1984 was drawing to a close when an unemployed German food technician, Günther Stoll, was suffering from a paranoid episode that had been persisting for quite a while. On more than one occasion, he would mention “them” to his wife. Apparently, he believed that “they” were after him. This had been happening long enough that she got used to hearing about “them” or “they”. However, one particular evening the situation would take a turn for the worse and end in tragedy. The strange mystery that would unfold is named the YOGTZE-Fall. This story has left people wondering if Günther’s paranoia was based on something or someone real rather than imaginary.
What is YOGTZE?
On the night of October 25th, Günther Stoll was quietly seated in a chair when out of the blue he stood up and proclaimed “Jetzt geht mir ein Licht auf!” Roughly translated, this meant, “I get it” or “Now I understand!” Stoll grabbed a blank piece of paper and scribbled down what looked like the letters YOGTZE or YO6TZE before hastily scribbling them out. Stoll abruptly left the house in his VW Golf and was next seen arriving at his favorite pub. When he ordered one beer, it was promptly poured for him. Before taking so much as a sip, Stoll fell to the floor and hit his face. Witnesses to this insisted that Stoll was in no way drunk, but he did seem to be distressed or anxious about something. Stoll left the pub without confirming that conclusion.
The Mysterious Incident
There had been no sign of Günther Stoll for two hours until he turned up around 1 am at the house of an elderly woman he had known since his childhood. As it was so late, she would not open the door for him and insisted that he return home. He agreed to that, but mentioned some “horrible incidents that would take place tonight.”
Two hours later, those words became eerily true. At about 3 am, a pair of truck drivers found a badly damaged Volkswagen car in a ditch somewhere along the Autobahn A45. One driver headed for the closest roadside emergency telephone, while the other conducted a cursory examination of the car.
Inside, Günther Stoll was somehow clinging to life. He was completely naked and managed to reveal that there had been four passengers with him in the car just before the truck drivers found him. He said that all four had fled, but they were not friends of his. Witnesses were still trying to establish the details when the ambulance arrived seconds after. Unfortunately, Stoll did not survive the trip to the hospital.
The investigation had only just begun when it ran into its first puzzle. The cause of his death was officially determined to be the result of vehicular manslaughter. The car that hit him was, however, not Stoll’s own car. Investigators believed that someone had run over Günther someplace before the perpetrator took Günther and his car to the ditch. Investigators questioned the truck drivers independently and both revealed seeing a stranger not far from the Volkswagen when they pulled up. This man, whoever he was, had a bright jacket on and was walking around the wrecked car. The stranger had disappeared sometime between the discovery of the car and the emergency call that the truck driver made.
See also: The Bizarre Murder of Roland T. Owen
The four men Günther Stoll said were in the car with him have never been identified. The actual crime scene has never been located and no-one really knows what Stoll meant in his scribbled out note. Some suggestions to this end do seem more plausible and may hint at some worthwhile clues.
The Günther Stoll Note
The real meaning of the note that Stoll wrote before leaving home is either the key to breaking the entire investigation or the most bizarre of all coincidences. Ever since that night, speculation about the meaning of the note has been rampant. There are those that simply believe that Stoll had some form of mental illness that took over his thought processes.
A more likely explanation was that the note did not say YOGTZE but was a license plate number. The letter O might have been the number 0, the number 2 may have been misidentified as a letter Z and 6 could have been mistaken for a G. The obvious problem with this proposal is that this happened hours before Stoll was fatally injured.
According to some people, YO6TZE is a call sign for a Romanian radio station and might have been the true meaning of the note. This does seem to be nothing more than a coincidence with no real ties to what took place that night. As he was a food engineer by trade, it could be that the first three characters meant nothing at all – or didn’t even exist – and Stoll put TZE on the notepaper, which is a flavoring that is often used in yogurts.
Some people propose that YOGTZE may be an anagram for Zygote. A zygote is the earliest developmental stage of many multicellular organisms. The term originates from an ancient Greek word that means joined. The zygote forms from a pair of gametes (male and female reproductive cells), and it contains genetic information from each gamete to create a new individual. Genetically modifying foods or ingredients may not be anything new. The concept is often taken for granted by large numbers of the general population, but can it be a motive for murder?
A Plausible Story
Suppose that Stoll was sitting at home, mulling over things in his head, and he came to a sudden realization that someone, somewhere, was engaged in secret modification project on food. This someone might have suspected that Stoll was a possible security risk or even a potential whistleblower. That person may have tracked or monitored his movements. Stoll wrote down a cryptic message and then perhaps he considered that it might lead to unwanted attention for his wife, so he scribbled it out.
When Stoll arrived at his favorite pub, he may have seen someone that caused him to react. Perhaps at that point, he fell and hit his head. Maybe one or more of the four men Stoll mentioned followed him out of the pub shortly before he succumbed to the car accident. It is possible that the man in the bright jacket had staked out Stoll’s pub in the hope that he would turn up there sometime. The original plan might have been simply to frighten Stoll into silence; but did it simply go too far?
Günther Stoll’s final night may have played out in this type of scenario. But it doesn’t explain why he was naked when someone ran him over by a car on a frigid German night. What’s your theory?
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