Or was it… MURDER?

The death of Ludwig II of Bavaria has been considered a suicide for over a century, ever since the meshugeneh monarch’s body was found in Lake Starnberg near Munich on June 13, 1886.

But did the kooky king really take his own life — or was it TAKEN FROM HIM? [sfx: music sting]

An article from Spiegel Online posits “fresh doubts,” based on, well, not much of anything, but the story involves a mysterious countess, so you can hardly expect La Cieca to forego repeating it.

There’s this Munich banker named Detlev Utermöhle, see, who is now 60 years old. Herr Utermöhle “has made a sworn deposition in which he recalls an interesting incident from his childhood.”

He was 10 years old at the time [the Spiegel‘s gripping account continues] and had been taken by his mother, Gertrud Utermöhle, to a tea party hosted by her friend Josephine Gräfin von Wrbna-Kaunitz, a countess who had managed the assets of a line of the royal House of Wittelsbach, King Ludwig’s family.

Detlev recalls that after the coffee and cakes the countess drew her guests together and said in a whispered tone: “Now, without the knowledge of the descendants of the former King Ludwig II, you can all find out the truth about the circumstances of his death. I will now show you the coat he wore on the day of his death.”

The party walked to a chest and the countess took out a gray woollen coat and held it up against the light. Detlev Utermöhle says he saw the coat “with two bullet holes in the back.”

So, are we about to learn the truth about the Campy König? Well, actually, probably not. Ludwig’s descendants, the Wittlesbach-von-und-zu-Spoilsports, “steadfastly refuse to allow the king’s corpse to be exhumed from its tomb in Munich’s St. Michael’s church to be examined.” And it gets even worse, you see, because

unfortunately, the mysterious coat [Geheimnismantel] has disappeared as well. Countess Wrbna-Kaunitz and her husband died in 1973 in a house fire and the coat was lost in the aftermath of their deaths.

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