Child psychiatrist under suspicion: many criminal charges against Winterhoff

Status: 06/23/2022 5:00 p.m

The case of the child psychiatrist Winterhoff takes on a new dimension: the public prosecutor’s office in Bonn is now investigating “a high three-digit number of cases” of possibly serious damage caused by his treatments.

By Nicole Rosenbach and Rainer Stadler, WDR

The public prosecutor’s office in Bonn is apparently massively expanding its investigations into the Michael Winterhoff case. As the “Bonner General-Anzeiger” reports, the investigators are now investigating a high three-digit number of cases of those affected who were treated as children and adolescents by the Bonn psychiatrist and bestselling author and who were possibly severely harmed.

The authority itself did not confirm the number when asked, but spoke of a “large number” of cases. So far, the public prosecutor’s office had always spoken of a two-digit number of cases. If the number is confirmed, it shows the enormous dimensions of the Winterhoff case, which has been treating children and young people for more than three decades and, according to its own statements, has recently cooperated with up to 30 institutions.

According to the “Bonner General-Anzeiger”, the sudden increase in Raid in May attributed when 100 detectives searched Winterhoff’s former practice in Bonn and 15 facilities in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Lower Saxony that had cooperated with the Bonn doctor. According to information from WDR and “Süddeutsche Zeitung” the investigators confiscated more than 2000 patient files.

A spokesman for the Bonn public prosecutor’s office now explains when asked that the files are still being evaluated. Irrespective of this, other former patients of Winterhoff or their legal guardians reported to the police and public prosecutor’s office. It was learned from Bonn police circles that the processing of the flood of reports could hardly be kept up.

The first ads were received last fall, after WDR and SZ first reported on the dubious treatment methods of the well-known child psychiatrist. Winterhoff had given many of those affected diagnoses such as early childhood narcissism and parent-child symbiosis, which cannot be found in any textbook, and then prescribed medication for them.

He prescribed the neuroleptic pipamperone to many, often in high doses. It is a powerful sedative and can cause serious and long-lasting side effects. Experts recommend taking the drug only in emergencies for a limited time. Former patients state that they had to take pipamperone for years and still suffer from the after-effects of the treatment.

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