Dad who killed son, 3, in murder-suicide told Brit celeb stylist mum her ‘hell had only just begun’ after snatching tot
A DAD who killed his own son before shooting himself dead told his Brit celebrity stylist mum her "hell had only just begun" after snatching the tot.
Phoebe Arnold sparked a massive police hunt involving drones and sniffer dogs after showing cops chilling messages from her estranged husband after he failed to return their three-year-old son, Tasso, home.
Clemens Weisshaar, who moved to Portugal with his partner-of-five years during the coronavirus pandemic, reportedly threatened to harm the youngster several times unless his London-born wife changed her mind about divorcing him.
The 44-year-old last made contact with the boy’s anguished mum on November 4 – three days after going back on his promise to hand him back to Ms Arnold as police intensified their search following her November 1 alert her ex and child were missing.
On Sunday, hunters found Weisshaar with a gunshot wound to his head near his burned-out car on remote mountainous land near the town of Grandola, a 90-minute drive south of Lisbon.
His son’s body was found inside the gutted vehicle.
Police sources reportedly told Portuguese daily Correio da Manha that Weisshaar had emailed Ms Arnold saying "Your hell has now begun" among a number of haunting Whatsapp and email messages.
Ms Arnold left Munich-born Weisshaar and moved to Lisbon with Tasso after “several episodes of domestic violence” at their expat family home in Grandola, it's reported.
A Portuguese nanny the couple are said to have taken to the town from London when they moved abroad at the end of last year is understood to have told police about abuse she witnessed by the German dad-of-one.
Ms Arnold, a former fashion magazine director who counts singer Paloma Faith among her clients, was letting her ex spend time alone with their son for the first time since their split in July when they vanished.
Clemens, who studied in London and founded a leading-edge design firm with American business partner Reed Kram called Kram/Weisshaar with offices in Stockholm and Munich, had been doing up an old schoolhouse in a village a 20-minute drive south of Grandola.
He had purchased the property with his estranged partner as their future marital home.
Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticas reported today Weisshaar had become depressed after his “dream disintegrated” following their summer split.
Revealing he had planned to build a motocross circuit for their son around the new property, it said: “While the work on the house progressed, the designer sent messages to his ex with the intention of restarting their relationship, showing he was quite depressed.
“He managed to persuade her to let him see their son again, on October 30, and stay with him till the following Monday.
“On the night of November 1, with Clemens and Tasso still missing, Phoebe Arnold alerted the authorities about the disappearance.
“She showed the police the messages Clemens had been sending her, revealing an obvious sense of frustration.”
Weisshaar was last seen at Taberna dos Mosqueiroes, a bar-restaurant near the school house, the day before he picked his son up.
Rui Ermida, owner of the eaterie where the designer used to pop in regularly for lunch and a beer with the men helping him do up his property, received a visit from police last Monday asking him if he had seen Clemens.
Searches with drones and specialist sniffer dogs failed to yield any clues about his and his son’s whereabouts before Sunday’s horror discovery.
Weisshaar's body was found by his vehicle and his child’s body inside its charred remains.
The two bodies were reportedly found inside the Herdade da Ribeira Abaixo Biodiversity Station, which functions as a field station for the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes based at Lisbon University’s Science Faculty.
It was created to provide lodging and other infrastructure to students, researchers and guest scientists interested in developing ecology research projects.
The property, on the left bank of the Sado River in the Grandola Mountains around a 90-minute drive south of Lisbon and some five miles from the town of Grandola, is in a cork oak forest crossed by creeks and temporary streams.
It was not clear this morning if an autopsy has already taken place at a hospital in the city of Santiago do Cacem near Grandola, where a regional branch of the National Institute of Forensic Medicine is based.
The Policia Judiciaria, the investigative police force leading the ongoing criminal inquiry, has not yet made any official comment.
Dulce Ermida, who owns Taberna dos Mosqueiroes with her husband Rui, said: "The father would often come in for something to drink or eat.
“He had bought a house nearby that he was doing up and when he was working on the house he tended to come in.
“He seemed like a normal nice guy. The little boy and the mum had also been in before but not since the summer.
“I noticed nothing out of the ordinary.
“We knew the dad and the youngster were missing from last Monday and assumed he had gone to Germany with his son.
"We never imagined for one moment that things would end in the terrible and awful way they have.
“We found out what had happened on Sunday afternoon. The news reached us very quickly.
“I’m still in a state of shock to be honest. It’s all really upsetting.”
Rui, revealing Clemens was in a “good mood” on October 29 when he last saw him before he went to pick up his son added: “He would often come in with the men working on his house to have lunch or a beer.
“It was easy to speak to him, he was always pleasant.
“He came two or three times with the child and the boy’s mum as well. I thought he had gone to Germany with his son, it was what people round here were surmising.”
The whereabouts of Ms Arnold, who co-founded Ponystep magazine and became fashion director at magazines including Garage and Elle as well as working as a celebrity stylist, was unclear today.
She was said to be in “deep suffering” by Patricia Cipriano, described in a UK press report as her lawyer.
Mrs Cipriano was quoted by MailOnline as saying: “She is in deep suffering.
“She's just thinking about what she's going to do the next minute right now.
“She hasn't woken up to reality yet. She can't believe he is dead. She doesn't exactly know the circumstances of his death.'
Globe-trotting Ms Arnold and her estranged partner had been dating since at least 2016 and are thought to have been married, though it is unclear exactly when they tied the knot.
The man identified as Tasso’s alleged killer has been described by magazine Forum as “the leading edge of a new generation of digital designers.”
He first trained as a metalworker before studying design in London. His business partner Reed Kram has a background in computer science and maths as well as design.
Kram/Weisshaar’s work has been exhibited worldwide and can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein in Germany.
Ms Arnold’s mum told a journalist at her London home on Monday: “It's a very upsetting situation and we don't want to talk about it.
“I’m sorry, it's too distressing.”
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available every day from 10am-6pm.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
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