In Depth

Ana Kriegel murder: the trial of two schoolboys that shocked Ireland

Teenagers found guilty of murdering 14-year-old girl in Dublin

Two Irish boys have been found guilty of the murder of 14-year-old Ana Kriegel, a year after the schoolgirl was sexually assaulted and battered to death.

The middle-class boys were both 13 at the time of the killing, which has shocked Ireland. Ana’s body was found in a derelict farmhouse in the Dublin suburb of Lucan on 17 May 2018, three days after she went missing.

She was wearing only socks and had scratches and cuts all over her body. It was a “very violent death” and Ana had “fought for her life”, a court in the Irish capital was told.

Following the convictions, Ana’s adoptive parents told reporters she had been “a dream come true for us and always will be”. Patric and Geraldine Kriegel adopted Ana, who was born in Russia, when she was two.

The two boys, both now 14, are identified only as Boy A and Boy B. As the verdicts were announced, says The Irish Times, Boy A’s parents wept and hugged their son. Boy B’s father clapped sarcastically at gardai (police) officers and said: “You bunch of scumbags, you bunch of pricks … innocent boy.”

Who was Ana Kriegel?

Ana had poor vision and hearing because of a childhood tumour that had been surgically removed. According to The Guardian, Geraldine Kriegel told the court her daughter was “a kind, vulnerable soul who loved to sing and dance at home but struggled in her studies and tried in vain to make friends”.

When was she last seen alive?

Ana was at home with her father on Monday 14 May when the doorbell rang. It was Boy B, asking for Ana. This was unusual as the two were not particularly friends. Ana left the house with Boy B and her father realised later he had forgotten to ask where they were going.

How was her body found?

Late in the afternoon of the next day, police went public with an appeal for sightings of Ana. Her body was found by Garda Sean White on the morning of Thursday 17 May in the abandoned farmhouse known as a hang-out for teenagers. He was part of a team combing the area for Ana.

What had happened?

The court in Dublin found that Boy B told Ana he would take her to Boy A, in whom she was known to have an interest. Boy A had made his way to the abandoned building with a backpack containing what was described in court as a “murder kit”.

How did Ana die?

Boy A inflicted severe injuries to Ana’s head and neck and violently sexually assaulted her. Forensic evidence suggested she was beaten to the ground with a heavy stick and then hit four times with a heavy object such as a concrete block.

What did Boy B do?

Boy B was found to have watched the assault and then helped cover up the murder. Both boys denied everything and invented implausible stories that made the gardai suspicious.

What was the Satanism element?

Gardai collected evidence that the two boys had set up what they called a “satanic cult”. However, prosecutors decided not to place much emphasis on this element because some classmates corroborated the claim that the “cult” was in fact a homework-sharing system. 

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