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Tragic twist in saga of Michael Schumacher’s stolen medical files
Michael Schumacher
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Aug 2014   |  9:22 am GMT  |  81 comments

The sense of sadness and incomprehensibility surrounding Michael Schumacher’s accident and its aftermath intensified yesterday as the man Swiss police were holding on suspicion of trying to sell the champion’s medical records committed suicide in his cell in Zurich.

The man, whose real name has not been released, was arrested on Tuesday and denied any involvement with the theft of Schumacher’s records.

This followed a sordid tale in which a man, who called himself Kagemusha san, after a character from a Kurosawa film, contacted several leading tabloid papers in Europe offering the records for €50,000.

Some of them, including Bild, tipped the Schumacher family and his manager Sabine Kehm off to the existence of this file and Kehm issued a strong statement saying that they would sue anyone who published its contents.

This left the thief with nowhere to go to sell the file. The net then began to tighten as police found IP data suggesting that the emails sent to the tabloids had come from a computer in the offices of Rega, a Zurich based medical helicopter service, which had been sent the file to provide a proposal for repatriating the injured seven times world champion to Lausanne, from the hospital bed in Grenoble, where he had been since late December.

He sustained a bad head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps and was in a coma for six months until June.

The man found dead in his cell yesterday morning was an employee of Rega and had been tracked down by Swiss police and taken into custody on Tuesday.

He was being held for further questioning on Wednesday when he hanged himself overnight Tuesday.

There was only a short statement from Sabine Kehm: “We are at a loss for words and deeply shocked.”

Last month Schumacher’s wife Corinna wrote a message to fans in the programme for the German Grand Prix, thanking them for their support and saying that the worst was now behind them in her husband’s long road to recovery.

Since confirming that he had come out of a coma, there has been no further update on his condition or his prospects of recovery.

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kenneth chapman

@! iceman…evidently he was a 54 year old ‘admin mgr’ at the heli medi transport company. lived a quiet life with his partner and none of his friends/associates had any pre knowledge of any financial worries. seems to be an enigma and, at the moment, quite perplexing. hopefully we will learn if there were any underlying facts that will shed some more information on this tragic event.


I find it interesting that the Swiss authorities did not release the man’s name. It would seem the Swiss police force has more respect for the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” than many others around the world. In the US or the UK he would have been “perp-walked” in front of the media or named in a police press conference.


Someone has died… that is serious and puts sport into perspective. How many of us knows what it is like to be in a mental state where you are willing to kill yourself? I bet very few.

For all we know, he may have been heartbroken. He may have been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We just don’t know and since we will never know, we just have to say R.I.P to this tragic innocent human being who was pushed to the brink.

kenneth chapman

@ jason….your point re ‘knowledge’. i cannot, for the life of me,[no pun intended] think of any situation where i would contemplate an action such as this. you are quite right as no one can know what led this poor individual to make that decision. just recently the chap who was at the centre of the mc laren/ferrari spying intrigue allegedly took his own life. why? he appeared to be moving forward with his life by published accounts. it just goes to show how easy it is for some people to hide any ‘intent’ but then again it may also be simply a ‘spur of the moment thing’ triggered by a sudden impulse.

as you said, ‘who knows’?


In response to kenneth chapman – The incident with Michael & DC at Spa was a racing incident Michael would have been full of adreline & probably got a big shock when DC hit. Michael is not an aggressive person [mod]


@ hugh corbett……you make an interesting interpretation of what shumacher would’ve thought/done. how can you possibly know what his reaction to this event would be? are you simply projecting or do you have some deep and meaningful insight.


I know enough about Michael to know he would not want a man dead for stealing his medical files.

kenneth chapman

@ hugh corbett….you may think that, but you do not know that for a fact. pure supposition. as an aside, very many years ago shumacher accused david couthard of trying to kill him after schumacher ran into the back of coulthard’s car….. a race incident…is that the mind of a rational thinking individual? just an interesting point of view don’t you think?

Scuderia McLaren

As deep and meaningful as your insights are.

You seen intent on linking team Schumacher, in some convoluted and indirect way, to the death of the man police put in jail as the suspect for fraudulent behaviour.

How are your insights and crazy “causality” connections any more meaningful?

kenneth chapman

@ scuderia mclaren….my comment re ‘causality’ and the logical extensions to that fact are simply reality. a reality that you don’t wish to acknowledge. my comments are nothing more than a clinical observation of events, which i identified in my original post. if you can’t understand the basic tenet of what i am saying then i suggest that we terminate this debate as it is going absolutely no where. not that it needs to as the facts are plain/simple and there for all to observe.

kenneth chapman

@ ravi……do you understand the tenet of my post? i very much doubt it by way of your garbled response.

let me just put a point of supposition to you. if the shumacher/kehm/medical team had published a full and frank analysis of shumachers condition publicly do you think that ‘some other individual’ who got hold of a copy of that original document would find a ready market? c’mon. you are expressing a faux outrage here at what is a ridiculous and specious argument.

there is no blame attached to the shumachers as i have said that the events that have transpired were ‘an unintended consequence’. nothing more and nothing less.i suggest that you re read and then inwardly digest my comments.


