German man kills wife, three children, and then himself over forged COVID-19 certificate

David R. with his family.
By Karolina Klaskova
3 Min Read

Forty-year-old German man David R. murdered his wife Linda and their three daughters Leni (10), Janni (8), and Rubi (3) in their house in the Brandenburg federal state of Germany in a case that is grabbing national headlines.

The man, who shot himself after murdering his entire family in Königs Wusterhausen, confessed to the crime in a suicide note, which was found by investigators. He expressed fears that his children would be taken away from him after he was discovered to have forged a COVID-19 certificate for his wife.

The man, only identified as Devid R, was found fatally shot alongside his wife and their three daughters.
Paul Zinken/dpa via AP

The falsified document was discovered by Berlin’s Technical University (TU), where Linda was employed. Fearing possible conviction and the loss of his children, his resorted to murdering his family and taking his own life.

“In a farewell letter, he literally wrote that the university wanted to investigate the case of the forged document, with the greatest stringency,” the public prosecutor said.

However, the murdered wife was only asked for written comment on the incident from the university. As the public prosecutor stated, there is no mention in the letter she provided the university that she had the same fears of a possible punishment.

Neighbors discovered the family’s bodies inside the house through the window.
Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP

According to investigators, David R. was not able to think logically. He killed his wife and children with an illegally acquired handgun. The children were killed one by one, each in their room.

The murder-suicide comes at a time when Germany has implemented strict restrictions on those who are unvaccinated, restricting them from much of public life. In an opinion piece, German newspaper Junge Freiheit calls for the tragedy to serve as a moment for Germany to take pause and consider the dramatic and controversial escalation in measures taken against the unvaccinated, and how it may drive those who are mentally unstable to the edge.

The obligation to produce a certificate of vaccination or undergo the Covid-19 disease will apply to German employees from January 2022. According to criminal law specialist Alexander Pabst, David R. would only face a fine for counterfeiting a document, the amount of which would be calculated based on his income. However, it is possible that his wife could have lost her job over the incident.

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