32-year-old Matthias Schoormann, AKA Troll, had played guitar in a black metal band from Leer, Germany known as Carpe Noctem (Seize the Night) from 1997 until the band parted ways in 2004. While his musical career may have been short-lived, Schoormann was determined to leave some sort of legacy for himself.
According to Cliff Dearling’s book, Blood on the Information Superhighway, Bianca Brust had been an acquaintance of Schoormann. Having a longtime crush on the fresh-faced medical assistant, Schoormann had asked Brust to go on a date with him on multiple occasions. Each time Brust had rebuffed his requests. For weeks, Schoormann’s interest had begun to spiral into an obsession and on February 20, 2008, Schoormann invited his longtime love interest over to his apartment.
Brust agreed to meet Schoorman as he had requested. There, Schoormann began to make advances towards Brust, which she shot down. Schoormann had anticipated Brust to shoot down these advances, as she had done in the past. According to police, weeks prior to the encounter, Schoormann had begun selling off his furniture and other possessions. Schoormann may have anticipated the rejection, but rather than walking away like a dog with its tail between its legs as he had done in the past, Schoormann grabbed Brust and strangled her to death.
The story could have ended right there, but anyone who knows anything about black metal understands that the theatrical spectacle is something artists within the genre are legendary for and Schoormann was not about let this murder investigation drag on quietly. He wanted a show.
Pulling out a camera, Schoormann began posing Brust’s body and taking pictures. First, he posed her as if she were asleep, but the photos quickly escalated further into depravity.
Schoormann had chopped off her head. More photos were taken of Brust’s head sitting on a desk, one of which sunglasses were placed on her. Other photos were of the rest of Brust’s nude body, provocatively posed, and wearing only black knee-high boots. It is unclear whether or not Schoormann had done anything sexual with the body.
Proud of his handiwork, Schoormann turned to a place on the internet where he thought his work would receive the most positive reception. Life of Debauchery is just one of several message boards that exist on the internet where users can share graphic images taken from crime scenes and other sources. Though Schoormann had been registered with the website for several months, users say he was mostly a lurker.
Under the moniker “I H8 U,” Schoormann posted his photos in a post titled “Dead Whore.” Schoormann wrote nothing else in the post except for smiley faces under each photo.
Initially, the users believed the photoset to be staged. Possible props for a horror film. Quickly their state of disbelief turned to one of shock and concern when they realized that the corpse had been fresh and the poster had been the murderer himself
A moderator for the message board named Wolfbitch [Link NSFW] later explained the events that had transpired to other users.
“… We had a user named I H8 U who joined in February of 2008. Just about the same night as he posted a series of 20 pictures. And probably the same night as he’d committed the murders. I still wonder why he chose LoD …, on or around 2/28/08. I was contacted by the Kriminalhauptkommissar of Leer, Germany. The person who contacted me, E. B., was the lead investigator on the crime, although in his first email he didn’t specify that a crime had been committed and that he only wished to contact me as the owner of LoD.
I replied that although I would be happy to cooperate, I really had no way of knowing that he was indeed a police officer, and would need some way to verify his identity. To be honest, the first email I thought was a joke that one of you assholes was playing on me.
It wasn’t. His second email gave me his phone number, the phone number of the police station, a contact, and he stated that he would fax me a certificate of proof. I asked for the fax and got it – full of official seals, all in German (which I had translated by someone here). Yes, it was real, and yes, I almost wet my pants … I gave the police what I could, which was very little … “
Moderators were alerted to the post and attempted to reach out to “I H8 U” through a private message. Shortly after attempting to initiate contact with the user, the post disappeared. To this day, no one is sure if it was Schoormann, a moderator, or the police who logged into the account and removed the photos from the website. This did not stop other users from saving the photos before they vanished forever and they continue to pop up on various gore sites and message boards.
After posting the photos, Schoormann then set a fire inside his apartment, placed Brust’s head into a backpack, and drove off in his red Ford Escort. Firefighters responding to the blaze were able to get the fire contained relatively quickly and noticed the headless corpse inside the apartment. Investigators arrived at the scene, only to receive a call over the radio that there had been a fatal car wreck several blocks away.
At the scene of the wreck, police found Schoormann dead behind the wheel. He had driven head first into a semi-truck. Inside the backpack, police found the head of Bianca Brust. The photos Schoormann was later discovered to have posted online were shown to Brust’s family in order to identify her body.