In the process of the "Ikea corpse" the verdict has been pronounced.

The two main defendants, mother and son, receive life imprisonment.

For the mother, the Darmstadt Regional Court has determined the particular gravity of the guilt, which means that parole after 15 years is excluded.

Together with her 26-year-old son Patrick U., the judges are convinced that the 50-year-old Manuela U. is responsible for the death of 55-year-old Gabriele L. in 2016.

Until her death, she was a roommate in Manuela U.'s apartment on Ben-Gurion-Ring in Frankfurt.

Jan Schiefenhövel

Freelance author in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

  • Follow I follow

According to the judges, the woman was suffocated with a plastic bag in the apartment.

The mother had command and wanted the death of the victim because she wanted to get rid of the roommate, as the presiding judge said in the verdict.

The son was the executor of her death sentence.

One accomplice, 24-year-old Dennis L., who was also a roommate at the time, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for bodily harm resulting in death for detaining the victim.

At first it was not known who it was

Gabriele L.'s body was found in 2016 in a ditch near the Ikea store in the north of Frankfurt.

At first it was not known who it was.

The U. family was targeted by the investigators only two months after the body was found, as the chairman reported.

At that time Manuela U. "told a robber gun" and claimed that she had not seen her roommate for a long time, that she had found a new friend who was violent.

In 2019 the suspicion fell again on Manuela U. and her son when the investigators were able to establish a connection between him and the dead person from Frankfurt using a DNA trace from Dennis L.

The judge spoke in detail about the history of the crime and the personality of Manuela U., who showed sadistic traits.

In her apartment she built a "regime" and ruled over her son, changing partners and roommates.

The core of their system is that women have "captured" and manipulated "vulnerable personalities", people in a difficult phase of life.

"Worse than the worst prison"

While going for a walk, the main perpetrator met her future victim. Gabriele L. found herself in a difficult position after separating and losing her job. The accused had taken the woman more and more and isolated it from her family. After moving in with Manuela U., the three-room apartment was "worse than the worst prison" for her. Without income or contact with other people, Gabriele L. was completely dependent on Manuela U. For years she was humiliated, abused and abused as a cleaning lady by her and her son until they wanted to get rid of her.