The story goes something like this: 25-year-old Daniel E. had shared a flat with the 31-year-old Christian victim Yvonne T. for just over a week last August when he barged into her room and asked for her thoughts on marriage equality.
When she said that she rejected this kind of marriage, he stabbed her while she sat on her bed, with a knife hidden in his trouser pocket.
State prosecutors argued that she had no chance against her sole flatmate. She tried to flee via the stairwell, but there he stabbed her in the back several times and she died at the scene. The court determined that he had deliberately planned the attack on his roommate.
After he killed her, he unsuccessfully attempted suicide.
There was a “manifesto” discovered on Daniel E.’s computer in which he had written about how much he hates religion. The computer also contained “violent video games and films” (though that’s pretty typical of most people who play games and watch movies online).
Mental illness may have played a role in the murder, according to one of the experts who testified, but I doubt anyone’s complaining about the life sentence. Daniel E. will be eligible for parole after 15 years.
You couldn’t have scripted something more stereotypical and tragic. That’s not to make light of this, only to say that it’s such an anomaly, you’d think someone made it all up to paint atheists in a bad light. But assuming it’s all true, it’s just an awful situation reminiscent of the atheist who murdered three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in February of 2015. Mental illness may also have played a role there; it’s worth noting, though, that the killer reportedly had motives that had nothing to do with their religious differences.
My heart goes out to the German victim and her family. She did absolutely nothing to deserve what happened to her. I can’t imagine any decent person, atheist or otherwise, feels any different.
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