In their hands, the two girls each hold a plastic cup with orange bubble tea, a trendy drink popular with young people that originally comes from Taiwan. The mobile phone camera is placed on the floor and pointed at the two, next to each other they squat in front of it. The girl on the left of the picture skillfully sinks her red straw through the sealing foil: "One, two, three!" The right, on the other hand, has a hard time, her straw gets stuck, the fruit tea drips out of top, but her friend wants to edit the video afterwards anyway, as can be heard from her at the beginning.

Johanna Christner

Editor in the Society & Style department.

  • Follow I follow

Filming their everyday lives and sharing it with the Internet via the video platform Tiktok – not unusual behavior for two girls in puberty. However, according to the author of the video, the child on the right is Luise from Freudenberg. "I miss her so much, this world is so unfair," reads a longer text underneath. "She always helped me with my problems and made me laugh, she really had a heart of gold."

The twelve-year-old Luise was stabbed last Saturday in the city on the southeastern edge of North Rhine-Westphalia, apparently by two girls of the same age. The alleged perpetrators went with Luise in a class, in the seventh grade of the Esther-Bejarano-Gesamtschule in Freudenberg. They are 13 and twelve years old, both confessed to the crime in the presence of their relatives, they were handed over to the youth welfare office. Due to their age, the girls are considered incapable of guilt before criminal law, they are not threatened with criminal consequences, and investigators do not disclose any details about them to protect the minors. With the permission of a family court, the alleged perpetrators could be placed in a child and adolescent psychiatric institution.

"Show their faces!"

Many users on Tiktok apparently consider this to be a gap in the justice system: The children belong in prison, it is often said there. And the girls who are said to have stabbed Luise, they want to have found themselves – without the help of the investigators. It takes a few seconds until the photos of the alleged perpetrators, edited into videos, can be found after entering the keywords "Luise" and "Freudenberg". "Show their faces!" writes one TikTok user in capital letters, "Murderess," writes another. The denounced girls would not have deserved it otherwise, because if the justice failed, a punishment would at least take place here, on Tiktok. Again and again, among the videos that are supposed to show one of the alleged perpetrators: "She was your best friend." One user wrote: "When your chair was empty at school today, we knew what was going on."

Numerous Tiktok users distribute short obituaries in video format, unpixelated photos of Luise, accompanied by violin or piano music, in a video a remix of "Summertime Sadness" by the American artist Lana del Rey runs. Around the silhouette of Luise they lay animated angel wings, images of saints, weeping emojis. "The case breaks me as if she had been my sister," someone wrote. A young man publishes his video under the hashtag "TruecrimeTiktok". With a serious, lowered gaze, he speaks to the camera and describes the Luise case while sitting in a gaming chair. The room is darkened, only his desk is lit, church music plays in the background.