German bouncer who murdered British heiress in luxury hotel begins appeal against 18-year jail term, telling Swiss court it was a ‘strangulation sex game gone wrong’

  • British heiress Anna Reed, 22, was found dead in her luxury hotel room in 2019
  • Marc Schatzle, 33, was convicted of murder last year and sentenced to 18 years
  • He has now appeared in court to appeal, saying Anna died in a sex game
  • But Prosecutor Petra Canonica Alexakis slammed Schatzle saying he had been ‘lying for three years’ and saying his claims were unfounded

An German bouncer who murdered a British heiress and was jailed for 18 years has appeared in court to appeal his conviction – insisting she died in sex game that went tragically wrong.

Anna Reed, 22, was found dead in her luxury hotel room after lover Marc Schatzle, 33, begged staff to call paramedics because she had ‘turned blue’. But this was determined at trial last year to be all part of his attempt to cover his tracks.

During the trial, the Swiss court heard he used Anna’s credit card to go on a lavish spending spree after admitting he ‘liked the finer things in life’.


Marc Schatzle (shown left with Anna Reed), who murdered British heiress Reed (shown left and right) and was jailed for 18 years has appeared in court to appeal his conviction – insisting she died in sex game that went tragically wrong

Then the jury – in the Swiss city of Lugano – was told he had met Anna in Thailand in February 2019 and she had lavished ‘£50,000 on him’ paying for hotels, restaurants, and clothes during their time together.

She was in the Far East after her father Clive had given her around the world ticket as a 21st birthday present and she had also inherited £250,000 from her mother who died in a 2016 domestic accident.

Burly Schatzle callously claimed Anna died when he wrapped a towel around her throat during consensual sex in the bathroom of their five-star hotel La Palme au Lac in picturesque Locarno in April 2019.

But judge Mauro Ermani slammed him as a ‘liar’ adding Schatzle was a ‘dangerous man’ as he sentenced him to 18 years.

His legal team immediately announced they would appeal, and the case began on Tuesday in Locarno, in front of judge Giovanna Roggero-Will.

Schatzle described to the court how they had returned to their hotel at 2am after spending the night drinking in various bars.

He said he ‘tried to hide her credit card’ in a roof space of the elevator light as a ‘joke’ but it had ‘slipped behind a panel and he couldn’t retrieve it’.

Heavily tattooed Schatzle, who was dressed in dark blue trousers, a denim shirt and black braces told the hearing how he and Anna, from Harrogate, north Yorkshire, practiced rough sex.

He and his lawyer Yasar Ravi claim she died because of a sex game that went tragically wrong and are asking for his murder conviction to be overturned and replaced with manslaughter.

During his trial last year, the Swiss court heard Schatzle used Anna’s credit card to go on a lavish spending spree after admitting he ‘liked the finer things in life’ 

Anna had been enjoying a round-the-world trip which she received from her father as a present for her 21st birthday, when she was killed in a Hotel la Palma au Lac in Locarno

Schatzle told the court: ‘Anna liked erotic asphyxiation. She asked me to do it. I used a towel and my hands, I thought everything was ok and then I saw her with her tongue out.

‘Her face was funny and there was a blue mark on her neck. I tried to wake her up. I gave her CPR and then I went downstairs to get help.’

When the judge pointed out a medical report highlighted Anna would have shown ‘signs of suffering and distress’ Schatzle said he had ‘noted nothing’ apart from a ‘puddle of urine’.

Judge Roggero-Will said: ‘It’s impossible that nothing was noted, the victim gives off signal of suffering, according to medical reports.’

He replied: ‘The only thing I saw was she had urinated and that’s when I stopped.’

But prosecutor Petra Canonica Alexakis slammed Schatzle saying he had been ‘lying for three years and his claims of an ‘accident and sex game tragically gone wrong’ were unfounded.

She said: ‘He is a killer and the first trial confirmed this. The first trial didn’t believe it was an erotic game and an accident.

‘There is nothing to confirm his version of events and he has refused to cooperate with investigators from the beginning.

‘If things had gone as he claims, then one would have excepted his attitude to be different but there is nothing to suggest he and Anna Reed practiced erotic asphyxiation or sadomasochism.’

Schatzle callously claimed Anna died when he wrapped a towel around her throat during consensual sex in the bathroom of their five-star hotel La Palme au Lac (pictured)

Ms Canonica Alexakis highlighted how the telephone cable in their room had been found ripped from the wall by investigators and Schatzle had insisted it was already broken.

But she added: ‘We know that’s not true because he ordered room service from reception, and this was confirmed by the hotel staff.

‘Instead, he ripped the cable, maybe Anna was trying to make a call or maybe he did it to stop her calling for help.’

She also highlighted how there were no wounds on Schatzle inflicted by Anna, as she was just 55kg compared to his 105kg and slightly built and that her fingernails were short.

Ms Canonica Alexakis added: ‘Anna hated liars and she hated being lied to and the night she died she had learnt what sort of man Schatzle was.

‘She had been warned about him by a previous boyfriend after he had been tipped by an ex-girlfriend of Schatzle, who said he had manipulated and used her, lying continuously.

‘The night Anna died there was no sex game and there was no attempt at a joke by hiding her credit card in a lift.

‘She died because of an intentional gesture and the medical report revealed wound to her gums consistent with a hand being placed over her mouth.’

Marc Schatzle, who has denied deliberately killing Anna, is believed to have met her in Thailand in February 2019

Anna was described in court as ‘beautiful and wealthy’ with Ms Canonica Alexakis saying Schatzle had ‘only seven Francs in his account and 20 Francs in his wallet’ the fateful night.

She went on: ‘But he knew that a Visa card Anna had was preloaded with 25,000 Swiss Francs which may not seem much but to a man who has nothing it was enough to use to flee the country.

‘That’s why after killing Anna he set about falsifying the scene. He hid her credit card in the lift to retrieve later because we know guests along the corridor heard heavy footsteps that morning.

‘He put her body in a bath of warm water to delay the time of death, but the paramedics were suspicious when they arrived because of the colour and texture of her skin.

‘Schatzle waited to raise the alarm, maybe as much as two hours because he wanted to take the time to save his own skin.

‘He simulated an accident in the bathroom before raising the alarm but let’s remember how he raised the alarm he took the elevator to the reception.

‘Would you not rush down the stairs if you were in that situation instead of eating for the lift? And it was noticed he had taken the time to tie his shoes and get dressed.’

Ms Canonica Alexakis added: ‘Anna was certainly disinhibited when it came to sex but she was not into rough sex or erotic asphyxiation – her friends and ex-boyfriend have confirmed it.

‘Schatzle was not into sado masochism or rough sex – two of his ex-partners have confirmed this it’s only he who says they were but we all know he is a liar.’

The case continues.

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