An autopsy concluded that Ursula died within 30 minutes to five hours of being buried. But on the second day of questioning, when the interrogators took a break and he was alone with the police secretary, he said a startling thing: “What if I know something?” When the interrogators returned, Pfaffinger told them that Mazurek had asked him to dig a hole in the forest in early September 1981, promising payment of DM1,000 and a colour television. The girl in the box: the mysterious crime that shocked Germany – podcast Read more After class on Tuesday 15 September 1981, the first day of the new school year, a 10-year-old girl … , Additionally, Stan was allowed to visit her family by herself in 1981, but did not reveal her situation due to her fear of the possible consequences. At night the hissing would wake him up and prevent him falling back asleep.
His memories of Ursula were strong: he recalled how, despite her liveliness, she was also cautious and at times sensitive, growing upset when some of her schoolmates repeatedly misbehaved. The truthful answer was no. From prison Mazurek kept writing, and even sent a Christmas card. He was also chronically work-shy; questioned in 2008, his former wife called him a “lazy guy” who would never have agreed to dig a large hole.  Authorities were unable to locate the remains of the woman. Colleen J. Stan (born December 31, 1956) is an American woman who was kidnapped and held as a sex slave by Cameron and Janice Hooker in their Red Bluff, California, home for over seven years, between 1977 and 1984. The tape recorder was the most important, and controversial, piece of evidence. Since Zipser’s speciality is linguistic profiling – at Royal Holloway, University of London, she uses modern profiling techniques to identify authors of ancient Greek medical texts – she decided to compare the ransom notes sent by the kidnappers to samples of Mazurek’s writing, which Haider had posted on the internet. Mazurek, characterised in one newspaper as a “bearded giant”, sat in front of his wife, who was also on trial as an accessory to the crime. Two students came forward, saying that seven or eight months after the kidnapping, when chasing an owl through the forest, they had found the bell-wire strung through the trees next to the lakeside path. He found himself having to explain to his pupils in his music and religion classes, who knew him as a reserved, kind teacher, why they were seeing his face in the newspapers and on TV. One of letters sent by the kidnappers, composed of newspaper cuttings. Before the trial started, to the surprise of his state-assigned lawyer, Michael had requested full access to the case files, which ran into tens of thousands of scanned pages.
“It was just wrong for the case to end like it did.”. Summing up, in March 2010, the senior prosecutor reminded the court that Ursula had been “buried alive in a box”, revealing the “cold-bloodedness and mercilessness of the perpetrator”. And, as with Mazurek, there was no DNA proof connecting Pfaffinger to the crime. The boys then did a very strange thing: they took the wire down, measured it on the school athletics track, and then kept it in their dormitory in a locked box, until the police visit. When I visited Haider this spring, the borrowed tape recorder was still in his loft.
On a mild Sunday morning in April, I met Michael in Augsburg. Detective chief superintendent Detlef Puchelt shows a picture of the tape recorder that was used as evidence. He said ‘it’s impossible’, but he was sitting on the wrong side of the court!”. After lunch at a restaurant beside the lake, where sailboats bobbed in the distance, we walked along the road towards the forest, the route Ursula took on her way to gym class nearly 40 years ago.
Dozens of officers wearing raincoats and rubber boots spread out through the dense forest, on the border of which stands Landheim Schondorf, an expensive private school founded in 1905 and favoured by Bavaria’s political and business elite.
Cameron reportedly wanted Stan to be like the female character in the 1954 French erotic novel, Story of O and soon started raping her, which consisted of oral rape. “We kidnapped your daughter,” the note began, in broken German. “The judges knew what was going on, and they were pissed off,” Joachim Feller, who has been Michael’s lawyer since 2012, told me when we met at his offices in Landsberg am Lech, an ancient town about 20 minutes drive from Eching. The state prosecutors went back to the 1980s case files, to look at the main suspects. He could not understand why Pfaffinger’s revoked confession was now being treated as plausible, when it was dismissed all those years before.  Stan stated that she was an experienced hitchhiker and had allowed two rides to go past before accepting the ride with Hooker. But his younger brother Hannes – the surfer – still lives in the house, along with two Syrian refugees who rent out the bottom floor. Half an hour later, she was still not home. t the start of the trial, few people in court had taken much notice of Michael Herrmann. Through his lawyer, Michael told the local press that he would be making no more public statements about the case, nor giving interviews, which the media interpreted as him finally giving up. Despite his distinctive appearance – he wears his grey hair in a ponytail and at the time also sported thin sideburns down to his jaw – he is unassuming, not the kind of man who draws attention to himself. Late last year, in an effort to have the case reopened, Michael submitted a dossier of all his new evidence and theories to the state prosecutor’s office in Augsburg. As the court heard, Pfaffinger’s confession was not even signed; the investigator wrote it down from memory weeks later.
