Katja Faber’s world was changed forever by the savage killing of her eldest son Alex Morgan in the early hours of 30th December 2014 in Zurich, Switzerland. A beautiful young man, a free spirit, charismatic, sensitive, funny, filled with promise, a dreamer, a son, a brother, friend – his life extinguished at age 23.
Katja Faber on the homicide of her son, Alex Morgan
Alex’s brutal homicide at the hands of someone he considered a friend, shattered the lives of his family and friends. There was a communal loss of innocence in having to face the reality of what had been his last moments at the hands of his killer.
Details of the way in which he was repeatedly beaten, slashed and strangled were splashed across international newspapers, private photos appeared in the media, the trial was covered in detail.
Shock and repulsion at how Alex Morgan died
Such was the barbarity of Alex’s last moments, that even those who did not know him were shocked by his assailant’s cruelty. He was battered with a metre-high candlestick, bludgeoned with metal statues, repeatedly cut with glass shards on his head and strangled. Alex suffered over 50 injuries to his head alone. He was still alive when the killer rammed a candle down his throat. He died from asphyxiation. We sought answers where there were none.
In the Court room, the killer remained silent choosing instead to be represented by three lawyers. He refused to answer any questions put to him by the judges.
Newspapers and tv coverage focused on the manner of the crime, the barbarity of the killing.
Journalists also wrote about the killer’s background – rich, privileged, an art dealer from a well-known gallery-owning German family, a Porsche-driving drug addict. They commented on the fact that the killer’s jet-set, drug-fuelled, lifestyle had been financed exclusively by his wealthy father.
“As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods,
They kill us for their sport.”
King Lear Act 4, scene 1, 32–37
Prosecuting Alex Morgan’s Killer, Katja Faber’s Fight for Justice
Lost and utterly unable to function, I decided to channel my despair and anger by becoming actively involved in the prosecution of Alex’s killer. In so doing, I found the strength and motivation to carry on living.
The fact that I am still here today bears testament to my love for my children and my resolve to fight for justice and in so doing give Alex a voice.
A wealthy killer with a secret past
From the moment of the killer’s arrest to the trial in Meilen, Switzerland, over two years had passed. At the trial, the killer rocked backwards and forwards on his chair. Usually, he stared fixedly at the desk before him, his long, lank hair partially covering his face. Not once did he look at Alex’s family, who sat in the Court room only metres away. This man, who the Prosecutor described as having ‘massacred’ his friend, showed no remorse.
Newspapers reported on the killer’s violent past, something that the defence lawyers were at pains to play down. The killer was described by his legal team as a ‘teddy bear’.
But the Prosecutor derided such claims.
The man who had killed Alex Morgan, had previously attacked his own father in 2011. The father had fled the family mansion running to a neighbour’s for help. The Defendant had also allegedly raped and attempted to kill his then girlfriend. He had allegedly also paid thugs to beat up a man.
After being admitted to a drug rehabilitation centre, he was warned never to take drugs again.
According to his ex-girlfriend, he was a ticking time bomb. She had warned the family that their son was dangerous and that his drug habit was out of control. She had told them that if their son continued like this, he would end up killing someone. Her warnings were ignored.
Following the homicide, the family advised the ex-girlfriend to keep quiet. Thankfully, she did not. This courageous young woman gave evidence at Court. For a fuller explanation regarding the trial, press coverage and legal arguments, please read The Trial
Alex Morgan’s Legacy: Advocate for Victims of Violent Death and Injustice
My experience since Alex’s high-profile homicide has led me to also become a spokesperson for those touched by violent crime. To find one’s way towards healing and life again following the loss of a child is possibly the hardest thing a parent will ever do. There is no ‘getting over’ such a loss. At best, one learns to live with the grief. In sharing my story, I hope to help others.
In moments of doubt, I looked to courageous campaigners such as Margaret Aspinall and The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo. It is decent, ordinary people who create a just society by standing up for what is right and fair. We count, each and every one of us. One person’s determination can affect change.
I was not able to protect Alex the night he was attacked. I was not able to hold Alex as he died. I was not allowed to kiss his mutilated body goodbye. So now I shall be his voice. I am in for the long haul. However hard and exhausting the journey, I will not bow down until justice is served.
I therefore created this website, in response to press and private interest regarding the horrific killing of my son Alex Morgan.
Song for Alex Morgan
At the funeral in Zurich on 10th January 2015, Sam Hunter, who is the singer and lyricist of Decypher Us, played the song he had written in memory of Alex. Sam had flown with his brother and mother all the way from Sydney, Australia, to pay their respects. The title Purple Licks (R.I.P. Alex) makes reference to the music band Alex played in as a teenager.