Updated Nov. 7, 2011
For 27 years the heartbroken André Bamberski kept an eye on the fugitive serial rapist who murdered his 14-year-old daughter. Then he arranged a vigilante kidnapping to deliver the murderer to the police.
In the early hours of the morning little happens in the town of Mulhouse.
Mulhouse, of slightly over 110,000 inhabitants, is geographically in eastern France, in the region of Alsace, but it is often said by skeptical French that the Mulhousiens and the Mulhousiennes, as the inhabitants are called, have German hearts. The reason is that Germany starts just a few miles east of Alsace, and indeed of Mulhouse, and the Germans have therefore annexed the region three times. The first annexation had been after France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian war (July 1870-May1871), the second, during World War 1 (1914-1918), and the third in World War Two, after France’s June 1940 capitulation to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi army. This third annexation had lasted until the end of the war in May 1945. Since, Alsace has remained French.
During the early morning of Sunday, October 18, 2009 Mulhouse was again silent, but the silence was disturbed when the computer screens in front of the officers on duty in the police’s emergency call room flashed an incoming call.
The caller, a male, speaking with a marked Russian accent despite his flawless French, gave the cop who took the call the name of a local street: Rue de Tilleul. On that street, said the caller before he rang off, the fugitive, Dieter Krombach, could be found.