New DNA-sharing policies yield a big find
European police agencies recently began a massive exchange of DNA data for unsolved crimes, and the effort is clearly bearing fruit. A 29 year-old Polish man named Dariusz Pawel Kotwica is in police custody and has been dubbed "the first continent-wide serial killer ever caught."
Kotwica was caught in Germany, where he quickly admitted to the rape, torture, and murder of an elderly Austrian couple who were found bludgeoned and stabbed to death last May, and the similar murder of an elderly woman in Sweden a month beforehand. Kotwica is implicated in the violent rape and murder of people across Europe, in six different countries including Britain.
The Treaty of Prum was enacted in 2005, and designed to help catch illegal immigration by allowing for suspect DNA and fingerprints to be shared across European borders.
Kotwica claims that voices inside his head urged him to kill. He says that he feels great "joy" from torturing his victims, and also painted odd phrases on their bodies. He painted either "tantalum" (the name of the chemical element) or "tantum ergo" (meaning "only then") on the body of the 74 year-old woman in Austria after raping her.
The list of crimes Kotwica will be tried for continues to grow. Austrian authorities have tied him to an attempted murder after a shoplifting, a case of "grievous bodily harm" in the Netherlands, and possible murders in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Kotwica is currently awaiting trial in Austria.