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After police revealed that an elaborate network of pipes and gas bottles had been set up in the Davidson home where a family of four died in a suspected murder-suicide, it has now been revealed that the father had made contact with a well-known Euthanasia group.
Fernando Manrique, 44, his wife Maria Claudia Lutz, 43, and the couple’s two children Martin, 10, and Eliza, 11 along with their family dog were all found dead inside the home on Monday October 17.
Manrique had reportedly contacted Exit International, the euthanasia group founded by Philip Nitschke, oftern referred to as ‘Dr Death’.
Nitschke tells The Australian that his group “had some contact” with the Manrique-Lutz family.
“We had some contact with them, so we know all about it,” Dr Nitschke said.
“I didn’t personally talk to them, but they had access to the book,” he said, referring to The Peaceful Pill e-handbook, which details how to use carbon monoxide as a means of suicide.
“They knew about carbon monoxide. But it wasn’t the case that they were coming to meetings."
“I mean, people buy the book and we don’t get to know them. And obviously this is a tragedy, although that sounds like I’m critical of them, which I’m not."
Nitschke however later clarified this comment, saying that after checking the database, Manrique had not downloaded the book. "Fernando Manrique did not access our book,” he told Fairfax.
Police are still investigating whether Manrique worked alone or if his wife had knowledge of the plan.
The print version of Exit International’s handbook is banned in Australia but is widely available internationally.
The controversial organisation was founded by Nitschke in 1997 over a belief that suicide is a fundamental human right.
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