Bouncer jailed for 18 years for killing British heiress he strangled in luxury hotel room in Switzerland

·5-min read
Marc Schatzle strangled Anna Reed, 22, in the couple’s luxury hotel room (Facebook)
Marc Schatzle strangled Anna Reed, 22, in the couple’s luxury hotel room (Facebook)

A nightclub bouncer has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for killing his British heiress girlfriend.

Marc Schatzle strangled Anna Reed, 22, with a towel in the couple’s luxury hotel room on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Switzerland.

The court heard that Ms Reed, from a prominent horse-racing family, had lavished almost £50,000 on Schatzle in their three-month relationship.

But on April 9, 2019 when she threatened to leave him, he killed her.

Schatzle, a heavily-tattooed German body builder and father-of-two, had tried to claim he accidentally suffocated Ms Reed during sex.

But his story was rejected by a panel of judges.

Friday, as he found Schatzle guilty of “intentional homicide”, Judge Mauro Ermani, president of the criminal court in Lugano, said: “It was an intentional homicide of a particularly high level, close to murder.

“His guilt is of a very high degree. He has proven to be able to kill a young woman who had given him love and money, because he was unable to contain his emotions when he felt abandoned.”

The judge said Schatzle’s defence that Ms Reed’s death was the result of a sex game that “ended badly” was “convenient”.

He said: “The woman was killed with an intentional act.

“A death from strangulation is not instantaneous: whoever causes it has time to see what is happening, sees the victim suffocate but does not stop.”

Ms Reed’s devastated family will never know the exact sequence of sordid events in the early hours of April 9, 2019, or even the time of death.

During his trial, Schatzle tried to convince the court that the pair had embarked on a sex game that “ended badly”.

“Anna loved it when I choked her,” he said.

But the prosecution argued he murdered Ms Reed, whom he preyed on for her wealth.

 (Facebook)
(Facebook)

Prosecutor Petra Canonica Alexakis told the court how penniless Schatzle stole Ms Reed’s credit card hours before killing her and hid it in a ceiling panel in the hotel lift only to be discovered five months later.

Just days before her death, Ms Reed informed him she had received £30,000 from a relative. In stark contrast, Schatzle’s bank had blocked his credit card and he had the equivalent of just £163.41 in his pocket.

The prosecutor said: “In February, 12,000 Swiss francs (£9,500) came out of her account. The following month it was 37,000 (£29,200) and by April it was 13,000 (£10,200).

“In all that time Schatzle’s account showed a spend of just 45 Swiss francs (£35).”

Schatzle, 32, was born in Jestetten in Baden-Württemberg, south west Germany.

Thick-set with a shaven-head, he has menacing facial tattoos and his knuckles bear the initials FTW (F*** The World).

Arrogant and selfish, he claimed to have slept with hundreds of women over the years, and had previous convictions.

In 2018 he received an eight-month suspended sentence for assaulting a 17-year-old boy. And in 2015 he was jailed for six months for theft and was ordered to attend drug rehabilitation therapy.

On social media he used the handle “Marc Dirtywhite”. Dirty White is the street slang for raw cocaine. The Dirty White Boys are also a white supremacist group.

Schatzle most recently worked as a nightclub bouncer and lived in the Swiss city of Zurich.

It was here that he met his ex-partner Michele Bochsler, the mother of his two children.

Despite abandoning them and failing to pay child maintenance, she has stood by him.

She said that she believed “one thousand percent” that he did not intentionally kill Ms Reed.

Privately-educated Ms Reed could not have come from a more different background.

She and her sister Millie were raised in Harrogate and attended £10,000-a-year Ashville College.

The Reed family is well known in the area. They run the 300-acre Copgrove Hall Stud, founded by Ms Reed’s great uncle, Guy Reed, a prominent owner and breeder of racehorses.

Ms Reed herself was an accomplished horsewoman and her father Clive is a trustee of the stud. The family also owns property in Monaco.

But in 2014, when Ms Reed was 17, her life was thrown into turmoil when her mother Mary died after falling down stairs having suffered an aneurysm. She was just 49.

Ms Reed was left devastated and, as one friend said, “she went off the rails”.

Poignantly, a crumpled photograph of her mother was found under the bed in the hotel room where Ms Reed died.

Petite Ms Reed, described by friends as “bright, beautiful and bubbly”, was on a year-out - funded by her wealthy father.

 (Facebook)
(Facebook)

She met Schatzle in Thailand just three months before her death. The couple spent time in Berlin before going on holiday to Lake Maggiore.

They checked into La Palma au Lac in Locarno, a 68-room four-star hotel, and paid a premium to secure Room 501, a Junior Suite on the top floor.

After a night out, they returned to the hotel at around 2.30am.

Other guests heard the couple arguing, glass was smashed, the phone was ripped from the socket and the word “money” was clearly heard before Ms Reed yelled: “You’re killing me” or “You’re kidding me”.

It was never determined which of these she screamed.

According to the prosecution, Ms Reed was dead before 4am. But it was not until 6am that Schatzle frantically emerged from the room to alert staff.

Ms Reed’s heartbroken family did not attend the gruelling trial in person.

In an impact statement, her father and sister said: “Anna would light up a room when she walked in and she loved dancing, she loved her friends and she would always take care of them.

“They knew they could count on her and she was very generous.

“Anna was also very sporty. She loved horses, swimming and skiing, she was even learning to be a ski instructor. She was a very spontaneous and sociable person.

“When she died it was her last summer of freedom before getting back to reality as she was going to go to university to study mathematics.”

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