Tim Kretschmer: a reserved and unremarkable killer

13th March 2009, Comments 1 comment

With the benefit of hindsight, however, there were some clues: he had been suffering from depression, enjoyed grisly horror movies and violent "shoot-em-up" computer games.

Berlin -- On the surface, there was little to indicate that Tim Kretschmer was a mass killer, capable of slaughtering 15 people with his father's nine-millimetre Beretta pistol he then turned on himself.

Like many other teenagers, the 17-year-old trainee salesman -- described as "unremarkable" and "reserved" -- enjoyed working out at the gym and was a keen table-tennis player.

With the benefit of hindsight, however, there were some clues: he had been suffering from depression, enjoyed grisly horror movies and violent "shoot-em-up" computer games.

And in addition to his other sporting activities, he would often train at the shooting range of which his father Joerg, a successful local businessman employing over 150 people at a packaging firm, is a member.

But none of this made him stand out as anything unusual, let alone a crazed killer.

Kretschmer "grew up in a happy family and had a sister -- five years younger -- with whom he had a good relationship," Heribert Rech, interior minister of Baden-Wuerttemberg state, which includes Winnenden, told reporters.

Kretschmer "did not have many friends but did have a few ... and was interested in one particular girl," Rech said.

Other teenagers described him as "reserved", "unremarkable" and even "friendly" but he was nonetheless somewhat of a loner, with few friends.

"He was simply not accepted by anyone and just sat all day in front of his computer," one schoolmate, Mario, told German television station N24.

Police who seized his computer after the massacre said he was particularly keen on shooting games -- especially the violent "Counter-Strike" -- and had become a real-life crack shot.

Der Spiegel magazine quoted Michael, one of his table-tennis partners, as saying Kretschmer had "thousands of horror videos at home" and was "rather unique."

Academically, he was described as "average", graduating from the Albertville school with mediocre grades.

From April until September 2008 he received psychiatric treatment which was meant to resume -- at the very clinic outside which he shot one person during the rampage.

In his own words, he had simply "had enough of this crummy life."

Seven hours before the carnage, he told a friend on an Internet chatroom: "Shit, Bernd. I have had enough ... always the same. People are laughing at me, no one recognises my potential."

Then he issued his chilling warning: "I have weapons here and tomorrow morning I will go to my old school. You will hear about me tomorrow. Make note of the name of the place: Winnenden."

Richard Carter/AFP/Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • A.B. posted:

    on 13th March 2009, 22:38:32 - Reply

    Notwithstanding their constant rhetorical questions of "Why?" the mainline media are conspicuously avoiding the answer to this basic question, almost as if though they're afraid of offending a powerful industry group. The root cause behind the rampage has been well established after numerous other instances of violent suicides like this: pychotropic anti-depressant pharmaceuticals, liberally prescribed by the psychiatric establishment. It's the same old story every time, but somehow it remains a taboo, though not illegal to point this out. (www.ssristories.com/index.php)