Case of slain socialite in DC takes bizarre turns

ERIC TUCKER Associated Press Published:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A murder case involving a 91-year-old Washington socialite and her much-younger husband has taken a series of bizarre turns.

Viola Drath, a German-born journalist who wrote about international affairs, art and fashion during a decades-long career, was found dead last August inside her fashionable row house. Her husband, 47-year-old Albrecht Muth, is accused of killing her in a case that's captivated the city.

Muth, who is also German, claimed to be a brigadier general in the Iraqi army, among other identities.

Since his arrest, he has fired his public defenders, suggested his wife's death was an Iranian hit job, starved himself and reported visions of the archangel Gabriel. A judge has declared him temporarily incompetent for trial, and has ordered a mental health evaluation.