A woman dubbed 'The Ice Cold Killer' is accused of murdering both her husband and lover and then burying their dismembered bodies in the cellar.
Austria has been gripped by the trial of ice-cream seller Goidsargi Estibaliz 'Esti' Carranza which began yesterday in Vienna amid a sea of publicity.
It is the third criminal investigation featuring basements in Austria in recent years, following on from the Natascha Kampusch and Josef Fritzl cases.
Prosecutors in Vienna yesterday dubbed her 'singularly cold-blooded' as they described how the men in her life were killed, their bodies hacked up with a chain saw, bagged into plastic rubbish sacks and then cemented in concrete next to the ice cream tubs in her cellar.
Zabala, who has joint Spanish-Mexican citizenship, is charged with shooting dead her husband, Holger Holz, in 2008 and in 2010 her new partner, Manfred Hinterberger, with a .22 Beretta pistol. She switched on ice cream-making equipment in her Schlekeria cafe to drown out the noise of the chain saw as she cut them into pieces. She prepared herself well for the killings and later disposal of the corpses - first she took lessons in marksmanship followed by a night school course in 'the mixing and application of concrete'.
The gruesome remains were discovered by chance during maintenance work in June 2011. After going on the run to Italy, Carranza was captured several days afterwards and extradited. When arrested, Carranza was two-months pregnant by another man, whom she married in prison in March this year.
The baby was born in January but the boy was immediately taken away from her and is now reportedly being looked after by Carranza's parents in Barcelona. A psychiatric report commissioned by the court said that Carranza, now in a unit for the 'mentally abnormal', was dangerous and was like a 'princess ... who just wants to be 'rescued' by a man'. 'She intends to confess.
She has already told the court-appointed expert everything that she did, as she also did when she was arrested by the Italian police,' said Werner Tomanek, one of her defence lawyers.
Immediately after disposing of Hinterberger, she booked an 'urgent manicure appointment' in order to repair her damaged nails, the court heard.
'This woman has two faces,' prosecutor Petra Freh told the packed courtroom. 'She will try to play here the part of someone well-behaved, who would never do something like this.
'My task is to show you her other side ... That she is a singularly cold-blooded and unscrupulous killer,' Freh said. 'Do not be fooled.'
Wearing a grey dress and glasses, Carranza showed no emotion as the accusations against her were read out.
The trial was scheduled to last several days, with around 50 witnesses and seven experts due to testify. She reportedly will claim both men had abused her physically and psychologically.
A verdict is expected next week.