Police investigating the shooting deaths of six people in a Chinese restaurant in northern Germany lost their only witness last week, when a seventh victim succumbed to his injuries, according to a story published by Spiegel Online International.
The male victim had been taken to a local hospital in critical condition after the Feb. 4 shootings. He died the next day.
The six other victims - three men and three women - were killed in a apparent gang execution in the "Lin Yue" restaurant in Sittensen, near Hamburg. Some of the victims had their hands tied. All of them were shot in the head. Among the victims were the husband-and-wife owners of the establishment.
A two-year-old girl was found alive in the restaurant as the bodies were discovered shortly after midnight.
Authorities are considering whether the murders might be the work of a Triad Society, an ethnic Chinese organized crime entity. Triads are active in Hong Kong and mainland China but have also worked their way into Chinese communities around the globe.
According to the online report: "Rumor has it that the presence and size of a fish tank in a Chinese restaurant is an indication of whether it pays protection money, and how much. The more fish in the tank, the more money the restaurant has to pay. In the US, Triads are believed to have extorted restaurant owners by charging $500 per fish for fish food. A dead fish found floating in the tank is a warning to the owners."
The "Lin Yue" restaurant has an indoor pond with fish in it.
- Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.