The village of Rupperswil was left reeling over the long weekend after police revealed on Friday that the man arrested for murdering a family of four last December was a local man and youth football coach.
The 33-year-old Swiss student – dubbed the ‘beast of Rupperswil’ by Swiss media – was arrested last week and admitted the brutal murder of a 48-year-old woman, her two teenage sons and the girlfriend of the elder son shortly before Christmas.
According to police the man, who did not know his victims, staked out the house of the Schauer family on the morning of December 21st, waiting for the woman’s partner to leave the house.
He then entered the house and threatened the family, ordering the mother to tie up her sons and the elder son’s girlfriend before demanding she go to an ATM to withdraw money.
On her return she was also bound and gagged. The man then slit their throats and set the house on fire.
The younger son, aged 13, was sexually abused by the perpetrator before his death, Aargau police said on Friday.
In the following months police led a massive manhunt and even posted a reward of 100,000 francs, but to no avail.
Now, it turns out that the perpetrator was in the village all along.
The 33-year-old was brought up in Rupperswil and lived with his mother only a few hundred metres from the house where the horrific quadruple murder took place, it was widely reported.
Until three years ago he was a football coach for a junior team in the area, and still worked for the club, a fact that led parents to fear he may have abused young players at the club.
But on Monday police told the media there was no evidence that the man had sexually abused anyone at the football club or elsewhere, however investigations are ongoing.
During a search of the man’s home last week, police found cable ties, tape and ropes in a backpack, suggesting that he may have been planning further attacks.
Speaking to paper Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Dominik Kunz, commander of the Rupperswil fire service that attended the scene of the crime, said one of their biggest fears had been that the murderer could strike again.
“For many of us the last half year was a very emotional time,” he said, adding that they felt great relief that the man had finally been caught.
The public prosecutor has ordered a psychiatric evaluation of the murderer, police said.