Going to a happy place is like a place of refuge for most thanks to the joy they get from going there, sometimes that’s not always the case. What happens when places like these conceal secrets so chilling it would send a shiver down your spine? It’s unimaginable to think that a place that’s supposed to bring so much joy conceals a hideous crime like this.
A handyman and his team were called to fix a routine plumbing issue at an ice cream parlor. Instead, they got more than they bargained for when they made an unexpected discovery, now their lives could be in grave danger…
It was the early 1960’s in Vienna, Austria. A man who lived there was working a regular 9-5 job and dreamed about one day becoming his own boss. He didn’t want to work for anyone else anymore.
Every day, he would sit at his desk and think about all of the options that might be out there. He became more and more tired of the work he was doing, and dreamt of the day he could be his own boss.
A Crazy Idea
The man’s wife also worked a 9-5 job, and both of them had talked about wanting more control over their lives. The more they talked about it, the more he couldn’t help but put all his focus on the options they had.
In time, the man came up with an idea. He had no idea if his wife would be okay with it, but he had to give it a shot. He decided that he would go home that day and pitch his idea to his wife. He hoped that she would be excited about it!
When the man got home that night, he sat his wife down. He explained to her that after all this time, he was ready to start taking action instead of just dreaming about their futures.
He was afraid that she might not support his idea, but he shared it with her anyways. He explained to her that he wanted them both to quit their day jobs, and start working for themselves in their own small business. He waited with baited breath for her reaction.
The wife wanted to know more. She was curious what kind of plan he had and how he saw all of this taking place. Luckily, the man had been thinking about all of this for quite some time.
He believed that now was the time for both of them to leave their jobs, and use their life savings to invest in their own small business. In fact, he had recently seen an ice cream shop in the downtown area that could be the perfect place.
At first the wife was very hesitant about the plan. She wanted to make sure that her husband had thought all of this through. Would they have enough for something like this? Would they enjoy it?
After some serious thought, the wife realized that this could be the opportunity of a lifetime! They could work together, create the business plan they wanted and spend their time how they saw fit. The chance at happiness was too good to pass up.
Sure enough, the wife was ready for the challenge. She said ‘yes’ to buying the ice cream shop and creating their dream business. Within a few weeks, the ice cream shop keys were in their hands, and the café was theirs!
It was a surreal feeling. They began dedicating all of their time to the shop, cleaning it and preparing it for business. They shaped the store how they saw fit, and hired all of the best employees. It was finally time to open.
After only a few hours of putting up their ‘Open’ sign, the couple started getting customers. It was a very successful first day, seeing lots of familiar faces from the neighborhood and meeting new ones, too!
People started to rave about the business. They loved how dedicated the couple were, and everyone was crazy about the ice cream that was made fresh every day. There were new, unique flavors to try all of the time!
After only a short time, the couple’s business started to boom. They couldn’t believe that their small dreams were starting to explode into much bigger ones. Their risk was paying off, and they were loving life.
Months turned into years, and the couple maintained their highly-regarded business. Every customer left happy, and everyone was referring others to their shop. They were well on their way to a comfy retirement. They were happily approaching their golden years and they were proud of what they had accomplished.
50 Years Later
Time had flown by, and the couple had now been in the ice cream business for more than 50 years! Now that they were older, they had to start thinking about what they wanted to do with the business.
It wasn’t as easy for them to work the same hours they used to, and maintenance on the building was starting to really take a toll. The couple had to start considering their future and what they wanted for the ice cream shop.
Even though the couple loved working at the shop, it seemed like the business was getting the best of them. They didn’t want to stay in it too long, for fear that they stopped enjoying it like they used to.
This was definitely a bittersweet sign. They had loved their job, and they wanted to remember it that way. With this in mind, the couple began talking about what their options were for the shop. Would they shut it down? Sell it? Pass it on to family?
The couple had done so well in their business, that they could now comfortably retire. However, they didn’t want to leave behind their beloved ice cream shop to just anyone!
Moving on would mean putting the café up for sale. The couple agreed that they wanted to find the perfect fit for the next owner. After all of their years of work, they wanted to find someone who would continue to take care of the ice cream shop. It was time to start interviewing.
The couple met with many people for the opportunity to own their ice cream shop. There were a lot of people who were interested in taking over such a successful venture.
