What's Another Year for Satan's Recruiting Sergeants?

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Manuela Ruda, right, and husband Daniel share a last kiss as they leave the regional court in Bochum, Germany, to begin 13- and 15-year sentences for the ritualistic murder of a friend

Manuela and Daniel Ruda never denied killing Frank Hackerts, so the 13- and 15-year sentences they received yesterday were not that surprising. But they avoided the life terms called for by their victim's family because of their motivation for the murder — Satan told them to do it.

The prosecution had requested a 14-year term for Satanist Daniel and 12 years for his wife Manuela on the grounds on diminished responsibility. The defence had called for a full acquittal for the same reason. Presiding Judge Arnjo Kerstingtombroke ordered that the pair be sent to a secure psychiatric ward where they would receive therapy to ensure they never repeated their crime. He added that neither should be thought of as "evil". They were sick — "humans not monsters" — and that society had a duty to cure them of their severe mental disorders.

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