Who killed Kalinka Bamberski? Like Netflix’s My Daughter’s Killer explores the hunt for Deiter Krombach

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If the accusation often made against television crime films is of increasing gullibility, then a new Netflix documentary, The killer of my daughter, rather it suggests that reality is sometimes much wilder than anything fiction could have invented.

The killer of my daughter tells the distressing story of Kalinka Bamberski, a 14-year-old who, in July 1982, was killed in Lindau, Germany, almost certainly by her stepfather Dieter Krombach, a doctor.

Krombach has always protested his innocence, while Kalinka’s French father, Andre Bamberski, has spent the past three decades clamoring otherwise. Bamberski was so upset by the lack of affirmative action taken by the German police that, in 2009, he took matters into his own hands.

He organized the forced “extradition” of Krombach by paying the kidnappers to take him to French soil, where he could finally be arrested and imprisoned for the crime.

Details of Kalinka’s death were always suspect. It was Krombach who contacted the emergency services after finding her numb in her bedroom. As the doctor later explained to authorities, she had injected Kalinka with a compound the night before to help her tan more easily.

The autopsy, however, suggested she may have suffocated. Her arms, legs and throat were injured and her vagina had a tear. It was later discovered by a French investigation team that she had been injected with various substances, including dopamine and cortisone. After the first autopsy, Kalinka’s genitals were removed, making it impossible to prove her rape and were never recovered.

Krombach was arrested but later released due to insufficient evidence. He went back to work, shocking Kalinka’s father. A year after the murder, Bamberski, who worked as an accountant, went to the town where Krombach lived with Bamberski’s ex-wife and distributed leaflets in the neighborhood denouncing the doctor as a criminal who had raped and killed his daughter. Krombach sued for libel and won.

Bamberski concluded, as he later reported to a newspaper, that “I am convinced that when Germans have a problem with a foreigner in Germany, it is always the German people who are protected by the law. The foreigner never gets the result “.

The murderer of my daughter (Photo: Netflix)

And so Bamberski made his battle public. He has given interviews to the media. He started following Krombach intermittently, tracking and photographing him. She has kept records and a lot of files about him. “He likes to see things through,” as a reporter says in the Netflix documentary.

Five years later, Bamberski’s ex-wife – who has always believed in Krombach’s innocence – divorced Krombach for adultery. She had slept with her closest friend while she slept unusually soundly in the room next to her, most likely drugged by him.

It wasn’t until 1993 that a Parisian court took up the Kalinka Bamberski case. Krombach’s legal team managed to put him off multiple times, but when they finally did, two years later, he was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison. An international warrant was issued for his arrest, but Germany refused to extradite him. As for Germany, Bamberski realized, Krombach was innocent.

But two years later, Krombach was arrested for drugging and raping a 16-year-old patient. This time, there was overwhelming forensic evidence. He pleaded guilty. More women have come forward with similar stories, but with no evidence. After a brief prison sentence, Krombach was canceled but continued to practice peripatetically regardless.

The only TV interview he gave on German television at the time suggested he may be some kind of psychopath. Yes, she admitted, she had injected the young woman with a drug, but she didn’t resist. “Silence gives consent,” she smiled, quoting Plato.

Bamberski, an otherwise distinctly mild-mannered man, grew increasingly desperate. It was then that he came up with the idea of ​​becoming, in the words of one member of his legal team, “a vigilante, a fighting monk,” by arranging for the kidnapping of Krombach and bringing him to respond.

His logic: If the law constantly disappoints you, take the law into your own hands. He was sentenced to one year suspended prison sentence for the crime and did not seem particularly repentant.

And Krombach was also ultimately imprisoned for 15 years for killing Kalinka Bamberski, unintentionally. In 2020, after nine years in prison, and now at the age of 84, he was released on medical grounds and died shortly thereafter. Andre Bamberski would never find true peace, of course, but by so tirelessly honoring the memory of his daughter, this “fighting monk” ultimately achieved a kind of justice.

The killer of my daughter airs on Netflix from Tuesday 12 July

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Who killed Kalinka Bamberski? Like Netflix’s My Daughter’s Killer explores the hunt for Deiter Krombach – Tebigeek