A piece of paper with a Hamburg phone number puzzles the investigators in the case of the Göhrde murders. Now, thanks to collectors of old telephone books, they are probably taking a decisive step forward.

In 2017, investigators secured hundreds of pieces of evidence in the house and on the property of Göhrde murderer Kurt Werner Wichmann. One of them is of particular interest to the “cold case” unit at the Lüneburg police headquarters: a piece of paper with a Hamburg telephone number. According to “Hamburger Abendblatt”, when you call the number, you only hear the recorded message: “Unfortunately, the number you dialed cannot be reached at the moment. Please try again later.”

Wichmann can no longer be questioned, he committed suicide in custody in 1993. Nevertheless, the investigators want to find out who is behind the phone number. “Of course, this phone number can be relevant for us,” said Julia Grote from the Lüneburg police station NDR. The police are trying to get a complete picture of Wichmann. “Behind this phone number there may be someone who knew him well, had contact with him, with whom we would like to speak.”

Göhrde killer left a note with a Hamburg phone number

Therefore, the police have launched an appeal to get a complete Hamburg phone book from 1989. They are in archives, but there is a problem. The effort of letting people search the entire phone book would be far too great. Therefore, the pages should be scanned. However, digitization would damage the phone book, which is why archives are not available as “donors”. But the appeal to private collectors was successful: “We received more than 50 offers from private individuals and institutions,” police spokeswoman Grote told Stern. “Not all phone books offered were suitable, but the search is over. We are very grateful that we received so much support.”

The phone books are still in the mail. According to Grote, digitization is carried out by an archive. She cannot say how long it will last: “Surely a few days.” There were also other indications of the case, which are now being investigated. The phone number may mean something everyday, like a dentist’s office. But there may also be a person in the end who can tell the police something new about Wichmann and his actions. Incidentally, the police are hoping for dozens of other evidence in the case.

Sources: Lüneburg Police Department, “Hamburger Abendblatt”, NDR.