Vienna - A former ice cream parlour owner who confessed to shooting, sawing up and freezing her ex-husband and her lover and burying them under the cellar of her shop in Vienna has been institutionalised for life.
Judge Susanne Lehr sentenced Estibaliz Carranza, 34, to life in a secure mental institution.
Judge Lehr told a Vienna court that her confession and her state of “considerable psychological damage” were mitigating factors, but her careful planning and her behaviour after the murders counted against her.
Carranza, wearing the same grey dress she had worn throughout the four-day trial and donning a pair of glasses, did not react to the unanimous jury verdict and nodded to confirm that she had understood the sentence.
Carranza, a Mexican-Spanish woman dubbed the “Ice Lady” by Austrian media, told a court that both men had “demeaned” her – her ex-husband by yelling at her and making fun of her poor German, her lover by being unfaithful.
In both cases, she said she had shot her victim with a .22-calibre Beretta pistol, cut up the body with a chain saw, put it in a freezer at the parlour, and eventually buried it downstairs in the cellar.
Prosecutor Petra Freh described the defendant, who appeared before a packed court flanked by prison guards and her celebrity defence lawyer Rudolf Mayer, as “ice-cold” and a “ticking time bomb”.
“It’s clear that the defendant has two faces,” Freh said, warning that Carranza could kill again.
Carranza told the court that the nature of her husband, Holger Holz, had completely changed after their wedding, and that matters became worse when they were evicted from their flat and moved into the ice cream shop, and Holz joined the Hare Krishna movement.
Even after she started a relationship with ice cream machine salesman, Manfred Hinterberger, and divorced Holz, he refused to move out, she told the court on Monday.
One Sunday, after an argument about the issue, she said she shot Holz twice in the back of the head and once in the temple as he sat at his computer.
Mayer, who unsuccessfully defended Austria’s most notorious living criminal Josef Fritzl in 2009, said the psychiatrist’s report on Carranza showed that her danger to society could be reduced “to zero” with proper treatment.
Hinterberger left Carranza after her divorce but turned up on her doorstep with a suitcase a year-and-a-half later after being thrown out by his girlfriend.
She said she had taken him back, but then found sex messages on his phone and his profile on a dating site.
On the way home from an evening out with friends, where he had flirted with another woman, she had wanted to talk about it but he had simply shouted at her and then gone to bed, she said.
“He turned to the wall and began snoring.
“He just turned around and that was the end of the matter for him. I was so furious,” Carranza said.
She then described how she had reached under the mattress for the same pistol she had used to kill her ex-husband, loaded it, and shot him in his sleep.
She chopped up his body, deep-froze the parts and eventually buried them under the ice cream parlour, where they were found by chance during maintenance work last year.
Carranza was extradited from Italy, two months pregnant by another man, to face charges in Austria. – Reuters