Johann Zollinger

Murder Accomplice, Lautikon, Switzerland, 1780 - 1815

The hamlet Lautikon is the cradle of most of the Zollingers living today, and a magnificent double farmhouse was built there by Heinimann Zollinger in 1665. The house was called the Zollinger House, has several inscriptions naming Zollingers, and Zollingers have lived on that farm until very recent times. The house was completely renovated, and is now under Swiss heritage protection. Around 1800 several Zollinger families lived there, but also a family Bollier, who was related to the Zollingers. Things did not go well in the Bollier household at the time, as husband and wife seem to have fought constantly, and their sons took sides with either mother or father. The couple finally separated, and Heinrich Bollier worked for a farmer on the other side of Lake Z&rich. But revenge never left his thoughts.

At the same time a Johann Zollinger, the son of Jacob Zollinger in the neighboring house had just returned from foreign mercenary service, and found it difficult to fit back into civilian life. It was therefore easy for Bollier to persuade Johann to assist him in "doing away" with his wife. Bollier went to bed at his farm one evening, but as soon as everything was quiet, he crept away, walked down to Lake Z&rich, and rowed across the lake in a boat he had hidden. Arriving on the other side of the lake, he then walked up to Lautikon, where his accomplice Johann was already waiting. The two then stormed into the livingroom of the Bollier home, and clubbed Bollier's wife and the youngest son to death. They then buried the two bodies under the soil of the cellar, and Bollier quickly made his return journey across the lake in time to be "wakened up" by the unsuspecting farmer.

The two murdered persons were soon missed in Lautikon, and a long search finally found the two buried bodies. Johann Zollinger had been careless enough to steal some valuables at the murder scene, and was thus soon arrested. Bollier however had a solid alibi, and was not a suspect. Under arrest, and especially under torture, Johann Zollinger then related the story, and Bollier was finally arrested too. The court case did not only find the two guilty, but also Bollier's other sons as accomplices, as well as the parents of Johann Zollinger for having failed to bring him up properly. This misdemeanor of the parents was punished by ten years incarceration!

Both Bollier and Zollinger were condemned to be executed by beheading, and as additional "punishment" were ordered to be dragged behind a horse through the streets of Zürich. Bollier then had to watch the beheading of Zollinger first, and as a deterrent both their heads were planted on a post for the whole population to see. The much more detailed story was rescued by Gustav Emil Zollinger, and reprinted in his family history book as an appendix, covering some 14 typed pages.

Reference: Gustav Emil Zollinger, Appendix D.

Cheetah   Site designed by Leaping Cheetah Consulting