In October 1984 unemployed German food engineer Günther Stoll died of murder or accident. Shortly before his death he had written the word YOG’TZE on a piece of paper. Neither the reason of Stoll’s death nor the meaning of YOG’TZE has ever been found out.

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The so-called YOG’TZE case is considered one of the most mysterious unsolved criminal cases in German history. The case refers to the violent death of unemployed German food engineer Günther Stoll on 26 October 1984. The main source for this strange story is a short film that was shown in the German TV show Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst (the German counterpart of Crimewatch and America’s Most Wanted) in 1985.


Accident or murder?

In 1984, Günther Stoll from Anzhausen, Germany, was suffering from a moderate case of paranoia. He occasionally spoke about unknown people (“them”) who supposedly intended to harm him. On the evening of 25 October 1984, when he was talking about “them” once again, he suddenly shouted “Jetzt geht mir ein Licht auf!” (“Now I’ve got it!”). He then wrote the six letters YOG’TZE on a piece of paper before instantly crossing them out.


A little later, Stoll went to a pub, where he fell on the ground and lost consciousness. According to witnesses, he was not under the influence of alcohol when this happened. After he had awaken he drove away in his car. It is not known what happened in the following two hours. After midnight, at around 1 am, he rang the doorbell of a woman he knew from his childhood and mentioned a “horrible incident.” The woman sent him away and advised him to go to his parents’ place instead.

At approximately 3 am, two truck drivers discovered Stoll’s crashed car in a trench adjacent to the autoban A45, about 100 kilometres from his home place. Both drivers testified to having seen an injured person walking near the car. After calling police, the two drivers found the severely injured Günther Stoll naked in his vehicle (the following picture is not correct, as it shows Stoll wearing cloths and lying besides his car).


In spite of his injuries, Stoll was conscious and told the truck drivers about four men, who had been with him in the car. He died on the way to hospital. Police investigation showed that Stoll had been injured before the crash, and must have been hit by a car elsewhere, and subsequently positioned in the passenger’s seat of his car and driven to the location where he was discovered. It was also concluded that he was naked at the time he was run over. At about the same time, a hitchhiker was seen near a close autobahn exit.

Though the YOG’TZE case was covered in a crime TV show, it is far from clear that Stoll was murdered. Based on the evidence that is publicly available (which is certainly not the full truth) I consider an accident a lot more likely. I introduced my favorite hypothesis in a blog post (in German) last year.


What does YOG’TZE mean?

The meaning of YOG’TZE remains unknown. There seems to be no language in the world that knows this word. There’s an abundance of hypotheses about what it might mean:

  • If the G is read as a 6 we get the word YO6’TZE. YO6TZE is a Rumanian radio sign.
  • The apostroph in the the middle of the word is consistent with Dutch license plates.
  • If YOG’TZE is read upside-down we get something like 3ZL,90X.
  • TZE stands for an artificial flavor, which is also used for yogurt (abbreviated YOG). So, YOG’TZE might be an expression that refers to the work of food engineer Stoll.
  • YOG’TZE might spell out the starting letters of six words.

There are certainly many more possible explanation. However, so far, the meaning of YOG’TZE and the reason of Stoll’s death remain a mystery.

Further reading: The ciphers of the Unabomber


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Kommentare (8)

  1. #1 Marc
    13. September 2017

    Erst hielt ich es für unglaubwürdig, dass hier der Schriftzug einfach falsch herum gelesen wurde. Allerdings entstammt dieser nur der Erinnerung seiner Frau, die Polzei hat den Zettel evtl. nie gesehen. Daher ist es durchaus möglich.

  2. #2 Thomas
    13. September 2017

    Ist der Originalzettel also nicht erhalten, so dass dies hier nur nachgeahmt ist:

  3. #3 Marc
    13. September 2017

    Leider hat “Bogo” damals auf deine Frage nicht geantwortet, evtl. könnte er das noch nachholen, wenn er das liest. Wäre schon wichtig zu wissen, ob dies der Originalzettel ist.

  4. #4 Smørrebrød
    14. September 2017

    Sieht für mich nicht original aus.

    Von der Schreibweise her, ist eher die untere Zahlenvariante wahrscheinlich, wenn man sich anguckt, wo die Linienführung dicker oder dünner ist. die untere “2” wird zum Beispiel unten rechts dünner, die “7” daneben hat den Mittelstrich von links nach rechts ausdünnend. Typisch, wenn ein Rechtshänder diese Zahlen schreibt.

    Aber ist natürlich alles nur Spekulation.

  5. #5 Rudolph
    21. September 2017

    #2 #3 #4
    Das ist nicht der Originalzettel, das Photo/ Scan stammt aus dem Allmystery Forum und wurde vom User “plus” erstellt, der mit den Gedanken gespielt hat das es sich ev. um Zahlen gehandelt hat. Hat mit dem Fall somit nichts zu tun. Siehe den dortigen Thread “Der Yogtze-Fall” Seite 135

  6. #6 Dominic
    2. November 2017

    Wenn man das Wort rückwärts liest kommt yezt’goy raus und das heißt auf russisch Geschäft.

  7. […] Two questions remain unanswered – who was the other injured person walking near the car? And finally, what does “YOG’TZE” mean? […]

  8. #8 Harrison
    7. Oktober 2021

    Some more food for thought, maybe worth a discussion: