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Dieter Riechmann

Florida Death Row Inmate


Dieter Riechmann

Dieter Riechmann

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On November 4, 1988, Kersten Kischnick was shot to death while she sat in the passenger seat of Riechmann’s rental car. Dieter Riechmann claimed that a stranger shot Kischnick when they stopped to ask directions in Miami Beach and that after the shooting, he drove around Miami in a panic trying to find help. Riechmann, however, was not able to provide details about the shooting.

Riechmann and Kischnick had been together for 13 years and had come from Germany to visit Florida. The prosecutors believed that Riechmann killed her for financial gain. They theorized that Riechmann was Kischnick’s pimp, and he killed Kischnick when she wanted to stop working as a prostitute. Furthermore, Riechmann had taken out more than $961,000 in German life insurance policies on Kischnick between 1978 and 1985.

These policies included homicide as accidental death and therefore, Riechmann would be able to collect on Kischnick’s death, even if she was murdered. Riechmann and Kischnick also filed reciprocal wills naming each other as the sole heir of each other’s estates in June of 1987. Finally, Riechmann used his Diner’s Club Card to rent the car, which also insured the passengers.

The police searched Riechmann’s motel room and found three firearms and ammunition. An expert firearm examiner determined that the bullet used to kill Kischnick was the same kind as the ones found in Riechmann’s room and that two of the three firearms could have been used to shoot Kischnick.

An expert for the prosecution determined that Riechmann had fired a gun based upon the police swab of his hand to test for gunpowder residue at the scene. A defense expert, however, argued that this only proved that Riechmann was in the vicinity of the gun as it was fired.

A serologist, provided by the State, testified that the blood found within the driver’s side of the car could not have splattered where it did if someone had been sitting in the driver’s seat. Furthermore, Riechmann should have had blood splatters on his clothing rather than the blood stains according to the state’s serologist expert witness.

Source: Florida Commission on Capital Cases

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