Iraqi Admits to Moshammer Murder | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 16.01.2005
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Iraqi Admits to Moshammer Murder

A young Iraqi man has confessed to murdering flamboyant German fashion designer Rudolph Moshammer after he refused to pay for sexual favors. Police arrested the suspect after they found his DNA at the crime scene.

The 25-year-old Herisch A. was known to police

The 25-year-old Herisch A. was known to police

The 25-year-old man, identified as Herisch A., was arrested almost two days after Moshammer, who created clothes for celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, was found dead at his Munich home on Friday. DNA tests at his home enabled police to arrest the Iraqi overnight, Harald Pickert, the officer leading the enquiry, told reporters on Sunday.

Pickert said that Moshammer had allegedly offered the man €2,000 ($2,600) for sexual favors when they met near Munich's main train station on Thursday evening. The victim "apparently refused to pay, which led to a dispute," Pickert said. "Mr Moshammer didn't have a chance."

An autopsy showed that he had been strangled with a telephone cable in a surprise attack at his home at around midnight.

Pickert thanked the media and the public helping police pick up the suspect, who was known to the authorities, saying that more than 500 telephone calls had been received offering information and that dozens of leads were followed up. Photographs of the suspect taken before and after the killing showed he had shaved his head.

The suspect came to Germany in 2001 and last worked as a cook. Police said he had gambling and rent debts and although he was not a convicted criminal, he was known to the authorities from two cases for sexual harassment and assault. During those investigations he volunteered to give the police a DNA sample.

Extravagant lifestyle

Rudolph Moshammer gestorben

Rudolph Moshammer and Daisy

Moshammer was a popular figure on the German celebrity circuit. He was known for his extravagant hairstyle, flamboyant dress and the fact that he was almost always accompanied by his Yorkshire terrier, Daisy. The fashion designer claimed to be 59, but when he faced an Austrian court for a driving offence his date of birth was revealed to be September 27, 1940, making him 64.

Apart from Austrian-born Schwarzenegger, now governor of California, Moshammer designed for such celebrities as Spanish tenor Jose Carreras and the Las Vegas-based magicians Siegfried and Roy.

The German branch of the Nestle food company has called off an advertising campaign featuring Moshammer and Daisy endorsing a brand of cappuccino. A police spokesman said Sunday that calls had been received from across Germany inquiring about the dog's welfare. "I want to announce that Daisy is being taken care of. She is with the chauffeur," he said.

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