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Medieval style buildings in Passau where three people were found dead, shot by crossbow

Medieval Weapon Enthusiasts Killed With Crossbows

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A quaint Bavarian hotel has become the scene of a murder mystery with medieval links. When hotel employees found the dead bodies of three people the scene was described as something akin to a scene from “Game of Thrones.” All three were found impaled by crossbow arrows or bolts. Police have since discovered that the people involved were all medieval weapon enthusiasts.

Washington Post reports the deaths occurred in a guesthouse in the town of Passau near the Austrian border. Two women, one aged 30 and the other 33, were found dead alongside a 53-year-old man. Reports say all the deceased were German.

Shot with Crossbows

The 33-year-old woman died in a hotel bed hand-in-hand with the man and the other woman was discovered on the floor. According to BBC News Public prosecutor Walter Feiler told reporters, “that the man had been shot twice in the head and three times in the chest, while the woman lying next to him had one wound in the head and another in the chest.” The 30-year-old woman “was lying in front of the double bed and had one shot from a crossbow between the throat and the chin.”

A crossbow

A crossbow. (CC0)

An autopsy suggests the deaths were part of a murder-suicide pact because there were no signs of struggle. It appears the youngest woman first shot the two others than killed herself. Wills for two of the deceased were also found in the hotel room. The other guests did not hear anything unusual the night of the deaths and one hotel guest has only commented that “the man had a long white beard and the women were dressed in black”, and they were “strange.”

Medieval Weapon Enthusiasts

During investigations, police uncovered that all three of the deceased were affiliates of the International Jousting League. The 30-year-old woman is said to have had a “passion for the Middle Ages community, the hustle and bustle of medieval markets with jugglers and knight tournaments.”

Bow and arrow and crossbow competition

Bow and arrow and crossbow competition. (CC0)

And the man owned a shop called “Milites Conductius,” in which he sold medieval style weapons such as swords, axes, and knives, as well as medieval-styled clothing and flags. Mead was also for sale in his store. He also may have had some interest in medieval alchemy, as he had alchemical symbols tattooed on his arms.

Mandala illustrating common alchemical concepts, symbols, and processes. From Spiegel der Kunst und Natur

Mandala illustrating common alchemical concepts, symbols, and processes. From Spiegel der Kunst und Natur. (Public Domain)

Police are still investigating the deaths and if other factors, such as alcohol or drug consumption, may have been involved.

Other Medieval Enthusiasts in the News

In October 2018, a British medieval enthusiast made international headlines for brandishing a sword and axe on a street gang that had been harassing him. The man said he owned the objects because he was a “medieval sports enthusiast who fought at castles using blunt weapons, including his replica 14th century blade.”

He was considered to have broken the law for carrying the sword in public, however, his defense lawyer explained that the man “held the weapons in a downward position” and did not intend to use them. When the ruling was declared the judge cleared the medieval enthusiast of assault but found him guilty of possessing offensive weapons.

Top Image: Medieval style part of Passau, Germany, where three people were found dead, shot by crossbow. Source: Polybert49/ CC BY SA 2.0

By Alicia McDermott

Alicia McDermott's picture


Alicia McDermott holds degrees in Anthropology, Psychology, and International Development Studies and has worked in various fields such as education, anthropology, and tourism. Traveling throughout Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador, Alicia has focused much of her research on Andean cultures... Read More

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