In June 1994, in Graz, Austria, the trial began. Unterweger as an Austrian citizen was to be tried of all murders in Los Angeles, Prague and Austria. The man himself played to the gallery and utilised his well-honed skills of manipulation by appealing to the jury and the public’s sense of fair play. When he admitted he was ‘a rat’ and an ‘inveterate liar’ who ‘consumed women rather than love them’ how could they fail to dismiss such self-deprecating honesty?
What the defence did not count on was the response to such questioning from the prosecution based on psychiatric reports and the FBI investigative analysis that pointed out that a man such as Unterweger was not rational. As someone who suffered from uncontrolled compulsions and fetishes, it really didn’t matter what status he held in life. He’d still kill, as it was an addiction.
Further evidence such as the crime lab reports on the ligature knots; Blanka Bockova’s hair strand recovered in the BMW and red fibres found on Brunhilde Massar’s body from Unterweger’s scarf, finally added up to a compelling case against the defendant.
But Unterweger was still unrepentant, "I'm counting on your acquittal," he said, "because I am not the culprit. Your decision will affect not only me but the real killer, who is laughing up his sleeve".
Two and a half months later even the most supportive press of Unterweger began to change their views. The devious sociopath also began to lose support from the literary establishment and his girlfriend, Bianca Mrak.
Jack Unterweger was found guilty of nine counts of murder; the Prague victim, all three Los Angeles victims and five in Austria. The court sentenced him to life in prison.
The final twist in this macabre and dark tale is that Unterweger, being a man who like many serial killers had a preoccupation with control, could not handle not being in the driver’s seat. He took the opportunity while guards were out of sight to hang himself using the string from his prison jumpsuit. Ironically he used the same knot he had so cruelly practised on his victims.