Post-arrest news in the case of Denise Thiem


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MinaKamina

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Jacobspad 2017
Today on the third day of the trial, the Chief Inspector of the National Police in Astorga and other police officers testified about the investigation, the arrest and the reconstruction of the crime. The investigation into the disappearance of Denise Thiem was 'titanic'. The Police followed many leads, even outside Spain.
The accused, MAMB was a suspect from the beginning, because he had previously attacked two other peregrinas and locals had seen how he harassed other pilgrims.
During the searches for Denise, the police also visited him. He appeared nervous and never told them he had found the backpack or the money. He never participated in any of the searches even though these took place in the vicinity of his house.
In September 2015 MAMB voluntarily confessed to the facts and explained in detail how he had killed Denise. He directed and dominated the reconstruction of the crime. The Police say that he knew exactly what he was doing, and telling (and withholding). They saw no indications of any mental or psychological illness of the accused. He was very precise about both the locations of the body.
According to the Police, MAMB boasted that they would not have found the remains of Denise without him.

http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias...ncipal-sospechoso-primer-momento_1145459.html
http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias...ariamente-habia-matado-peregrina_1145495.html
http://www.leonoticias.com/leon/201703/15/miguel-angel-dirigio-reconstruccion-20170315112220.html
 

Saint Mike II

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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Thanks Mina - a very good summary of the trial proceedings. Please continue to post any relevant sections - or maybe wait until a verdict is rendered. Cheers
 

notion900

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Camino(s) past & future
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@Saint Mike II - @MinaKamina is only translating what is in the Spanish press, which is making a very factual and unsensational report of what was said in the court room. I don't see why Denise's family would object to that. Not everyone can read Spanish: I can, but technical accounts of a trial are right at the limit of my capabilities. @MinaKamina it would be great if you could carry on if you have time. People who don't want to read it are not compelled to do so.
 
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Anemone del Camino

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@Saint Mike II - @MinaKamina is only translating what is in the Spanish press, which is making a very factual and unsensational report of what was said in the court room. I don't see why Denise's family would object to that. Not everyone can read Spanish: I can, but technical accounts of a trial are right at the limit of my capabilities. @MinaKamina it would be great if you could carry on if you have time. People who don't want to read it are not compelled to do so.
I have to say that I had never read such a detailed and descriptive press report of any crime before. Will not be going back for more.
 

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JP

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Camino Frances 2014 - Camino Portuguese 2016 (Coimbra to Albergaria-A-Velha) - Camino Frances 2017.
There was a small article in our local paper about the trial, the accused refuses to speak.
 
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William Marques

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I would also like to remind people that this thread is dedicated to news of the case and I would ask that if possible you keep opinions of this and any other case to yourselves. I will consult with other mods whether we should remove a number of recent posts which have diverted from the topic.
 

MTtoCamino

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Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Today on the third day of the trial, the Chief Inspector of the National Police in Astorga and other police officers testified about the investigation, the arrest and the reconstruction of the crime. The investigation into the disappearance of Denise Thiem was 'titanic'. The Police followed many leads, even outside Spain.
The accused, MAMB was a suspect from the beginning, because he had previously attacked two other peregrinas and locals had seen how he harassed other pilgrims.
During the searches for Denise, the police also visited him. He appeared nervous and never told them he had found the backpack or the money. He never participated in any of the searches even though these took place in the vicinity of his house.
In September 2015 MAMB voluntarily confessed to the facts and explained in detail how he had killed Denise. He directed and dominated the reconstruction of the crime. The Police say that he knew exactly what he was doing, and telling (and withholding). They saw no indications of any mental or psychological illness of the accused. He was very precise about both the locations of the body.
According to the Police, MAMB boasted that they would not have found the remains of Denise without him.

http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias...ncipal-sospechoso-primer-momento_1145459.html
http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias...ariamente-habia-matado-peregrina_1145495.html
http://www.leonoticias.com/leon/201703/15/miguel-angel-dirigio-reconstruccion-20170315112220.html
Thank you for translating, it is important to follow this imho all the way.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
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Jacobspad 2017
On Thursday, day 4 of the trial, members of various Police forces testified in court.
Aftrer his arrest, MAMB decided spontaneously to tell the police where 'the girl was'. He led the police to a remote woodland behind a long stone fence near Castrillo de los Polvazares. 'He knew exactly where he was going.'
Once the remains of Denise were found, he showed relief, like a burden had been lifted from his shoulders. Apparently, this is a typical gesture of murderers who are not professionals.
The Scientific Police testified about the state the body was in when it was located. On September 21, they investigated the first burial place and found what later turned out to be a toenail of Denise.
MAMB had moved the body to the second burial place on a night with no moon. He was all dressed in black and wore a balaclava and gloves. Het put the body in a black plastic bag and used guerilla tactics 'which he knows well' to avoid being discovered. He dragged and carried the bag over a distance of 5 kms.