However, the couple was in no rush to move on. They were more than happy to keep on working, until they could be sure that they had found the right person for the task. They waited and waited for the right candidate, who they could trust would take care of their store.
After many interviews, the couple was greeted by a young woman by the name of Estibaliz Carranza. The man and woman were surprised by this potential owner, since she was single and quite young.
However, Estibaliz had been on a search for a business just like this one for herself. She knew that she could manage it by herself, since she had graduated from college with a business degree. The couple were very impressed by her and wanted to know more.
Growing Up Estibaliz
Estibaliz’s full name was Goidsargi Estibaliz Carranza Zabala. She was born in Mexico and had a very good upbringing. She moved to Spain when she was young, and she was a top student who graduated with honors.
After she finished college, she moved to Germany to learn the language in less than three months. It was clear that she was a very sharp, determined woman who was ready to take on the world for herself.
Handing Over the Keys
The couple explained to Estibaliz that they had chosen her to take over their business for them. The young woman was ecstatic, but the couple wanted to be sure that she would maintain the business they had made.
The couple were planning to move out to the countryside, and they wouldn’t be able to check in very often. To their relief, the woman promised that she would only make the necessary changes to the shop. Everything else would stay the same.
It was time for the new owner to open the doors to the café. With the couple happily moved on, it was time for Estibaliz to show everyone what she was made of. All of the same customers started coming in.
To everyone’s surprise and delight, the new owner kept her word to the couple. She was happy to continue making amazing ice cream and lots of unique flavors. Customers were so glad that nothing was going to change!
Not only was Estibaliz happy to keep selling amazing ice cream, but she was also interested in expanding the menu! She had her own unique vision for her shop, and that meant adding some more delicious options.
The store started serving up pastries, teas and coffees, too! It was a very smart chance to take, and customers started to respond well to the changes. Now they could get ice cream or a flaky dessert! It was the perfect plan.
All of the people who had been visiting the store in its original days were now starting to bring their own children to the ice cream shop. The new owner was so happy to be able to meet all of the regulars and their families.
Estibaliz knew for sure that if the old owners were to drop by at any time, they would be very happy with what they were seeing. The business was busy, customers were happy, and Estibaliz was running a well-oiled machine.
Time for Repairs
Thankfully, the old owners had always been honest with Estibaliz about the shop. They had informed her that there were some issues with the building, and that some maintenance would surely need to be done.
This wasn’t an issue for Estibaliz. She was well-informed about the building, and planned to make the necessary changes to keep the building in tip-top shape. After a time, Estibaliz knew that she had to do some upgrades. Problems with the plumbing were becoming too serious to ignore.
Calling for Help
The woman didn’t want the issues in the building to get any worse, so she decided to bite the bullet and call for some help. The repairman that she spoke to told her that he could be at the building that same day.
This was an ideal situation for Estibaliz. There were definitely some problems going on with the plumbing, and any kind of water damage could do some serious damage to her business! She patiently awaited the man to arrive, hoping the problem wouldn’t cost too much.
Estibaliz didn’t know very much about plumbing, but she was aware that the problem was happening somewhere beneath the floor boards of her store. The pipes underneath may have been causing issues.
Down in the basement of the store, the pipes were exposed and Estibaliz could see them. From the basement view, she could see that there was some excessive leaking going on, but she didn’t know from where or how to stop it. It was definitely a job for the professionals to look at.
The repairman let Estibaliz know that he would have to take a look at the pipes before he could tell her what was wrong. It wasn’t something that would take very long, and he would have a better idea of how much it would cost.
With this in mind, Estibaliz wanted to do some tidying up before the man got there. Perhaps she felt that the basement was too dirty for anyone to be in, or that the pipes weren’t accessible enough.
Instead of staying upstairs with her employees, Estibaliz told everyone that she was heading down into the basement for a short time. She didn’t want the basement to be too dangerous for the repairman.
It seemed odd, but the new owner disappeared into the basement for at least half an hour before immerging again. She seemed to be content with whatever work she had done, and she finished just in time for the repairman to arrive.
When the repairman came into the café, Estibaliz immediately introduced herself as the owner of the store. She was adamant that she stay with the repairman and show him down to the basement.
