When is someone murdered or just killed

Tormented and Killed - Murder Videos on the Internet

from report: Christine Adelhardt, Ilka Brecht

Snuff - that is English and means to extinguish - a candle for example. But also: to wipe someone out, that is, to kill him. Snuff videos are films in which people are killed, real, brutal murder scenes. There are, and not too few.

These murder videos can be seen on the Internet, in so-called file sharing sites, on which many, especially young people, surf, actually in order to download music or video games. But one click away - randomly or deliberately - and you see real murders. The operators of these file sharing sites do not take any responsibility.

It's shockingly simple: one click of the mouse, the appropriate search term, and a few seconds later the films are downloaded from the Internet onto your home computer. Also illegal films, so-called snuff videos, in which people are brutally tortured and killed. Panorama shows only a part. The scene continues in the original.

Albert Bischeltsrieder from the State Criminal Police Office in Munich knows the scene:

"This sequence should be a real shot that may have been taken in Eastern Europe. The sequence shows the murder of a soldier, and his throat is cut with a knife. Here, of course, it is primarily interesting whether here the basic offense of murder or manslaughter is, of course, to be examined first and foremost. "

A difficult undertaking for the Munich Internet investigators, as the murder videos are mostly produced abroad and posted on the Internet from there. German law does not apply there, and so it is seldom possible to convict someone. The demand, however, is unbroken.

There are more videos. They are also real: a Russian soldier's fingers are shot off one by one. Or an African woman who is burned alive. And a man's head is cut off - presumably somewhere in Eastern Europe.

"So that's about the range of what you can find under snuff videos," says Albert Bischeltsrieder from the Munich State Criminal Police Office. "But I can add one more thing right away: Unfortunately, there are no limits to God's imagination. It's amazing what people come up with in order to be able to depict such killing scenes."

"What do you think personally when you see something like this while you are working on the computer," the interviewer wants to know.

"Simply disgusting."

And finding such disgusting films on the Internet is child's play. Marco spends whole days in front of the computers with his friends. You surf the net, always looking for new programs. Marco, who wants to remain anonymous, says that you also come across snuff videos.

“The bad thing is that we saw these live killings and video recordings for the first time and we were shocked at how easy it is to get hold of them. And word gets around quickly too School finds such a video, then the next day the whole class will know, and in two weeks the whole school will know. And if a thousand people know, a hundred will get it there. "

You will quickly find what you are looking for in Internet file sharing sites like Kazaa. And there alone there are over 10 million users worldwide. It works like a bulletin board: everyone can put something down and take whatever they want - including murder videos.

The boss of Kazaa, Niklas Zennström is a successful internet entrepreneur and is currently vacationing in Nice on the Cote d'Azur, the meeting point of the rich and beautiful. In his vacation home, Panorama confronts him with what can be seen in his web exchange for children and others. Zennström, however, remains largely unmoved:

"We are not legally responsible for that, we only operate a platform, so to speak software on the Internet. And besides, there is always abuse, you see, when you go to school or to a place, there is always bad one too Things. "

In fact, Kazaa is not to be prosecuted legally. Only those who post snuff videos directly on the Internet are liable to prosecution. The murder videos are now becoming a problem, because Kazaa lives from advertising, and after the panorama research, advertisers see themselves in an unattractive and undesirable light. Advertising banners under killer videos.

Sheer horror at ValueClick. The Munich advertising agency mediates numerous companies on various Internet sites.

An initial reaction from Eduard Meisel from ValueClick: "That is terrible, that is a deterrent. We cannot accept it, we do not accept it and we will pursue it consistently."

Cell phone manufacturer Ericsson also wants to ensure that it does not appear in scenes of murder and torture in the future, as that is not beneficial for the company's image.

"It's terrifying," says Jens Kürten from Ericsson. "And I can only apologize on behalf of Ericsson that such a mistake happened to us. We didn't know anything about this connection, we didn't know anything about the content that was exchanged on this exchange. And as soon as we got knowledge of it , we made sure that it was removed immediately. "

This is what LebenDirekt did too. Macabre, but also a life insurance appeared amid brutal murder sequences. In response to our research, the company informed us that they were expressly distancing themselves from such films.

The Kazaa boss Niklas Zennström is still enjoying the sunny south of France. But some of one of the advertisers already jump off, because murder videos are more than bad for the image. And so he will probably not be able to afford one thing for much longer, namely succinct excuses:

"This is today's Internet, we have to live with it. Kazaa is a very good search engine, that makes it extremely easy to find what you're looking for. And that's how you get a lot of snuff videos onto your computer. "

Of course - as is often the case - there was also mail to Panorama, lawyers' mail before this article was broadcast. A large international law firm wanted to prevent us from naming the names of their clients' advertisers: Shopping 24, Premiere, Ericsson, HUK Coburg, Dell, Greencard and LebenDirekt. After all, none of these companies knew anything and had their advertising banners removed immediately - according to the panorama information. We say: thank you.

So far there is no real protection against these murder videos. All computer programs that can filter out such pages are ineffective. The only way parents can save their children from such brutal images is not to let them go on the Internet alone - and that, in turn, is unworldly.