Five dead in Austrian family axe murder

Vienna  -  A 39-year old Austrian man is believed to have killed five members of his family, among them his 7-year-old daughter with an axe, authorities said on Wednesday.

The man turned himself in during the early hours of Thursday in Vienna, telling police he had killed his wife and daughter, after apparently failing to commit suicide, police said.

Police found the bodies of the two victims in the family's apartment in Vienna.

The man, who worked as a freelance consultant, later also admitted to having murdered his parents and father-in-law in the province Upper Austria.

Their bodies were discovered Wednesday morning at their homes in two towns Ansfelden and Linz, about 170 kilometres from Vienna.

In what police described as "very brutal attacks" the man killed first his mother and then his father who had been asleep in front of the TV, before killing his father-in-law when he opened the door.

All victims were killed with blows to the head with an axe found in the suspect's car. Those murders, to which the man also admitted, were probably committed Tuesday evening, police officials said.

A possible motive for the crime was that the alleged murderer had lost some 100,000 euros in speculation deals, officials were quoted as saying by the Austrian press agency. (dpa)

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