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Pastor, 74, faces incest and murder charges

Andrew Osborn in Brussels
Sunday February 17, 2002
The Observer

An elderly Hungarian pastor known as 'the family killer' will face a Brussels court tomorrow accused of murdering his first two wives and four of his eight children in a case that has traumatised a nation.

Andras Pandy, 74, is charged with six murders, but police believe the number of victims may be as high as 13. The case has been compared to that of Fred and Rosemary West in Britain.

Pandy will not be in the dock alone. His daughter Agnès, 44, who claims that her father sexually abused her from the age of 13, has confessed to helping kill several members of her family.

Pandy came to Brussels after the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and had three children, including Agnès, with his first wife, Ilona Sores. The couple divorced in 1967 and Pandy later married Edit Fintor, who already had three children and who gave birth to two more by Pandy.

In 1992, when Pandy retired, it is alleged he had already murdered both wives as well as two stepdaughters and both his sons. Agnès alerted the authorities when she made an official complaint about her father. She said that he had abused her for 20 years and killed most of the family, forcing her to help.

Pandy told police his wives and children had gone abroad, and on at least one occasion he employed actors to impersonate them. They were told they would be starring in a film about his life.

Investigators abandoned the case until 1996, when Belgium was rocked by the Marc Dutroux paedophile murder trial. Shamed into action, police arrested the pastor and his daughter in 1997 after uncovering evidence that has, in the words of one magazine, 'made prosecutors shudder'. Teeth, bones, fragments of jaw and flesh, bloodstains, ripped clothing, hair and ashes were found in his properties as well as 21 litres of an ultra-powerful acidic drain cleaner called Cleanest. Tests showed that a human body could be dissolved in the drain cleaner within 24 hours.

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