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German Writer Alexandra Cordes Shot To Death, Husband Gravely Wounded

October 28, 1986

MARSEILLE, France (AP) _ West German novelist Alexandra Cordes was shot to death and her writer- husband was gravely wounded in what police said today appeared to be an attempted murder-suicide.

The couple were found Monday at their villa at nearby Chateauneuf-du-Pape by a friend.

Police said the friend, who was not identified, was bringing the couple their morning newspaper and bread when she found the 52-year-old Miss Cordes - whose legal name was Ursula Horbach - lying on the terrace in a pool of blood. She had a bullet wound in her head.

Nearby, police said, Michael Horbach was slumped in a chair, his face covered with blood and he was holding a revolver in his hand. Horbach was in a coma today in Timone Hospital in Marseille.

″Michael Horbach was hospitalized in a grave condition, coma,″ the hospital said in a statement. ″At the present time, his condition is stationary and worrying. The prognosis is reserved.″

The motive for the shootings was not known.

The couple had been married for 28 years and lived in Chateauneuf-du-Pape for the past 15 years. They collaborated on a bestseller titled ″Das Lied von Liebe und Hass″ (The Song of Love and Hate).

Miss Cordes, born in Bonn, was the author of dozens of popular novels. Among the best known were ″Das Haus in Malabrum,″ (The House in Malabrum), ″Liebe Kennt Keine Jahre,″ (There is No Age for Loving), ″Geh vor dem Letzten Tanz,″ (Leave before the Last Dance), and ″Frag Nicht nach dem Ende″ (Don’t Ask How It Will End).

Horbach, originally from Aix-La-Chapelle, was also a journalist and author of works against Nazism based on his experience as a German soldier on the Eastern Front during World War II.

He became known in 1957 with his ″Die Verratenen Soehne,″ (The Betrayed Sons). He subsequently published more than 25 other books.

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