Thomas Gotthard Danish priest murders wife, Maria From Jakobsen, dissolves her body in acid, inspired by TV episode, Breaking Bad.
‘For father I have sinned…’ A Lutheran priest in Denmark was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing his wife and dissolving her body in acid – an idea that came to him after having watched an episode of AMC’s crime drama ‘Breaking Bad,’ according to reports.
Thomas Gotthard, 44, admitted during a closed-door hearing Tuesday of killing his wife, Maria From Jakobsen, 43, amid marital strife after starting a relationship with another woman whom he was ‘wildly in love with,’ The Local reported.
‘I killed Maria,’ Gotthard said at the end of his trial. ‘I ended her life; she did not deserve that fate. I am guilty of having lied and deceived you all. I’ve been a total thug. I have sent my life out into the darkness where I want to stay. No one should feel sorry for me.’
According to one report, Gotthard bludgeoned Mrs Jakobsen in their garden on 26 October, just after she had driven the couple’s two children to school. He then smothered her nose and mouth with his hands for several minutes until she died, before tipping the body into a 54 gallon barrel he had bought earlier at a hardware store.
The barrel which was filled with acid came to him after having previously being inspired by an episode of ‘Breaking Bad.’
Inspired by a crime drama tv show
Gotthard, who maintained his innocence until last month, said divorcing Jakobsen would’ve caused problems for the couple’s children and his ex-wife. Gotthard said he kept his wife’s body in a locked shed inside the barrel for one night before moving it to an abandoned country estate.
He then doused Jakobsen’s body in nearly 12 gallons of hydrochloric acid and 13 pounds of caustic soda to dissolve her corpse, but the barrel ended up being too heavy to move, Gotthard recalled.
Undeterred, Gotthart said he split up Jakobsen’s remains into two smaller barrels, which he buried and later disinterred to cut up her remaining body parts into smaller pieces. He then burned and buried the remaining bones.
‘This is not an unhappy love story about a man who could not get the love of his life,’ prosecutor Anne-Mette Seerup said. ‘Or the third love of his life. On the contrary, this is a man who saw his wife as a block and chain around his leg.’
Jakobsen disappeared in late October and was reported missing by her sister the following day. Gotthard told investigators at the time she had left their home in Frederikssund while depressed, leaving behind her phone, credit cards and computer.
Police later learned that Gotthard had cleaned his car on the day of his wife’s disappearance, and found CCTV footage of him disposing of a big blue plastic barrel at a recycling centre on 6 November.
Three weeks after his wife’s abrupt disappearance, Gotthard was arrested and suspended from his role as a parish priest. The holy man was charged with murder in April after investigators found hydrochloric acid and caustic soda in the couple’s home, as well as internet searchs on their computer for terms such as, ‘sea depth,’ ‘oil barrels,’ ‘suicide’ and ‘cleaning.’
‘From husband to killer’
Judge Betina Heldman refused to take Gotthard’s co-operation into account in her sentencing. ‘The fact that you have confessed cannot lead to any lesser punishment,’ she said.
‘This is the story of a man who took the life of Maria From Jakobsen in cold blood. About a man who went from husband to killer.’
Prosecutors had sought the maximum 15-year sentence that Gotthard faced.
‘The only thing he regrets is that he was caught,’ Seerup said Tuesday, adding that Gotthard led cops to Jakobsen’s body only because they were already searching nearby. ‘The police were right on his heels.’