Netflix’s ‘My Daughter’s Killer’ delves into the circumstances surrounding teenager Kalinka Bamberski’s mysterious death at her stepfather’s home in Lindau, Germany. She was found dead one morning in July 1982 by her stepfather, Dieter Krombach. Over the next few years, the various inconsistencies in Kalinka’s autopsy pushed her father, Andre Bamberski, to pursue the truth; he believed Dieter was responsible for Kalinka’s death. Danièle Gonnin, the mother, proclaimed Dieter innocent for years until some disturbing developments changed her mind. So, let’s find out what happened then, shall we?
Who is Danièle Gonnin?
Danièle was the daughter of French expatriates who settled in Morocco during the 1950s. During the 1960s, she married Andre, and they had Kalinka and Nicolas together. By 1974, the family had been living in Morocco, where Andre worked as an accountant. At the same time, Dieter also lived there, working as a doctor in the consular department. Danièle and Dieter met and eventually began an affair.
According to Andre, the family moved to France in 1974, but at the time, he didn’t know about Danièle and Dieter. She suddenly told Andre about a job opportunity in Nice, France, but refused to give him any more information regarding the firm. So, Andre followed Danièle one day and learned that she had been going to Toulouse, France, to spend time with Dieter. This led to a quick divorce, and initially, Andre received custody of the kids.
By 1977, Danièle had married Dieter, and they lived in Germany. When Andre hoped to move the kids to Morocco in 1980, his ex-wife filed a complaint, ending with her getting custody of the kids. They moved in with her and Dieter in Lindau. According to what was decided, Kalinka and Nicolas were to move in with their father in September 1982, but Kalinka was found dead just months before that.
Dieter had admitted giving Kalinka an iron supplement injection the night before she was found dead. While he claimed it was for anemia, Kalinka wasn’t diagnosed with it. Furthermore, there were discrepancies in the other family members’ stories regarding when the injection was administered. In the following years, Danièle defended Dieter and claimed Andre was crazy thinking the stepfather raped Kalinka. According to Andre, “He didn’t have to rape women, she said, because he was successful with women.”
Danièle continued to support Dieter’s claims of innocence even after their divorce in 1989. However, things changed with Dieter later admitting to drugging Danièle. During the 1980s, he drugged her several times so he could bring over other women. During later testimony, Danièle said, “If he decided he wanted something, nothing could stop him. He chose me because I was married, which represented an additional challenge for him.” She added that Dieter was attracted to teenage girls.
Where is Danièle Gonnin Today?
Ultimately, Danièle hoped that Dieter’s trial proceedings in France revealed the truth about what happened to her daughter. While she believed Dieter was innocent for more than two decades, the unsettling revelations changed her stance. Furthermore, Danièle remembered waking up later than usual on the day Kalinka was found dead by him. She felt Dieter might have given her sedatives. Danièle moved back to Toulouse after the divorce and, as of 2011, was still living in France. She has rarely spoken to the media regarding the case and has maintained a low profile since the trial ended.
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