As they went, Estibaliz explained the kinds of problems she was having in the building. It was a very old structure, and it was possible that it had many hidden issues. The repairman started to take a look around, all while Estibaliz followed him around.
The repairman could see right off the bat that the building was very, very old. The pipes that he could see were ancient, and it was likely that they had never been replaced in all of their time in the building.
The man asked Estibaliz about the history of the house, and explained to her that it was likely that this could be a very expensive fix. The old pipes likely weren’t working efficiently anymore, and were causing all kinds of damage.
The old owners of the building were very responsible, and they had passed on any of the paperwork related to the building to Estibaliz. She shared this paperwork with the repairman, and confirmed his fears.
Although the couple had replaced lots of things over their 50 years in business, they had never done any kinds of updates to the piping. Any kinds of problems that had arisen in that time would need to be fixed by the new owner.
Getting to Work
There wasn’t much that could be done except to replace the pipes entirely. The repairman came back to Estibaliz with a price, and told her that he could start getting the work the following morning with a team.
Even though it wasn’t the news she wanted, Estibaliz couldn’t say no. She wanted to be sure that her business would be okay, and that meant paying the price. She signed the paperwork, and repairs were set to start the next morning.
The Next Day
The next morning, Estibaliz was up bright and early. She wanted to get to the shop earlier than the repair team, so that she could get ready for them. Whatever she was worried about, she took care of before they got there.
The workers told her that they would try to work as quietly as possible that day, so as not to disturb her or her customers. Unfortunately, it was a very big job, and they couldn’t make any promises about how intrusive they would be.
The workers were in the ice cream shop all morning long, but Estibaliz was happy to report that they weren’t very intrusive at all. She sat in her office and was able to get lots of paperwork done without interruption.
She knew that this was a big job, and she assumed that they might be working on her building for quite some time. Replacing pipes was a huge undertaking, but she had hired the best of the best. She was confident they would be out of the basement soon.
The building was very old, and all of the workers on the repair team knew this. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for bricks to be falling apart or for the framework to be a bit wonky. However, something caught their attention.
One area on the floor of the basement was not like the rest. The area seemed aggressively uneven, as though it had been dug away and re-poured at a later date than the rest of the flooring. Was this caused by the pipes?
The workers couldn’t be sure if the pipes were starting to ruin the flooring, so they decided that they would drill through these areas to take a look.
The had planned to do some drilling in other areas, but they paid close attention to this strange spot. Luckily they were using pick axes, so as to ensure that they didn’t do further damage underneath. Luckily, the concrete was fairly easy to get through, so it wouldn’t be long before the team could see what kind of damage the pipes were making.
As the men started to pick away at the area, one man started to think that he could hear a strange sound coming from beneath them. He had no idea what he could possibly be hearing.
He let the rest of the team know about the strange noises, and more and more of the men started to hear the same thing. They all started to think that something might be buried underneath all of that concrete. With a building as old as this one, it could be anything!
Only a few of the men had been focused on this task, but now all of the attention was on this strange area. No one could imagine what might possibly be making the strange sound beneath them, but everyone was curious.
All of the men began chipping in, making sure to dig carefully towards the object in question. The closer they got, the more they thought that they heard the sound of metal. As the day progressed, their digging got closer and closer.
After a very long time of working away, the workers finally hit something. Now that they could be sure there was something beneath, they knew they probably weren’t dealing with bad pipes anymore.
The metal that they could see looked very rusted, which suggested that it may have been there for some time now. Their curiosity was growing, and they continued to cut around the metal object to try and expose the rest of it.
A Chilly Find
The metal piece was started to take shape. The workers kept chiseling away, and slowly started to expose a rectangular-shaped object. The metal was all rusted and dusty, but soon enough the top of the object was fully exposed.
What the team was looking at, was in fact the top of a giant freezer. It was the most perplexing thing they had ever seen, but it also sent chills down their spines. They had no idea who had put it there, or what was in it.
Freeing the Freezer
The workers wanted to free the entire freezer, so that they would be able to open it fully. It took a long of extra time—luckily, the freezer didn’t seem to be set inside concrete, it was merely poured over top.
The group of workers all worked together to pry the freezer from its deep grave. It was unclear whether the owner of the shop had any idea what they were doing, or if she had any idea that this freezer was here.