This is a tragedy for this man’s family. Whether he was guilty or not he did not deserve to die and his family are now suffering. His mental state was obviously fragile, some may remember in December 2012 when the Duchess of Cambridge was in hospital for morning sickness and these Australian radio presenters spoke to a nurse, pretending to be the Queen or someone from the Royal family, the nurse provided some information about the Duchess’s health, that poor woman killed herself. I can’t believe people are claiming anything other than suicide, and it is in no way the fault of Michael’s family because they have kept back details of Michael’s condition. Michael would not have wanted this, he would be angry and upset about the files being stolen, but he would not want a death.



Fair comment, and since you brought her up, the name of the nurse who tragically died at her own hand after being pranked by Mel Greig and Michael Christian from Australia was Jacintha Saldanha.


Well done to James and the moderators for maintaining this post. Human nature can sometimes get downright disheartening… and I’m NOT referring to the deceased, Ms Kehm or the Schumacher family.

Scuderia McLaren

Just perusing the comments here and one emerging theme I find totally disingenuous and revolting is the connection being made between this mans apparent suicide and it somehow being the fault of Schumacher or Schumacher’s family. I think one link in particular goes… “had Schumacher’s family released all info immediately, there’d be no info to sell, therefore none to steal, therefore no crime, therefore no death…” Come on! That’s like saying, “had she not walked through the park at midnight, she’d not have caused that man to become interested, which then caused him to rape, which then caused him to suicide in prison. Therefore it’s her fault.” Totally flawed logic. I’m sorry but our society is way to adept at shifting responsibility around.


@ scuderia mc laren…….have you ever heard of ‘causality’ where a sequence of events leads to unintended and unforeseen consequences ? your analogy is totally wrong in both context and conclusion. the alleged ‘purveyor of stolen data’ had absolutely no contact either physical or by any other means with any of the shumachers or their agents. nice try, pity it failed.

kenneth chapman

@ scuderia mclaren….i somehow think that you have missed the point entirely. causality and responsibility, in this case, have absolutely no link despite your attempts. read my post again and then calmly think it through. no one has has linked this incident by way of blame on the kehm/shumacher business management team. you need to understand the meaning of ‘causality’and ‘unintended consequences’ as i have tried to explain.



Thread closed – Mod


[mod] can you prove this “causality” with NO DOUBT that the secrecy lead to the guy stealing the documents and hence then committing suicide. Just the way one can’t prove absolutely if the guy commited the crime, you can’t prove this causality. It’s amazing to what length some can go to blame the Schumachers.

Oh and I would love to see you be this insensitive in a similar situation that would involve you ! Then one can talk

Scuderia McLaren


Causality does not offset responsibility at the final stages.

It’s an entertaining thing to connect the dots, but taking it to a point if twisting blames is juvenile at best.

Time to grow up Kenny.


Regards the suicide – sad story.

Regards the suspect – we don’t know whether he was guilty or not. Suicide rendered an even sadder story.

Regards the Zurich prison – their fault. One of the first things you do in a prison is to avoid inmates from committing suicide. Bad judgment on the part of the Zurich prison administrators and their (visibly apparent) indiscretion and downright stupidity.

Regards conspiracy – stick with the facts! He was a suspect. He committed suicide. The suspect claimed he was innocent. He may have been. How many criminals plead innocence from the get-go? The cops caught the guy through a process. The culmination of that process didn’t yield much, since the guy killed himself – a good premise to smother the deceased with pity, but it proves nothing!

Regards the Schumacher family and Michael – they have the right to their privacy. Michael isn’t a performer, but a sportsman. He had never enjoyed being in the public eye, except when he was racing grand prixs. He earned everything he currently has (excluding the injury) – privacy, money, admiration, fans, global support, etc. The Schumacher’s don’t owe any explanation about Schuey’s actual health to anybody. Those suggesting the Schumachers should have revealed everything to avoid this suicide case should seriously get their morality meter checked if common sense is proving beyond elusive to begin with!

Regards the actual thief – whoever that is (even if it was the recently departed in Zurich prison) – poetic justice! Brick layer’s son goes on to make history using talent legally (Schuey). Some quarter-wit criminal tries to attain financial success through the misfortune of the same brick layer’s. How hard is it to understand this plot?

In conclusion, the real story here is – the internet is a revolutionary tool that allows all kinds of opinions, gut instincts, perspectives, judgment on all kinds of issues. One would hope they are equally revolutionary, lest we’ve become lesser than machines!


“Michael isn’t a performer, but a sportsman.” < < < < Sorry, but where in the world or on what planet are elite athletes NOT performers?

That's a willful delusion or disingenuity to argue otherwise. The entire premise of F1 in the modern era as a business is that the sport is entertainment to a global audience – and the athletes = entertainers.


@Lohani –

Fair enough.

Good reply.



Fair argument considering Michael was a F1 driver. If he’s a performer, he’s a performer to the world, not to himself or his family. The call of privacy was obviously made in the interests of the family. Maybe Schuey would have approached this differently, but he was in a coma.