During the reconstruction, MAMB told police officers that he killed Denise because she cast him a disapproving look.

The village mayor of Castrillo de los Polvazares had informed the investigation that MAMB had installed observation posts similar to those used by hunters, to watch and observe the pilgrims passing through the area, especially peregrinas. The investigation combined this information with reports of previous attacks on peregrinas near the home of MAMB. He became a main person of interest, but there were various lines of investigation, into all violent offenders in the region als well as people known to harass peregrinas.

http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias...o-denise-palo-porque-le-miro-mal_1145959.html
http://www.leonoticias.com/leon/201703/16/asesino-confeso-denise-mostro-20170316102839.html
http://www.leonoticias.com/leon/201703/16/asesino-confeso-instalo-puestos-20170316120952.html
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
Today, two years - and almost to the hour - after all traces of pilgrim Denise Thiem were lost, the popular jury issued a GUILTY verdict to MAMB, the only person accused of the muder and robbery of the pilgrim. The sentencing will be done in the coming days. The prosecution demands 25 years imprisonment for murder and robbery with violence. The private prosecution demands 27 years, because of the increased cruelty and the suffering that MAMB caused the family of Denise.

Initially, MAMB confessed to a crime that what less severe than the findings of the autopsy. During the trial, it became clear that there is no proof that the crime happened in the sequence that MAMB indicated, nor the location for that matter. It is possible that his version is correct, but other sequences cannot be excluded. The findings of the entomological experts indicate that, given the absence of certain insects on the remains, Denise was initially not buried in the way MAMB said, but confined to a small and secluded place where insects could not reach her.
The state of progressive decomposition that the body was in, prevented to determine if she was also victim of a sexual assault. There are certain clues and indications that this might be the case. The Prosecution admits that they have no proof, but it cannot be excluded either. During the reconstruction, MAMB allegedly said that 'the longer it takes, the less proof there will be'.

Diario de León has made an overview of the questions that remain open after the trial. I have an English translation available, if you would like it, let me know in a PM.

Denise Thiem was a prudent and cautious traveller. She would have been alive today if the information about the specific dangers to female pilgrims in the area had been available to pilgrims.

In your comments, please refrain from mentioning any special spiritual connection with Denise or pretending to know how she might be feeling now. Thank you.

http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/04/05/inenglish/1491392324_032637.html
http://www.diariodeleon.es/noticias/provincia/sombras-caso-thiem_1150180.html
 

JabbaPapa

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http://www.azcentral.com/story/news...slaying-arizona-woman-denise-thiem/100069804/

A jury on Wednesday found a Spanish man guilty of killing an Arizona woman while she was walking a world-renowned pilgrimage route in Spain in 2015.

Miguel Angel Munoz, 41, was convicted of killing Denise Pikka Thiem, 41, from Litchfield Park, who went missing in April 2015 in a rural area of northwestern Spain's Leon province while on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela.

Munoz was arrested five months later and led investigators to Thiem's partly buried body.

He originally confessed to the killing but later retracted and claimed he only found the body.

The nine-member jury also found Munoz guilty of stealing more than $1,100 dollars from Thiem.

A judge will decide the sentence.

Prosecutors have asked for him to be given up to 27 years in jail for homicide and five years for theft with violence.

The trial took place last month in Leon city.

The jury found Thiem was diverted from the pilgrimage trail by a marker Munoz put up to confuse pilgrims and lead them near his house.


According to the coroner's report, she died as a result of serious brain injuries caused by repeated beatings.
 

Saint Mike II

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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
My Facebook page has a report that the only suspect in the murder of Denise has been found guilty. I have tried to copy the link but without success. The story was posted by a Faith Walker and comes from "elpais.com".

Whilst nothing can bring Denise back her family, especially her mother, can now bring her home and lay her to rest to be remembered with all the love they have. RIP Denise
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news...slaying-arizona-woman-denise-thiem/100069804/

A jury on Wednesday found a Spanish man guilty of killing an Arizona woman while she was walking a world-renowned pilgrimage route in Spain in 2015.

Miguel Angel Munoz, 41, was convicted of killing Denise Pikka Thiem, 41, from Litchfield Park, who went missing in April 2015 in a rural area of northwestern Spain's Leon province while on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela.

Munoz was arrested five months later and led investigators to Thiem's partly buried body.

He originally confessed to the killing but later retracted and claimed he only found the body.

The nine-member jury also found Munoz guilty of stealing more than $1,100 dollars from Thiem.

A judge will decide the sentence.

Prosecutors have asked for him to be given up to 27 years in jail for homicide and five years for theft with violence.

The trial took place last month in Leon city.

The jury found Thiem was diverted from the pilgrimage trail by a marker Munoz put up to confuse pilgrims and lead them near his house.


According to the coroner's report, she died as a result of serious brain injuries caused by repeated beatings.

