The True Story Of Parent-Killer Suzane Von Richthofen

The brutal murder of Manfred and Marísia von Richthofen shocked Brazil on Halloween night in 2002. The perpetrators sneaked into the house in the middle of the night, found the couple sleeping in their bedroom and killed them, hitting them with iron sticks (via Murderpedia). The heinous crime immediately made the headlines, and the media reported it as a larceny case. However, the police immediately notice it was not an ordinary robbery. A few days later, their 18-year-old daughter, Suzane von Richthofen, was accused of killing her parents.

From the first moment, the police noticed there was something strange in her behavior. Von Richthofen was extremely cold while talking to the police and celebrated her birthday a few hours after her parents' funeral, a day after the crime. Her 21-year-old boyfriend, Daniel Cravinhos, was also a suspect. The first evidence came when Christian Cravinhos (Daniel's oldest brother) used cash to pay for a motorcycle. All three were arrested on November 9, 2002, and confessed to the crime.

Suzane von Richthofen allegedly wanted her parents' money

The family lived in a fancy neighborhood in São Paulo. Suzane von Richthofen's father was a successful engineer, and her mother was a psychiatrist. Their two children studied in the best private schools in the city, and both had a promising future. Suzane was a law student and could speak three languages. According to BBC, the family was related to the Red Baron, a World War I legend.

The Cravinhos brothers had a different upbringing. Reportedly from a low-income family, they were mechanics, but both were supposedly unemployed when they committed the crime.

Von Richthofen secretly dated Cravinhos for two years, and her parents didn't accept the relationship. According to Murderpedia, they didn't like that Cravinhos didn't work, wasn't interested in studying, and smoked marijuana every day. If her parents were not around, von Richthofen could not only live her romance, but also inherit half her parents' fortune.

Von Richthofen and Cravinhos took months to plan the attack. On the night of the crime, she turned off the alarm system when her parents were asleep and helped the brothers sneak in. Von Richthofen remained in the living room while they went upstairs and killed her parents with iron rods they made at home.

After the murder, they made the scene look like a burglary by spreading papers in the office and taking some money. To create an alibi, the oldest brother went to a fast-food restaurant, while the couple spent the night in a motel. In the morning, von Richthofen picked up her 15-year-old brother, Andreas von Richthofen, went to the house, and "discovered" the crime scene.

The couple ultimately broke up

Their love wasn't strong enough to endure the investigation, and they started to blame each other. On June 5, 2006, they went to trial. Von Richthofen's lawyer tried to convince the jury his client was manipulated. "This crime was committed only because Daniel wanted to. He was the only one with a motive — money," the attorney stated (via BBC). Cravinhos' lawyer said that von Richthofen manipulated the boyfriend, saying that her parents were alcoholics and her father was aggressive.

They didn't convince the jury. Von Richthofen was considered the mastermind behind the murder, and she was sentenced to 39 years in jail (the maximum sentence in Brazil). Years later, she lost the right to receive her inheritance. Daniel Cravinhos was also sentenced to 39 years. Christian Cravinhos got 38 years for his part in the crime.

Years later, the Cravinhos brothers were allowed to serve their sentences in a semi-open regime. In 2014, von Richthofen's ex-boyfriend reportedly got married, and he never gave interviews about the crime. His eldest brother was arrested again in 2018 after allegedly being involved in a fight. He was sentenced to four years in prison (via Free Game Guide).

Where is Suzane von Richthofen now

Suzanne von Richthofen became one of the most famous killers in Brazil, and her name still makes the headlines regularly. She gave some paid interviews in prison and inspired books and movies (via True Crime Brazil). Von Richthofen is considered easy-going and polite by people in jail.

In 2014, von Richthofen got married to another prisoner, and they shared the cell with eight other couples (via The Guardian). The couple divorced when her wife left prison. It was not the only time her affairs made the headlines. Von Richthofen later dated a religious lawyer, and she wanted to become a pastor. According to Brazilian media, they broke up in 2020 when her boyfriend found out she had a secret bank account with the money she earns giving interviews.

Her brother lived a reclusive life after the crime, and he just spoke about it in 2015, when he shared a letter to the press after rumors his sister wanted her part in the inheritance.