Police sketches are still used

Chapter 4 - Murder in Grundbergsee

When Degowski gets back on the bus, he orders Ines Voitle to make room. He sits down next to Silke Bischoff. "I'll take you hostage, I'll take you with me," he whispers in her ear. From this second on, another hostage can breathe a sigh of relief: Andrea B. The bank clerk from Gladbeck, whom Degowski constantly threatened with a gun for a day and a half, suddenly becomes uninteresting for him. “When he saw Silke, he left me alone.” Degowski doesn't mind threatening the girl he likes with death. From the beginning, affection is mixed with the brutality of a man who has always said that a woman cannot be trusted.

His buddy Rösner especially distrusts the police. In prison he once heard that the "cops are particularly humane" in Holland. On the way to the motorway, he suddenly remembers it again. First on the A1 in the direction of Hamburg, he instructs the bus driver to change course at the next opportunity to head for the Netherlands.

He doesn't like the fact that some of the hostages are now asking to be allowed to use the toilet. You should "piss on the floor," agrees Degowski. But because Marion Löblich also has to go to the toilet, he finally agrees to stop - in Grundbergsee. It is 10:29 p.m.

The rest area between the Oyten and Stuckenborstel exits is not one of the most beautiful: a narrow, flat building made of red clinker bricks, an elongated rectangle right next to the brightly lit gas pumps. A footpath made of gray exposed aggregate concrete slabs leads around the functional building - the aesthetics of the 1970s. Men and women have to go into the same narrow hallway to get to the toilets. No more than three of the hostages should go to the toilets, guarded by Marion Löblich.

Rösner organizes a bottle of apple grain, cola and rolls, meatballs and packets of sweet things in the kiosk, all in all for almost 400 marks.

Camera teams, reporters and photographers have long since rediscovered the bus and surround the vehicle. As before in Bremen, the scenery is illuminated with large spotlights in order to get better pictures. The police did not expect that the gangsters would stop again so quickly, the rest area is not cordoned off.

A few minutes ago, the hostage drama also claimed his first death. A policeman rushes into a construction site while chasing the bus and dies at the scene of the accident. While this tragic accident dominated the police radio for a few minutes, the first MEK vehicles were spreading across the spacious area, which is more like a large parking lot for trucks than an inviting rest stop. Other plainclothes police officers mingle with reporters and curious people.

The photographer Peter Meyer also followed the bus. Rösner sees him. He has long since made the decision to release the completely finished bank employees A. and B. - but only against replacement. He waves Meyer over and asks him whether he would sit on the bus as an "exchange hostage". Meyer agrees without hesitation. When a "Bild" reporter agrees, Rösner releases the Gladbeck hostages. Above all, A. is completely at the end of his strength. Most recently he just sat crouched on the bus.