A Bad Sign
The workers wrestled with the freezer for a time before they were able to pry open the lid. When they did, they were all met with a smell that could have knocked their socks off. The odor was terrible!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a type of smell that suggested the food inside it had gone bad. This smell was unlike anything any of them had ever experienced. It was a bad sign for the contents inside, and they all feared what they were about to find.
All Wrapped Up
The men slowly peered into the freezer. At first, it was hard to tell what was waiting inside. The contents of the casing seemed to be all wrapped up in a thick plastic, which made it impossible to see what was being protected.
Without thinking, the team got out knives and started to cut away at the plastic bags. It had all been a very strange discovery up until this point, and the team wanted to get to the bottom of it. It was time to make a startling discovery.
A Shocking Surprise
The men couldn’t believe their eyes. There was no way for them to foresee what they were going to find that day buried in the concrete. Instead of bad pipes, the men had just revealed a freezer …with two bodies in it.
It was true. The workers were staring down at the frozen bodies of two deceased men. They had no idea what to think or what to do. Who knew about this? Who had done it? How long had they been here? The questions started rolling in.
Calling the Cops
As soon as the bodies were discovered, the men called authorities for assistance. The head contractor took no time at all to head up to the main office to tell Estibaliz about their discovery.
Upon hearing the news, the owner instantly turned white in the face. The contractor couldn’t imagine how it would feel to know that there had been dead men hidden in her basement flooring all this time. He informed her that authorities were on their way to check out the crime scene.
The workers waited in the shop for the authorities to arrive. It was during this time that Estibaliz slipped out of the shop and made what seemed to be a very fast getaway.
Without anyone knowing, the new owner hailed a cab and immediately headed towards the city of Udine, Italy. It was about 300 miles away from her home in Vienna, and it was clearly a fast response to the discovery of the haunting dead bodies. Meanwhile, the workers still waited for authorities to arrive.
When authorities arrived at the ice cream shop, it was no surprise that they immediately asked to see the owner. When the workers lead them to her office, she was nowhere to be found.
The workers had no idea where she had gone, or when she had disappeared. The authorities immediately put out a search warrant for her, since she was the primary suspect in this case. The bodies were collected, and two new searched began.
The police now knew that they had two searches to complete: One search was meant to find Estibaliz, and the other search was meant to scour the rest of the basement.
If there were two men hidden in the floor of the basement, who knew what else might be lurking in the ceilings and walls? Were there more bodies? There were a lot of questions that needed answering, so the authorities got to work on taking apart the rest of the basement.
The freezer wasn’t the only thing that the authorities found in the basement that week. While cops were out searching for Estibaliz, more and more body parts were being found in the basement.
It seemed as though the men had been too big to fit into just one freezer, so other body parts had to be stashed away in smaller containers. Police found small freezers and even garden containers in the basement, which held smaller body parts that were filled in with concrete.
The cops wanted answers, and it was Estibaliz who could offer them. The search for her became widespread, and it wasn’t long before they finally found her. Estibaliz had been in hiding, and had crossed the Alps just to get away.
She was found living with a street musician, but it wasn’t long before she was extradited back to Austria. She had to come back in order to stand trial for the murders of two men that many were sure she had committed.
It was time for the truth to come out. Shockingly, Estibaliz was happy to share it. When she was finally tried in court, she shared the details about what had happened to those men that were found in the freezer.
The truth was coming out, and no one was ready to hear it. Both of the men had close connections to the woman, and both of them had upset her in the past. Unfortunately, they had both faced their untimely deaths for their mistakes.
The First Man
The first dead body was that of Holder Holz, who it turns out was Estibaliz’s ex-husband. The murderer explained that after they had gotten married, he stopped showing physical affection towards her, and they separated.
After that, he refused to move out of the house. Estibaliz described him as being lazy and violent, and she was tired of his ways. In 2008, the woman had had enough, and she shot him in the back of the head, and later dismembered him.
The Second Man
Once her husband was gone, Estibaliz moved onto another man by the name of Manfred Hinterberger. They were going steady for quite a while, and Hinterberger was a successful ice cream machine salesman.
