Two Gruesome Murders Shock Army Unit Heading Home from Fulda Gap
FULDA, Germany (AP) _ Two gruesome killings have shocked U.S. soldiers and their families as they pack up and prepare for the closing of their army base after 40 years.
On Oct. 4, military prosecutors say, Spec. Edward A. Ricard III smashed his 1-year-old daughter against a wall and then threw her off his fourth-floor balcony in Fulda.
Tuesday night, Sgt. Stephen J. Schap allegedly killed Spec. Gregory W. Glover, 21, at Sickels Army Air Base, where they worked repairing and supplying helicopters. He believed Glover was having an affair with his wife, officials said.
They said Schap, 26, cut Glover’s head off with a knife, then drove to the hospital where his wife Diana, 26, was being treated for a difficult pregnancy. Schap was said to have placed the head on his wife’s night table, faced toward her.
Schap was brought to a U.S. military prison in Mannheim on Thursday for investigation of murder, and will be tried in a U.S. military court. He was not immediately charged.
The killings have shaken members of the military community, who are in the middle of rearranging their lives as the Army abandons the Fulda Gap, the valley on the old east-west German border through which NATO figured Russian tanks might some day push into western Europe.
The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which once had 3,500 troops in the Fulda area, plans to close its base in March. There’s a moving truck on every block of the off-base housing complex for military families.
Both of the alleged murderers came from T Troop, a unit of about 30 men that is scheduled to be gone by the end of January. The killings have been especially disturbing for that unit’s families.
″They’re calling T Troop TERROR Troop now,″ said Maria Kamali, whose husband, Sgt. Richard Kamali, is a T Troop helicopter crew chief. ″That’s how Fulda is going to remember us.″
The town of Fulda has been sorry to see the departure of the 11th Cav, as it’s known. Mayor Wolfgang Hamberger even went to the Pentagon to lobby for the base after the closing was announced in July.
″I don’t think these tragedies have anything to do with the drawdown,″ said Hamberger’s aide, Klaus Krollop. ″And they don’t affect our friendship with the Americans.″
Supply Sgt. Kevin Campbell, 27, has been doing his best to keep his three young children from hearing about the killings. He’s staying focused on his transfer next week to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis.
″I hate moving. It causes a lot of stress,″ he said as movers hauled a couch out of his living room.
″Did stress cause Schap to do it? I can’t say.″
″My husband, Ricky, says to me, ’stress isn’t what’s happening here,‴ said Mrs. Kamali. ″It’s just that everybody has different buttons. Somebody pushed this guy’s buttons and he flipped.″
Glover, the 21-year-old victim, from Phoenix, had been speaking on the phone to Mrs. Schap in her hospital room moments before his death.
His last words were, ‴Here comes your husband,′ and then the phone went dead,″ said Dr. Georg Habermann, quoting Mrs. Schap.
The body, which one official said also had stab wounds, was found next to a phone booth.
Habermann, the chief physician at Herz-Jesu Hospital, said he and two other doctors ran into Mrs. Schap’s room after hearing her screams. They found Schap sitting at the foot of the bed.
Schap’s sweatshirt was bloody, the room covered with blood. The head appeared clean, its eyes shut, Habermann said.
Schap, a tall man with blond hair, let Habermann call the police, but insisted the head not be moved. He spoke for 15 minutes about his wife’s alleged infidelity.
Mrs. Schap spoke only once, Habermann said. ″She said ’That’s not true.‴