Almost 10 years ago, on October 31st 2002, Manfred Von Richthofen, and his wife, Marísia Von Richthofen, were murdered on their own bed. The case was shocking at first, but exactly eight days later, things got worse: Suzane Von Richthofen, their oldest daughter, turned herself in for planning and executing the crime.
The Von Richthofens were a wealthy brazilian family composed by Manfred Albert Freiherr von Richthofen (49), a german naturalized, Marísia von Richthofen (age unknown), Suzane Louise von Richthofen (19 at the time, now 29), and Andréas Albert von Richthofen (15 at the time, now 25). They apparently had a good life and lived in a high profile neighborhood called Brooklin, in São Paulo, Brazil.
Suzane had everything a girl at her age could ask for. She didn’t have to work, had her own car, fluent in three languages (spanish, english and german), studied law at one of the best colleges in Brazil and had a boyfriend. The 3 year long relationship with Daniel Cravinhos was a matter of distress to her parents. He had a very different life pattern, but didn’t want to study or work. They tried to break their relationship but failed. When Manfred threatened to send her to Europe, Suzane told them she had broke up with Daniel, but of course it was a lie. She was still seeing him on his house and at a cybercafé on the neighborhood. Manfred mistrusted his daughter’s word and one week before the crime, went to Daniel’s house to look for them. Unfortunately, he didn’t find anyone. Suzane then, tired of her father’s suspiciousness, planned with Daniel, and his brother, Cristian, the murderer of her parents. She would take half of the patrimony, and Cristian would take every money he found in the house.
On the night of the crime, Suzane left her house around 9:30PM and went to Daniel’s. One hour later, Daniel went alone to Suzane’s house and picked up Andréas, who had a close relationship with both his sister and the brother-in-law. He took him to the cybercafé where their group would occasionally meet. After taking him out of the house, the group picked up Cristian and went to Suzane’s again.
Daniel and Cristian beat Manfred and Marísia to death with an iron bar filled with wood while the couple was asleep. They used tights on their heads and plastic gloves on the hands to make sure they left no forensic evidence. While her parents were being murdered, Suzane planted a robbery scenary on the library. They took R$8,000 (approximately US$16,000), US$5,000 and jewelry. She also left her father’s gun beside him, as an indicative that he tried to react. They get rid of everything used on the crime scene. Suzane and Daniel went to a motel and Cristian went to McDonalds. After their aliby was built, Suzane took her brother, left Daniel at his house and went home.
Around 4AM, Daniel called the police and said he saw a suspicious movement around his girlfriend’s house and asked for a police car at Suzane’s. When they got there, they found Manfred and Marísia already dead. They suspected it wasn’t a robbery from the very start - the house’s security alarm didn’t fire, there weren’t signs of house breaking, the mess on the library seemed fake, and most importantly, the victims faces’ were covered. It happens mostly when the murderer is close to the victim. The von Richthofen couple was buried on the next day. Suzane was there and proved to be an excellent actress, crying a lot and holding her young brother, appearing to be really shocked.
She became a suspect two days after the murderer, when the police went to her home to make a vistory, and found her, her boyfriend a couple of friends laughing and listening to music at the pool. On the next day, they went to her family farm to celebrate her 20th birthday.
College colleagues also found her behaviour suspicious. She was waived from attending the classes, but made sure not to miss a single one. She was always laconic when they tried to comfort her. The deputy Armando Oliveira said she played the orfan only when there were cameras around.
Determined to dig deeper on Suzane and the Cravinhos brothers, the police clipped their phones and were behind them every time. They tought it could take a while, but Cristian made it much easier: he bought a Suzuki motorcycle for US$3,600, paying in cash. Police officers then took him to a police station, where he gave contraditory versions about the motorcycle and ended up confessing the crime. His brother and Suzane were in another room at the same place and confessed too. Suzane and Daniel were convicted to 39 years in prison, and Cristian to 38 years and 6 months.
Nowadays, the Cravinhos brothers don’t talk anymore. Cristian is now in semi-open detention and planning his new life. He said there’s no excuse for what he’s done and don’t expect forgiveness from anyone - he just want to start over. He also claimed that Suzane told him she was sexually abused by Manfred, with Marísia’s consent, and that was why he accepted to be part of the plan. He stopped believing her when she didn’t say anything to the police.
Suzane is still in prison and still wants to take a part on her family’s patrimony. Andréas is doing everything he can to exclude her from anything that belonged to their parents.
Manfred’s mother refuses to believe on Suzane’s guilty and didn’t take her off of her will. She’s leaving to her granddaughter R$50,000 (approximately US$101,000) and a house estimated in R$500,000 (US$1.010,000).