When Estibaliz caught wind that the man was having an affair, she became very upset with him. She came home one night to question him, only to find him passed out drunk. Instead of waiting to talk to him, she instead decided to shoot and kill him as well.
A Struggling Woman
After all of her confessing, it was made clear that Estibaliz was simply looking for a man to make her a mother. She wanted nothing more than to have children, and neither man could give that to her.
Holz had stopped showing interest in her entirely, and Hinterberger was having affairs. Neither of the men were deemed appropriate for bearing her children, so it only made sense that they had to go. Unfortunately, she chose a very aggressive way to break the news to them.
The Weapon of Choice
Estibaliz used a gun as her weapon of choice, but it was a chainsaw that was her ultimate tool for getting rid of the evidence. Both of the men were fairly bigger than her, so she used the chainsaw to dismember both men.
The basement of the ice cream shop seemed like the perfect place to hide her wrongdoings. The ice cream machines covered up the sounds of the chainsaws, and the empty basement could hold all of the containers. A little air freshener was her last touch to the crime scene.
There was no way that Estibaliz was going to be proven innocent after those confessions. After the trial was over, there was much to be considered. Estibaliz had admitted that both monsters had made her into a beast.
A court-ordered psychiatric assessment deemed Estibaliz “mentally abnormal”, and she was found to have a personality disorder. The judge could see that something was not right with Estibaliz’s mind, and the murdered made her sure of that.
Estibaliz shared with the courtroom that she was, in fact, a princess. She was in search of a prince who would treat her right and make her happy for the rest of her life.
Unfortunately, her first two suitors were not up to the challenge, and the princess had decided that they had to be executed before she could move on. Her strange tale gave everyone in the courtroom goosebumps. Estibaliz was headed to a mental institution for life.
Estibaliz had been staying at an all-woman’s institution, but that proved to be a very bad idea. Estibaliz was more violent than any other cellmate on the property, and the jury was sure that she would kill again.
To stop her, Estibaliz was moved to an all-male prison located in Asten, Upper-Austria. In 2017, it was home to 91 male cellmates, and Estibaliz Carranza. At this location, the woman would have access to therapists, nurses, doctors and more to get help.
On the day that Estibaliz’s secret was uncovered, she herself found out some shocking news. She was pregnant! After wanting a child for so many years, the “Ice Cream Killer” was finally getting her wish.
It seemed that Estibaliz had met a new man after her last boyfriend, and he was lucky enough to be much more suitable to her needs. It was proven that this man was the father, and the ice cream shop owner was over the moon about the news.
It seemed that Estibaliz was looking forward to her future with this new man and their baby when the repairmen had found out about her secret. She was forced to have her baby behind bars.
Once born, the baby was passed along to her parents for a proper upbringing. Estibaliz is meant to stay in prison for life, but there is no doubt that she will try to be released so that she can be with her new family.
Even though he was well-aware of her previous murders, Estibaliz’s new boyfriend was more than willing to stay with her. In fact, he was even happy to marry her! It’s true—the Ice Cream Killer got married while in jail.
It is a strange situation that most people to this day do not understand. Fortunately, most people feel safe knowing that the sweet-faced woman is still set to stay behind bars for the remainder of her life.
In Austria, it is totally legal for convicted murderers to publish their own memoirs while they’re behind bars. Estibaliz took advantage of this rule, and wrote her own with a journalist named Martina Prewein.
The book is called My Two Lives: The True Story of the Ice Lady. It starts out on the day when she found out she was pregnant, and works backwards in flashbacks. Any of the money that is made from the book goes to the families of the men she murdered.
Hearing the News
Surely, the old owners would have heard about their old ice cream shop and the horrors that had taken place beneath it. Even though Estibaliz had kept their business going, it would likely take some time to bring the customers back after that!
It just goes to show, that there are so many of us with deep secrets that no one could ever imagine possible. The owners had been so sure that Estibaliz was an innocent, hard-working woman. Turns out, she was a hard-working killer.
These days, the ice cream shop is still known for being home to the Ice Cream Killer. Even as time goes on, adults and children alike share the story of what happened on that fateful day in the basement of the building.
The shop may have been famous at one point for having amazing ice cream, but these days it’s known for being the house of horrors. It’s a crazy story that will surely be passed along amongst Vienna’s rich history and stories.