In May 2018, 56-year-old Klaus O. was arrested after he was caught lacing lunches at ARI Armaturen, a control valve manufacturer based out of Germany that has about 800 employees.
Since 2000, 21 employees at the company have died as a result of suspicious circumstances, including heart attacks and cancer. Klaus O, a locksmith at the company for 38 years, has been charged with attempted murder in at least three cases after it was discovered that the mystery powdered substance that he was putting on co-workers sandwiches was poison.
He appeared in court this week, and the trial will continue on November 26.
The suspect's full name has not been released, which is in line with Germany's privacy laws. According to prosecutors, the married father of two wanted to watch his colleagues deteriorate.
One colleague is a 24-year-old who remains unresponsive and in a coma in his parents' home after mercury was allegedly spread on his bread in the summer of 2016.
The primary witness is known as Simon R., a 26-year-old machinist whose kidneys have been irreparably damaged after Klaus reportedly poisoned his sausage and jam sandwiches. It was Simon’s suspicions over his deteriorating health and his noticeably adulterated lunches which triggered the company to install the video cameras that caught Klaus in the act.
Klaus O., now 57, has been incarcerated for six months after police searched his home and found a makeshift laboratory, where he worked with lead, mercury and cadmium.
Klaus O. has remained silent after his arrest and has not commented on his motive. The local authorities formed a 15-member task force to investigate the other suspicious deaths at ARI and have interviewed the alleged victims’ relatives and doctors. Officials may even exhume the bodies to look for the the presence of metal.