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Down-And-Out Father Kills Five Children, Self After Argument With Wife

January 5, 1994

OSNABRUECK, Germany (AP) _ A 35-year-old jobless Russian immigrant killed his five children with a knife and committed suicide early Wednesday after his wife left him, prosecutors said.

The children, three girls and two boys ages 4 to 12, were stabbed or had their throats cut as they lay in bed, said chief city prosecutor Wulf-Eberhard Hennings.

The man then slashed himself and set a fire in the family’s fourth-floor apartment, Hennings said, probably dying of smoke inhalation. Firefighters summoned by neighbors found the bodies.

The wife, 33, left the apartment Tuesday after an argument, telling her husband she wanted to separate, the prosecutor said. She learned of the killings from a news report and was in shock.

Police said they had often visited the apartment because of the couple’s arguments, and a friend of one of the slain children interviewed by German television said his classmate often cried at school.

Hennings said the family, who were ethnic Germans by descent, had lived in Germany since 1991. Neighbors said the family had financial troubles. Officials said the father was unemployed.

Neither the police nor prosecutors identified the family.

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