Singer ‘killed husband, used body double to claim his estate’

POLICE in Germany have arrested an opera singer who they say murdered her wealthy husband then used a double to get her hands on his €5 million estate.

Police alleged Waltraud Hill, 55, used a make-up artist to get the man to pass for her husband. With him she went to a lawyer where the bogus Hermann Hills signed over the properties, stocks, bonds, cash and life insurance policies of thereal one to her.

Detectives say the case is “straight out of a Hitchcock film”. They believe that the 71-year-old man’s wife Waltraud, 55, killed him, hid his body and then roped in an accomplice to play him in the plot to get his riches.

Hills was reported missing from his home near Freiburg in October. He and his wife lived apart. The wealthy fish farmer was a popular character in his village of Kappel-Grafenhausen and police were baffled that a man with a vast fortune would suddenly vanish.

But he was logged down as simply being missing — until his wife allegedly decided it was time to unlock his assets. Police say that at the beginning of December Waltraud went with the fake husband to a female lawyer’s office in Freiburg where she received power of attorney for all her missing’s husband’s affairs. She also visited a notary public with him.

“This, in effect, gave her control of all the finances,” said police.

But detectives were alerted by a local man who said that Waltraud had asked him to impersonate Hermann. A 10-strong detective squad was formed in which 7,000 people were interviewed. This turned up another eight people who admitted they had been asked to pose as the double of Hermann.

One told them; “She showed me a photo of this old geezer, said there would be a ‘good drink in it for me’ if I played him at a lawyer’s office and at a notary’s. I didn’t want to get involved.”

Eventually the lawyer in Freiburg was traced and she confirmed details of the transfer of Hermann’s wealth to his wife. Police did not arrest her immediately, but asked her to turn up at the police station with him for an interview.

On the day she was supposed to show with him she telephoned in advance to say; “I am terribly sorry, but he has been called away on a business trip.” That was two months ago and he has still not returned.

Soprano singer Waltraud was behind bars this week accused of murder and fraud. A police spokesman said; “We have to go on the assumption he is dead and that she is responsible for it.

“She thought she had committed the perfect crime, The plot was flawed because she simply gave away too many clues by asking all these men to pose as him.”

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