"He told me that in the snow a track of two sets of footprints led up to his estate. He believed that rogues were in his house. I offered to help him to search the property, to which Gruber replied that he was not afraid.”
Sometime during the evening of the 31st March 1922, at an isolated farmstead deep in rural Germany, five members of the same family, alongside their maid, were brutally slain in their own home, hacked to death with a short handled pickaxe. The killings stunned a Bavaria already racked by the aftermath of war and hyper-inflation. Almost a century on the murders remain unsolved. In this, the first in depth English language investigation into the slayings, Edward Chilvers attempts to separate myth from fact, relying on contemporary police sources and witness statements to paint a picture of an insular, incestuous family who, for reasons as yet unknown, took it upon themselves to ignore the numerous warnings of what was to come in the days leading up to their demise.