Bönnigheim Crime Scene Tour!

Renactment of the murder.
Renactment of the murder of Bönnigheim’s mayor at the crime scene. Photo by Boris Lehner, courtesy of the city of Bönnigheim.

This city crime scene tour delivers American history in an exciting true crime package.

In a rare German murder case that was solved 37 years later in America, an assassin gunned down Bönnigheim’s mayor in 1835. He fled to the United States and became the first soldier to die defending Robert E. Lee in battle. Why couldn’t the German investigator solve the case? What was the murderer’s escape route? Why was Robert E. Lee so impressed with the assassin? And how did someone in Washington, DC solve the case? Author and former American prosecutor Ann Marie Ackermann will guide you through the crime scene and delve into those questions. We’ll examine the physical evidence, follow the murderer’s escape route using the investigating magistrate’s crime scene sketch, and learn how the magistrate made criminal history by inventing forensic ballistics. And of course, we’ll tie that all into American history.

Buckshot with striations -- one of the pieces of evidence you'll examine on this crime scene tour.
Buckshot with striations — one of the pieces of evidence you’ll examine on this tour. Photo courtesy of Volker Shäfer, Landeskriminalamt (Baden-Württemberg State Police).

Next public crime scene tour in English:

The city of Bönnigheim sponsors regularly scheduled crime scene tours. The next is on June 2, 2019, 2:00 p.m., followed by a book signing. In an old German tradition of the Moritatensänger or Bänkellieder (murder mystery ballads) a minstrel will accompany us with English verses. Starting place: Palace courtyard, Hauptstrasse 15, Bönnigheim. Cost: €5 per person. No advance registration necessary.

Schedule my own crime scene tour

I offer crime scene tours in both English and German. Please click on the dates you want on the calendar below and you’ll hear back from me.  I charge €40.00 for up to 50 participants; if you have more participants, I charge an extra Euro per person.

Book my crime scene tour with a traditional German minstrel

Crime Scene Tours with a Traditional Minstrel
Crime Scene Tours with a Traditional Minstrel

Subject to his availability, I also offer tours with a professional German minstrel who sings verses in either English or German, composed especially for this murder case. Crime minstrels hail back to an old German tradition of murder mystery ballads. They were a popular way to tell crime stories from the Middle Ages up until the 19th century. The minstrel’s music and lyrics will transport you back to another time and place.

Crime Scene Tours with musical accompaniment cost an extra €100.00. Click on the dates you want below and I’ll contact you with the details.

Book my crime scene tour now!

To book, please contact me at info@annmarieackermann.com.

Bönnigheim's mayor unveiling a monument to the murder victim during a city tour in September 2015.
Bönnigheim’s mayor and I unveiling a monument to the murder victim during a crime scene tour in September 2015.

Praise for Bönnigheim’s crime scene tour

If you are looking for a different type of tour for your group, I highly recommend a “Crime Scene Tour” by Ann Marie Ackermann. A combination of history and detective work to solve a murder over 150+ years old.  You visit the actual locations and Ann Marie uses audience participation to make it more interesting for the group. I will be bringing more groups to Bönningheim for this tour.

Kathy Wurth, Family Tree Tours

Was geschah genau am 23. Oktober des Jahres 1835 am Schloss? Die frühere US-Staatsanwältin Ann Marie Ackermann recherchierte lange über den Mord am damaligen Bürgermeister Johannes Heinrich Rieber und stellte ihre Ergebnisse vor.

Uwe Deecke, Bietigheimer Zeitung, 29 September 2015

Eine wirklich sehr gute Führung,  mit vielen und  spannenden Informationen, über den Bürgermeister Mord vor rund 200 Jahren.

Jürgen Uhlich

Wir möchten uns noch mal ganz herzlich für die Führung auf den Spuren des Mörders, vom Sonntag, bedanken. Es war sehr interessant und kurzweilig! Überhaupt bietet Bönnigheim in jeder Hinsicht und für jeden Geschmack immer wieder etwas Neues.

Helga Scheerer






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