, but there were also a few omissions. So was the mechanic who came to repair the motor not questioned until 10 years after the crime. Investigations went on ? with intermissions of course ? until 1986, when the last questioning took place. Even in 1999 an old woman came forward with a story told to her by her former landlord around 1935, which could offer a clue to what happened. And until nowadays a retired police officer named Konrad Müller investigates the case privately. He announced a book for 2007, but it wasn't published yet.
As mentioned above there no English-written resources on the murder of Hinterkaifeck on the World Wide Web. There are several sites in German language. Some of the links I include below. There are two books written by a Munich journalist named Peter Leuschner in 1979 and 1997 (The second book is an extension of the first.) I read them several years ago. But not having these books at hand right now I decided only to include in my story what I can remember clearly.