Unfortunately, AZ Central has a new reporter on this case, and it shows.
In Spain, the presiding judge hands a list with questions to the popular jury. The jury has to answer all questions with 'proven'or 'not proven'. The answers to these questions are the groundwork for their final verdict of guilty / not guilty.
One of the questions that this jury had to answer, referred to the yellow arrow that would have been altered by the accused. The jury concluded that it was NOT proven that he did that.

The expected sentence for MAMB will be 20 years for assassination and 5 years for robbery with violence, 25 years in total, in accordance with the request of the public prosecutor.
 

notion900

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Camino(s) past & future
>
I want to say thanks at this point to all who helped bring him to justice. A special mention to the vigilant bank clerk in Astorga who spotted the suspicious deposit and reported it to police, as he or she started the chain of investigation which led to the arrest.

And I would like to share a link to a nice photo of the new mural in Ponferrada
The wording in the red symbol is Stop Violencia de Género - Stop Gender Violence.
I believe the image is supposed to be reminiscent of Denise, rather than a specific likeness.
I think creating it was a lovely gesture.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
I want to say thanks at this point to all who helped bring him to justice. A special mention to the vigilant bank clerk in Astorga who spotted the suspicious deposit and reported it to police, as he or she started the chain of investigation which led to the arrest.

And I would like to share a link to a nice photo of the new mural in Ponferrada
The wording in the red symbol is Stop Violencia de Género - Stop Gender Violence.
I believe the image is supposed to be reminiscent of Denise, rather than a specific likeness.
I think creating it was a lovely gesture.
Hi notion900, it became clear during the trial that the clerk did not report the find until September. Her report is important, because she helped secure the conviction for robbery. The man now convicted stood out as a suspect almost from the beginning, due to his known behaviour, the changes in that behaviour after the disappearance of Denise, and the fact that female pilgrims had been violently attacked near his house on earlier occasions - after he came to live there. The Police investigated all other offenders with a record of harassing peregrinas in the area, so as not to be guilty of tunnel vision. The big shock - at least for me - was that there are so many of them.

Denise herself helped the investigation enormeously, because she regularly reported home, she told her friends about her plans to walk to El Ganso and it soon became clear that others had advised her to visit Castrillo de los Polvazares. This put her in an area where a known predator lived, at a time when very few people would be around.
 

natefaith

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My Facebook page has a report that the only suspect in the murder of Denise has been found guilty. I have tried to copy the link but without success. The story was posted by a Faith Walker and comes from "elpais.com".
Hi @Saint Mike II, that would've been me on Facebook (Faith Walter), and I had linked to the El Pais article found in Mina Kamina's post here from Wednesday, April 5, above: http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/04/05/inenglish/1491392324_032637.html
 

Saint Mike II

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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Hola Faith - yes it came up, almost out of nowhere, I am still not at all sure how it came to me. Something associated with "Camino Documentary" (or similar comes to mind). Still it was finally (for her family) some good news - and within days of the second anniversary of her murder. Also another big thankyou to both of you for organising the fund raising for Ivar's new bub. Cheers
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
Dalia Thiem, mother of pilgrim Denise, has given an interview to El Mundo. "She [Denise] was not the only one who died that day. The person who murdered her also killed the Thiem family." The family had known right away that something was wrong when Denise stopped making contact, but, to this day, her mother hopes that Denise will step through the door and the nightmare will end. She found out abot MAMB when she saw a video on the internet that named him as the murderer of Denise. The Police explained later they could not inform them about an investigation that was ongoing. Dalia is convinced that MAMB is guilty, because no one but the murderer would have known the spot were she was buried.

The Thiem family had to wait very long before they were given permission to take Denise's remains home. The delay was due to another autopsy that the defense wanted done and additional evidence that they wanted to collect, but in the end, that autopsy never happened.

Once the sentencing is done, Dalia Thiem hopes for peace for Denise and the family and that no parent will ever have to go through a pain like theirs. She thanks all the people in Spain who have helped them.

http://www.elmundo.es/sociedad/2017/04/10/58e78c4ce2704eba178b45de.html
 

MinaKamina

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Jacobspad 2017
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wayfarer

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I think the time has come to close this thread now that sentencing is complete. Thank you Laurie for opening this thread and also to Mina and all the others who posted respectfully and sensitively on this whole case.
May Denise Rest in Peace and her family find peace.
 

peregrina2000

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I think the time has come to close this thread now that sentencing is complete. Thank you Laurie for opening this thread and also to Mina and all the others who posted respectfully and sensitively on this whole case.
May Denise Rest in Peace and her family find peace.
I just wanted to concur with the decision to close this thread. Undoubtedly there are many aspects of Spanish criminal law and procedure that seem unusual to those of us from other places. But I appreciate how people have been so respectful and measured in their posts. Now it's up to us to remember Denise in our own way, privately and offline.
 
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