When 14-year-old Kalinka was found dead in 1982, her father Andre Bamberski, a quietly-spoken man, took the law into his own hands. For three long decades Andre Bamberski waged a tireless campaign to win justice for the daughter he was sure had been murdered. Pretty, sports-mad Kalinka, 14, was found dead in suspicious circumstances.
The abduction of Dr. Dieter Krombach began in the village of Scheidegg, in southern Germany. His three kidnappers punched him in the face, tied him up, gagged him, and threw him in the back of their car. They drove 150 miles, crossing the border into the Alsace region of France, with Krombach stretched out on the floor between the seats. The car stopped in the town of Mulhouse.
An accomplice called the local police and stayed on the line just long enough to deliver a bizarre instruction: “Go to the rue de Tilleul, across from the customs office,” the anonymous caller said. “You’ll find a man tied up.” A few minutes later, two police cars arrived at the scene, their red and blue patrol lights illuminating the street. Behind an iron gate, in a dingy courtyard between two four-story buildings, Krombach lay on the ground. His hands and feet were bound and his mouth was gagged. He was roughed up but very much alive. When the police removed the covering from his mouth, the first thing he said was “Bamberski is behind it.”
The French septuagenarian André Bamberski to whom Krombach referred was, on the face of it, an unlikely kidnapper. Until 1982, he had been a mild-mannered accountant and the adoring father of a lively young girl, Kalinka. That year, Kalinka attended a French-language high school in the small German city of Freiburg, as a boarder, and spent most weekends and summers in nearby Lindau, with Bamberski’s ex-wife and her new husband, Dieter Krombach.