Update on the Strange Case of the Land Owner who Refuses to pay the Church for a Murder back in 1357
The strange tale of a church in Switzerland demanding that a farmer is paying for a murder which happened in 1357 (1357. 1357!) was one of your favourite stories last year. You’ll be pleased to hear there is an update – the plot thickens, my friends!
A short summary: in 1357 (1357. 1357!) one Konrad Müller allegedly murdered one Heinrich Stucki. To avoid being executed for this crime, he promised to provide the Eternal Light of the aptly named St. Hilarius church in Näfels for all eternity with oil from his walnut trees.
655 (655. 655!) years later, the trees have long gone, and the current farmer refuses to pay about £ 950 for 20 years of Eternal Light Maintenance. Alas the church insists that the current owner of Müller’s land has to pay. While any person with some common sense and decency would think this to be a no-brainer, it’s serious business for the church, and they announced that they’ll take the farmer to court.
But now it looks like Konrad Müller wasn’t a murderer in the first place!
— Theme from Twilight Zone —
Just like in the story of Cain and Abel, old papers talk of a man called Tschudi murdering his brother to claim their father’s land.
Was it fratricide then?
Did Heinrich Stucki live happily ever after and somebody else was murdered?
Are the grumpy ghosts of the Tschudi brothers haunting the church of Näfels?
Or wasn’t there a murder case in the first place?
Saint Osram weeps!
And so did the Bishop of Chur Vitus Huonder, we may assume. He’s responsible for the Näfels sheep of his flock, and offered to pay the bill himself to settle the case peacefully. That came as a surprise, as Bishop Huonder was stuck in 1357, mentally. But be that as it may, neither the president of the church commission nor its lawyer deemed their bishop worthy of a reply. They also refused an offer by the farmer’s neighbour to transfer the “duty” to his own land, and even the judge was ignored when he asked for some common sense.
The church wants its blood money, period.
The court decision is expected any day now. In my opinion, we need neither lawyers nor bishops here, though. We need Sherlock Holmes.