This is a dreadful story, with grotesque pathologies bursting out all over the place:
A woman charged with killing eight of her newborn babies has gone on trial in a case that has shocked Germany.
The bodies were found buried in a fish tank and in flower pots and buckets in her parents' garden in a village near the Polish border.
The woman, a jobless dental assistant known as Sabine H, 40, faces eight counts of manslaughter. She could be jailed for up to 15 years if convicted.
A ninth baby also died, but too long ago to allow prosecution.
It is thought the babies were born and died between 1988 and 1998.
At Thursday's hearing, the woman's lawyer said she would not give evidence at the trial.
She previously told investigators she did not harm the babies, but let them die after giving birth alone.
She told them she could only remember properly two of the births because, in the other cases, she got drunk when she went into labour.
"We already had three children, and my husband didn't want any more children," she said, according to a transcript read out in court.
She added that "I always hoped my husband would notice the pregnancies of his own accord".
We're not talking abortion here — we're talking the murder of nine living babies. One of them is ignored entirely because Germany apparently has a statute of limitations on murder and, as for the other eight, she might conceivably receive almost two years in prison per murder for a fifteen year total. I'm wondering in what rational universe a serial killer gets the equivalent of a slap on the hand from the criminal justice system. Apparently the Germans are shocked, but they're not that shocked. The fact that her husband apparently didn't even know she was pregnant makes the story even more horrible to contemplate.