The murders of Manfred and Marísia von Richthofen in 2002 shocked the country of Brazil, given the way in which the couple was killed. Things only became more complicated as the investigators unraveled the tangled web woven by those who had committed the crime, and the findings were as shocking as one might think. One perspective of just how everything went down is covered in ‘The Girl Who Killed Her Parents,’ an Amazon Prime movie that only made the world more invested in the case. For those eager to know exactly what happened, worry not because we have your back!
How Did Manfred and Marísia von Richthofen Die?
The dynamics of the family of Manfred (related to his namesake, who is famously known as Baron von Richthofen/Red Baron) and Marísia von Richthofen were far from simple. They had an older daughter named Suzane von Richthofen, who was in a relationship with Daniel Cravinhos de Paula e Silva. Many accounts have suggested that the married couple was not exactly in favor of just who their daughter was dating. They also had a son named Andreas von Richthofen, who was seemingly close with his sister and her boyfriend.
However, few expected what would befall Manfred and Marísia. On October 31. 2002, sometime in the middle of the night, the couple had been killed in a manner so brutal that the investigators could not help but be conflicted. While it was obvious that those who had killed the couple wanted the scene to look like a robbery gone wrong, there were some key signs that did not match up with the story that the killers had been trying to weave.
It was obvious that the alarm system in the house of Manfred and Marísia was disabled, which narrowed the suspect list considerably. However, the actual motive behind the whole crime was in question, given that most of the valuables owned by the family were still in the house, though the cash that they had in the house was missing. The presence of cell phones combined with the fact that several other valuables were still intact and that the killers had put in significant effort into killing the couple, police became suspicious that there was much more to the case than what met the eye.
Who Killed Manfred and Marísia von Richthofen?
Coincidentally, it was not long before the investigators for the Manfred and Marísia von Richthofen case established a story that seemed most accurate to what might have happened. According to the testimony of Suzane von Richthofen, her brother Andreas von Richthofen, and her boyfriend, Daniel Cravinhos, the three had been out of the house the days that the von Richthofen couple died. Apparently, Daniel had decided to take his girlfriend to a love hotel to celebrate her upcoming birthday. They had also taken Andreas with them to drop him off at an internet cafe.
In fact, it had been the siblings who alerted the police that something was suspicious when they came home early the next morning and saw that everything was ransacked. Suzane had also called in Daniel for support, and the police started to investigate the case. While exploring all connections, they soon found out that Cristian Cravinhos de Paula e Silva, Daniel’s brother, had purchased a brand new motorcycle shortly after the death of Suzane’s parents and bought the vehicle with hard cash.
Intent on finding out just how things went down, the investigators started questioning Cristian, who initially seemed to have a solid alibi. Meanwhile, the police had also grown suspicious of Suzne, given that she did not seem very saddened about the death of her parents and had even thrown a birthday party to celebrate the occasion shortly after her parents were buried. Combined with Cristian’s own actions, it seemed obvious that Suzane, Daniel, and Cristian were more involved with the case than they had initially said.
On November 9, 2022, days after the death of Manfred and Marísia von Richthofen, the police arrested Suzane, Daniel, and Cristian. It did not take long for the confessions to come bubbling out, though the varying accounts of exactly how things had gone down had kept the case a mystery even today, though not in the way one might have imagined. All parties agreed that on the fateful night, Suzane had disabled her home’s security system to allow the Cravinhos brothers entry.
All accounts stated that it was indeed Daniel and Cristian who had killed Manfred and Marísia while Suzane waited everything out in the living room. Even according to the physical evidence, Manfred did not get a chance to defend himself much while Marísia allegedly fought off her killers. After the two were dead, the three people involved in the plan tried to make it seem like the criminals had been after the money, even taking the cash with them.
However, the involved parties disagree with just who was the person to come up with the plan. The Cravinhos asserted that it was Suzane who had concocted that whole idea, convinced Daniel to do so for her, and then made him convince Cristian. Daniel even stated that Suzane told him how her father, Manfred, would beat her up and touch her inappropriately, which is why he agreed to the murders. On the flip side, Suzane’s legal team asserted that Daniel was the one who came up with the whole plan, his motive being the ample amount of money that Suzane would inherit.
The trial for Suzane, Daniel, and Cristian was scheduled to start on June 5, 2006, with charges of first-degree murder levied against them. The process actually started on July 17, 2006, by which point the trio had split in their approach to the case. Ultimately, on July 22, 2006, all three of them were found guilty. Suzane and Daniel were sentenced to 40 years in prison, while Cristian had to serve 39 years in jail.