Huffpost Crime

Kim De Gelder, Belgian 'Joker Killer,' Tells Court He Had To Stab Two Toddlers To Death

Posted: Updated:
A photo taken on February 22, 2013 shows an artist's impression of Kim De Gelder on the first day of his trial at Gent's courthouse. Kim De Gelder, is accused of stabbing to death two children and one staff member at the Fabeltjesland daycare center in Termonde on January 23, 2009. De Gelder is also accused of killing Elza Van Raemdonck, an elderly woman, in Beveren. | Getty Images

A Belgian man who stabbed two toddlers to death four years ago while dressed as the Joker character from "The Dark Knight" told the court he had no choice but to commit the brutal murders.

"I was aware that you should not (kill) but I did not see any other choice," Kim De Gelder said in a courtroom in Ghent, Belgium, according to "I was pushed towards this choice, perhaps from outside. It came directly."

De Gelder killed the two toddlers and their 54-year-old caretaker in January, 2009, Reuters reported.

Officials said he entered the Fabeltjesland nursery, in Dendermonde, Belgium, through an unlocked side door and told people there he wanted to ask a question. Instead, he ran into two rooms to attack his victims before riding away on his bicycle.

He was wearing black and white makeup on his face and his hair was dyed bright red, according to the Dutch language website

In addition to the two children and their caretaker, De Gelder is also accused of murdering an elderly woman in a separate attack a week earlier, and attempting to murder 22 others -- including 16 babies and toddlers --during his nursery attack.

Psychiatric experts told the court that De Gelder could stand trial as he was "able to distinguish between good and evil" when the killings took place, reported.

De Gelder has not denied the killings. The trial, which began on Friday, will centered on whether he was insane at the time of the murders, the National Post reported.

"When he committed the facts, Kim De Gelder was not sane and cannot be punished for the facts," Jaak Haentjens, De Gelder's lawyer, told the court on Friday, reported.

A report by psychologists appointed by the prosecutors said, however, that De Gelder was sane when committing his crimes, as he prepared them meticulously months in advance, according to the paper.

Also on HuffPost:

10 Major Crimes That Shocked the Nation (SLIDESHOW)
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Dendermonde nursery attack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Belgium 'Joker' Kim De Gelder on trial for killing spree |

Belgium's 'joker killer' Kim De Gelder admits guilt - Telegraph

Kim De Gelder went on killing spree at nursery while dressed as the ...

Kim De Gelder - Newser

Batman 'Joker' child-killer claims 'no choice'