Did Andreas Lubitz murder for fame? Maria W. should not be believed
Did Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz see mass murder as his route to eternal fame? The BBC says he did. Maybe. It repeats a line someone billed as Maria W. gave to German tabloid Bild. This source says Lubitz told her:
“One day I’m going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember.”
We are left to wonder why such a comment is not fully attributed? If “Maria W”, who says she dated Lubitz for five months, wants to speak to the Press, why not use her full name?
Whatever the truth of her story, the BBC has been willing to amplify it. It should be careful. As USA Today writes on the same matter, the woman is only Lubitz’s “purported former girlfriend”. The BBC makes no such claim for circumspection. It simply states that she had been his girlfriend:
Behind an internet paywall, Bild’s front-page story makes Lubitz’s apparent words the main reason why he did it and so many people died:
He threatened: “One day, everyone will know my name”
All facts say Bild and the BBC. But USA Today notes:
The claims could not immediately be verified independently.
The Daily Mail reports on Maria’s W’s words:
She said he even warned her that he was going to commit an act so heinous that his name would be remembered for ever.
The woman, known only as Maria W, revealed to German newspaper Bild how he ominously told her last year: ‘One day I will do something that will change the whole system, and then all will know my name and remember it.’
When she heard about the airliner crash, she remembered Lubitz’s menacing prophecy.
‘I never knew what he meant, but now it makes sense,’ she said.
With so many innocent people killed, it would be a sound idea to check the source before reporting her words as fact.
The Telegraph repeats more from knowing Maria W.:
“He did it because he realised that because of his health problems his big dream of a job with Lufthansa; a job as captain and as a long haul pilot was as good as impossible… We spoke a lot about work and then he became another person. He became agitated about the circumstances in which he had to work, too little money, anxiety about his contract and too much pressure.”
Lubitz began work at Lufthanasa back in September 2013. Did he so soon after scoring his dream job job kill 149 people becaue of the pressure? Lubitz had previously worked at a Burger King behind a carwash, “flipping Whoppers and frying fries and talking to co-workers about his dream”. And after working as a fast food wallah he found his dream-job soul-destroying?
Carsten Spohr, chief executive of Lufthansa, has gone on the record:
“The co-pilot interrupted his training for six years, I would be interested to know why. I cannot tell you anything about the reasons of this interruption, but anybody who interrupts the training has to do a lot of tests so the competence and fitness would be checked again.”
Do we believe without question what the ex-lover says?
A Germanwings colleague who worked with Lubitz, one Frank Woiton, contradicts Maria W’s view:
“He wasn’t a person who you thought would commit suicide. He seemed very happy, and he wanted to become a captain for long-distance flights. He was very good at his job.”
Such are the facts…