11 Real-Life Vigilante Stories Of Ordinary Citizens Taking Justice Into Their Own Hands

Published September 29, 2021

André Bamberski: The Real-Life Vigilante Who Avenged His Daughter’s Death

Real Life Vigilante Andre Bamberski

SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty ImagesAndré Bamberski being hounded by the press after the verdict of his trial on June 18, 2014.

On the morning of July 10, 1982, 14-year-old Kalinka Bamberski was found dead at the home of her stepfather in Lindau, Germany. An examination of her body revealed disturbing finds, including several injection marks, a torn vagina, and a white substance inside of her. But the substance was never tested, and her sex organs were inexplicably removed during the autopsy.

Her biological father André Bamberski, who lived in France, was horrified by the news. Meanwhile, her stepfather Dieter Krombach was only questioned once by German police. A prestigious doctor, Krombach admitted that he had injected the girl with a compound that would help her tan more efficiently and that he had also given her a sleeping pill.

It was only publicized later that he had also injected her with several other substances, including a “dangerous” combination of dopamine and Isoptin. To make matters even worse, Krombach may have also been present at her autopsy. By the time Bamberski received the autopsy report months later, prosecutors had already closed the case — claiming no foul play.

Dieter Krombach And Kalinka Bamberski

Courtesy André Bamberski/Getty ImagesKalinka Bamberski (left) with her stepfather Dieter Krombach (center).

André Bamberski was certain that his daughter had been raped and murdered, and that the authorities were letting a powerful predator walk free. He began handing out leaflets accusing Krombach of the crime and hired a lawyer, who put forth a complaint against Krombach in France.

By that point, Krombach already had an eyebrow-raising history, as his first wife had died rather suddenly at age 24. And then years after Krombach was cleared of any involvement in his stepdaughter’s death, he was found guilty of drugging and raping a 16-year-old female patient.

Bamberski, more determined than ever to see Krombach face justice for his daughter’s murder, decided to take drastic measures in 2009. He organized the kidnapping of Krombach from Germany and arranged for him to be transported to France. He was dropped off near a police station, a move that would soon lead to his arrest and later his conviction of the crime in 2011.

The disgraced doctor was sentenced to 15 years in prison (and he ended up serving nine years until he was freed on medical grounds in 2020). Meanwhile, Bamberski was put on trial for kidnapping in 2014 — and was handed a one-year suspended jail sentence for his actions.

Marco Margaritoff
A former staff writer for All That’s Interesting, Marco Margaritoff holds dual Bachelor's degrees from Pace University and a Master's in journalism from New York University. He has published work at People, VICE, Complex, and serves as a staff reporter at HuffPost.
Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
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Margaritoff, Marco. "11 Real-Life Vigilante Stories Of Ordinary Citizens Taking Justice Into Their Own Hands." AllThatsInteresting.com, September 29, 2021, https://allthatsinteresting.com/real-life-vigilantes. Accessed May 29, 2024.