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16th May 2024

Mother fatally shot man who killed her 7-year-old child in the middle of his trial

Ryan Price

She entered the courtroom armed with a .22-caliber Beretta pistol and fired eight shots.

A mother whose seven-year-old daughter was kidnapped and killed, took justice into her own hands by shooting her daughters murderer in the middle of his trial.

On May 5 1980, Anna Bachmeier was abducted in her hometown of Sarstedt, a small town near Hildesheim in Lower Saxony, West Germany.

Shortly after, her body was discovered by police after the fiancee of a local butcher, Klaus Grabowski, turned him in to the police.

35-year-old Grabowski was a convicted sex offender, and in 1976, had voluntarily submitted to chemical castration, though it was later revealed that he subsequently underwent hormone treatment to try to reverse the castration.

After abducting Anna, he held her for several hours at his home, sexually assaulted her, and ultimately strangled her.

He claimed that his fear of going back to prison prompted him to kill her.

The horrifying murder sent shockwaves through the community, and left Anna’s mother, Marianne, distraught and desperate for revenge.

The following video is a reconstruction of the courtroom shooting surfaced on YouTube in 2022.

On March 6, 1981, on the third day of Grabowski’s trial at around 10am, Marianne smuggled a Beretta 70 pistol into the courtroom of Lübeck District Court.

She then shot Klaus Grabowski, the confessed killer of her daughter, in the back.

Bachmeier aimed the gun at Grabowski’s back and fired seven times, and he was killed almost instantly.

She then lowered her gun, and was apprehended without resistance.

The media dubbed Bachmeier “Revenge Mother”, and the dramatic event sparked a nationwide debate in Germany as to the justifiability of her actions.

(Marianne Bachmeier via Getty)

While some sympathized with her quest for retribution, others questioned the legality and morality of her vigilantism.

In 1983, she was convicted of premeditated manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison, though she served only half of her term before being released.

On September 17, 1996, Bachmeier died at the age of 46 from pancreatic cancer in a hospital in Lübeck.

Her final resting place is next to her daughter, Anna, in Burgtor Cemetery, Lübeck.