Category: Mass Murder
Date: 1993 - 1997
Crime: Fuchs was an Austrian terrorist who killed 4 people and injured 15 others in a wave of bombings in the mid 1990's. He was captured and sentenced to life in prison but was found hanged in his cell within a year.
Biography: Franz Fuchs was born December 12, 1949 in Austria. Because so little has been documented about his childhood, it is difficult to determine the origins of his xenophobic beliefs. Criminal psychologists have likened him to U.S. terrorist bomber, Theodore Kaczynski, both being of high intelligence but socially inept loners. Fuchs' mail bomb campaign differs from Kaczynski's in that he targeted people who were foreigners or were part of organizations that he considered friendly to foreigners. His first wave of mail bombs began in December 1993, claiming several early victims and injuring the mayor of Vienna. Other bombs from this campaign were discovered and neutralized without incident. In September 1994, Fuchs claimed responsibility for the bombings in a letter to the foreign minister of Slovenia. His second wave of mail bombs in October 1994, all failed without detonating. Then in February 1995, four people were killed when he targeted a group of Romanian gypsies. Between June and December of 1995, Fuch's stepped up the frequency of his bombing waves targeting media, medics and refugee aid workers. Many of these bombs failed or detonated inside of mail boxes which limited the number of injured people. Finally, in October 1997, Fuchs was manic with paranoia and took to following people that he thought were spying on him. Two women filed a complaint and when two police officers attempted to question him, Fuchs detonated a bomb he had with him, losing both of his arms below the elbow in the blast. He was arrested and put on trial, however, many in Austria feel that authorities never uncovered all of the details in the investigation, leaving doubts about whether Fuchs was acting alone. Further doubts were raised after he was found hanging in his prison cell, leaving many to question how a man without hands could fashion a cord from an electric razor in a manner which would facilitate his hanging.