 To avoid painful punishments, Stan tried to comply with his commandments, which later led to her being allowed to go out to jog, work in the yard, care for the family's children in the mobile home, and help him build bigger accommodations — like an underground dungeon — for more slaves. , In 1996, the American rock band Elysian Fields released a song titled "Jack in the Box" for their debut studio album, Bleed Your Cedar, which was made available for purchase that same year.
A genetic sample recovered from a screw on the box matched that found on a glass in the Munich penthouse of a wealthy woman who was brutally murdered there in May 2006. Janice reverted to her maiden name, Lashley; became a registered associate social worker; and has worked as a mental health professional. ", "Black Leather Jesus: The Most Horrifying Origin Story Ever", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kidnapping_of_Colleen_Stan&oldid=977662773#In_popular_culture, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 10 September 2020, at 06:01.  Hooker wanted Stan to become his second wife, which was a turning point for Janice. But she was nowhere to be seen. Even so, apart from Herrmann’s close family and friends, few understood why he was pursuing the case. As he had been most days in court, he was dressed casually, in trainers, blue jeans and a black jacket. During the trial, Mazurek had sent Michael a letter – not to thank him for questioning the tape recorder evidence but to suggest that they were somehow on the same side. “I know this is an incredible story but I’ve seen the evidence, and Michael has done very good investigative work,” she said. The perpetrators must have known the forest well, for they had chosen a remote site within it, and had avoided attention while digging the hole and hacking paths through the dense brush. He was a quiet, family man, but also one who is “not content with half-truths”, as his old friend Michael Hofstetter, who was with him in Eching on the evening Ursula disappeared, recently told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. Before the trial, the police exhumed Pfaffinger’s body but there was no match to the genetic profiles they had discovered among the evidence a few years before. Though they grieved deeply for Ursula, who they remembered as an intelligent, energetic girl who loved to sing and paint, they did so in private, never speaking to the press. But I have nothing to do with this act.”. , Stan said that her faith in God and belief in a chance of escape helped her survive; her greatest fear was "The Company", which Cameron "reinforced" daily.
While her mother was too distraught to ask any questions, her father asked repeatedly: had his daughter been hurt before her death?  In a televised interview for Girl in the Box, Stan told the interviewer that she then went to a bus station and phoned Hooker to inform him that she was leaving him, and that he reacted by bursting into tears; Stan subsequently caught a bus home. “But neither am I convinced of his innocence.” Instead of the circle being closed, it had opened further. Mazurek grabbed the dog and locked it in the basement freezer. In court, everyone seemed happy that Ursula’s killer had finally been put away. Klaus Pfaffinger, the unemployed man who briefly claimed to have dug the hole, was dead. An SUV track led into the woods. During that period, she was tortured, forced to live as a slave, and kept in a box for 23 hours a day. “This is where Ursula was kidnapped,” he said.
If a client asks him whether he believes in their innocence – as Mazurek did in 2008 – he brushes away the question. Later, he had borrowed a similar machine, got hold of the ransom call recordings, and tried to see if it was possible to replicate the phonetic expert’s findings. Reading from a 20-page statement, Mazurek insisted he was innocent. Rubach sees things in black and white. In April, when I interviewed Matthias Nickolai, spokesman for the public prosecutor, he acknowledged that many people still had questions about the verdict in the criminal trial, but insisted the judges had arrived at the correct decision in 2010, and that it was “final and absolute”.
The state’s expert, whose speciality was phonetics rather than audio, described how, in the recording of the ransom calls, you could hear a couple of clicking sounds – the buttons of a tape recorder being pressed during the recording of the jingle.
Both of them immediately knew something was wrong. The lead detective who had pursued him was replaced, and the net cast more widely. He wrote a letter to the court, calling the sound expert’s report about the tape recorder “incomplete or one-sided”. Besides hunters, joggers and cyclists, the boarding school pupils also knew the forest well. Mazurek, characterised in one newspaper as a “bearded giant”, sat in front of his wife, who was also on trial as an accessory to the crime. The 1937 version, with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. In 1978, Janice gave birth to a second child on the water bed above Stan.
“My job is to work out if there’s enough proof and evidence to convict them.” In Mazurek’s case he was convinced from the start that there wasn’t. Six months after the trial, in late 2010, Michael began to notice a strange, high frequency noise in his left ear.  Stan has changed her last name; both Janice and Stan continue to live in California. Ursula’s father rushed into the forest from Eching, and her uncle did the same from Schondorf.
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