BANGOR, Maine — The Husson University nursing student rescued Wednesday morning in a campus parking lot by her fellow students told police that when she saw her estranged husband that morning with a knife in his hand, she knew she was dead.
The 35-year-old victim also told police that on March 4 Horst Wolk, 45, held a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. Apparently the gun was unloaded. She said that her husband had described in detail how he was going to kill her and bury her in a landfill in rural Penobscot County, according to a Bangor police report.
Wolk was arrested Wednesday morning after five female Husson students subdued him about 7:40 a.m. The victim was treated for stab wounds to a leg and her neck at St. Joseph Hospital shortly after the stabbing and released.
The defendant, who is a German national, made his first appearance Friday afternoon at the Penobscot Judicial Center on charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault. District Court Judge Robert Murray set bail at $50,000, twice what had been set Wednesday by a bail officer, but half of the $100,000 cash bail requested by the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office.
The court provided an interpreter for Wolk via a telephone line. The woman, who was not identified, translated the proceeding into German at the request of the defendant.
Wolk remained Friday night in the Penobscot County Jail unable to make bail.
The victim told police on April 23, when she received a temporary protection from abuse order, that Wolk belongs to a movement in Germany that denies the Holocaust took place. She also said he had been a member of the German Army and was trained as a sniper.
She and Wolk have been together seven years and have a 5-year-old child, according to court documents. They met when the victim was a member of the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany.
Wolk choked his wife as a routine method of abuse, the victim told police. She also said he referred to her as “American garbage” and told her that burial in a “landfill would befit me,” according to court documents.
“He told me [on March 4] how he was going to kill me that night and kept pressing the gun to my forehead,” she wrote in a narrative seeking the temporary protection order. “He pulled the trigger and moved the gun to the side of my temple. Then he put the gun down and told me he didn’t need the gun to kill me because he could do it with his hands. His method for killing me was going to be him snapping my neck and that I had until 2 a.m. to live.
“I could make the decision about how I wanted to die,” the narrative continued. “He suggested I go sleep and he would eliminate me while I was sleeping. If I fought him, the death would be more painful. He said that he had prepared a black military footlocker in the basement for my body and was going to dispose of me that way while [our child] was sleeping. He said he was going to take me out to some property in Stetson that had a landfill and bury the footlocker there. He said the cops would never be able to trace him because he would have burlap (jute) pieces wrapped around his boot which would leave no footprints.”
The woman told Bangor police that she had waited seven weeks to report the incident because she feared for her life, had no plan to leave and because Wolk did not work, so he was always home. When she reported the March 4 threat, Wolk reportedly was in the Boston area at a World War II reenactment.
She apparently moved out of their Bangor apartment while he was gone. When he returned from the event on April 25, police served Wolk with the protection order. A hearing for a permanent order was scheduled to be held Thursday, May 13, at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
In an interview with Bangor police after his arrest at Husson on Wednesday, Wolk said he had been staying with a friend in Exeter since he had been served with the temporary protection order. He said that he had been following his wife trying to catch her with a younger man, according to court documents, so he could use it as evidence at the hearing next week. Wolk also told police he was upset because his wife would not allow him to see their child.
For most of the interview, Wolk told police he could not remember what had happened in the Husson parking lot. He said he remembered following his wife to Husson but nothing else until he was sitting in a squad car handcuffed, according to court documents.
Wolk’s attorney, Joseph Baldacci of Bangor, said after the defendant’s appearance in court that “a lot of facts have to be sorted out” about the case.
“This is a domestic situation and we have to determine what was happening in the background,” he said at an impromptu press conference outside the courthouse. “It will take a while to sort it all out and figure out what the next step should be.”
Baldacci said he would be communicating with Wolk’s relatives in Germany to see if it would be possible to raise bail.
When asked by a reporter how his client was feeling, Baldacci said Wolk was upset that he is separated from his child but wants what’s best for his family.
Wolk is scheduled to appear in court again on July 6. He is expected to be indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury later this month.
If convicted, Wolk faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 for the attempted murder charge and up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the assault charge.