Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Waltraud Gruseck: The False Soprano

Secrets Revealed

The police secured search warrants allowing them to scour Waltraud's house and the surrounding area after a neighbor had reported seeing Waltraud throwing plastic bags in the river in the middle of the night.

What investigators found surprised even hardened detectives. Inside the house, police stumbled upon what can best be described as an amateur construction project gone awry. The good news for the investigators was that they found Mr. Hilss' body in the middle of the mess of concrete, but, unfortunately, only bits and pieces of his corpse remained intact.

Police search for remains.
Police search for remains.
It soon became apparent to detectives that Waltraud had poured a large slab of concrete over the remains of her husband's body in the cellar of their house. Then, realizing that someone might be able to find his corpse in the concrete, she had broken apart the cement after it had dried with a sledgehammer that one of her boyfriends had given her. She then took Mr. Hilss' body from the makeshift mausoleum, cut it up with the saw that one of her boyfriends had given her and then burned parts of the body separately in an oven in the living room.

A team of police divers then found plastic bags that contained the ashes and charred remnants of bones that had not burned, which Waltraud had dumped into the Elz River in front of their house.

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