I, personally, never got entertained by Schuey’s driving and determination. I got inspired – just one fan’s point of view.

kenneth chapman

@ lohani…… you might care to give a reason as to why the shumachers so desperately crave and impose such a high level of secrecy? even a modicum of enlightenment for the fans would possibly assuage their need to know how their ‘champ’ is faring.

what possible benefit is there in silence?

Scuderia McLaren

The benefit can only be known by the Schumachers, though I can easily think of many.

The point here is why do you feel their rights are invalidated?

I find that the most curious thing about your posts and the fallacious attempts at linking Team Schumacher to this death by virtue of exercising their rights.

It makes me wonder what part if the world you come from where rights should be so easily trampled and insane connections made to purport an implied guilt on Team Schu, where no cause was given whatsoever for this suspect to a) have (suspectedly) done the crime and b) killed himself because of it and/or incarceration.

Some just can’t cope with accountability… Oh well.


Hello Kenneth Chapman,

I’m afraid only Sabine Kemp or the Schumachers can answer that question. I am just a Schumacher fan. I’m okay with the position the family have taken – just one fan’s point of view, of course.


Well thought out comment, and eloquently put. I couldn’t believe my eyes reading some of the myopic and ill thought comments by some posters above.


This is all round sad, it’s so messed up. But, personally, I was led to believe that love dies with time in any marriage. This is proving me wrong and I wish Schumacher and his family all the best.

kenneth chapman

@ apex predator…..apropos your post i have already stated on many occasions that i thought that Kehm & co were manipulating the free flow of information unneccessarily and placing a premium on the ‘preservation of privacy’ to an unwarranted degree. what really was there to hide? people have accidents every single day that include brain trauma. nothing mysterious about that yet kehm has driven this ‘secrecy’ element almost like a publicity event.maybe that is what this is all about. am i cynical? yes, manifestly so.

so, will this latest event be given any fresh air? was he a suicide risk?if so was he being monitored during his incarceration? why was he jailed in the first place? i would have thought he may have been charged and given bail for such a trivial ‘alleged crime’. the issue is that someone has lost his life for nothing more than an attempt to make a few euros for the clandestine supply of data that should not be of any value other than prurient interest. it is indeed an unfortunate turn of events and as you say, maybe there is more to it than a random act of depression. we will likely never know…….


Not a post to put up but a suggestion. James why not put like and dislike tickboxes for every comment that is put up by users?? reaction/feedback speaks volumes.


[mod]…not a shame 🙂


Mmmh seems like a plot from a Hollywood film; I wonder if he REALLY hung himself…


Take it a step further…why so tight lipped with medical records for a mere accidental fall? Why is shumachers condition always under a shroud of secrecy? Then medical records that, aside from the fact they’ve been more or less hidden since the accident occurred, would really have no real value (or shouldn’t) to anyone suddenly are being shopped around for 50 large? Why? What’s so interesting in them? And if that interesting, why only 50 grand? Maybe shumachers accident wasn’t an accident? Maybe it was an accidentally on purpose sort of thing. And these records would have possibly brought into question a simple fall accident. And this suicide wasn’t just that at all. But meant to shut the guy up for good? Imagine that…

Really guys.. The whole thing is silly and sad. Maybe this guy had massive gambling debts, and now his only plan to pay em off is gone, maybe he thought this was his fate anyway. Who knows?


It’s sad but it seems very much like it was him who stooped to such a disgusting low. It’s hard to feel sympathy for the deceased in this case. Impossible probably.


While it certainly is a tragedy when someone takes their own life, this guy should have known that stealing and trying to sell this information would only result in a bad outcome. Sooner or later, he was always going to be found out and thus forever known as the person who made Michael’s family endure even more hardship. They have suffered mightily as has Michael himself. Unfortunately, there will not be much sympathy for a person who attempted to pull off such a low class crime.

kenneth chapman

@ brian…i am at a loss to understand why the publication of schumacher’s medical report which understandably would only be of a temporary nature/at this point in time, would make shumacher’s family endure even more hardship? surely this is a massive overeaction to what is largely an innocuous event, besides the man had never faced a court and must be considered to be innocent until proved otherwise.

kenneth chapman

@ brian… no one, me included, is claiming that the family is not undergoing a serious level of stress. that would be a normal human reaction. you still haven’t considered answering the initial question posed….why would the publication of a ‘temporary’ clinical report cause any further undue hardship? it makes absolutely no sense to wrap this incident in ‘family privacy/secrecy’.

if, for example, the report says that shumacher is in a state whereby there is very little hope of any substantial recovery then by acknowledging this his fans/followers would undoubtedly be fully sypathetic and supportive. conversely, if the report actually said that there was hope that he will recover, in time, either completely or only partially then that would also garner sympathy and support from said followers. how can the prospect of either of these scenarios be in any way detrimental?



The family is already going through a very hard time dealing with the injury to Michael. It is their private business and they choose that it remains so for the time being. So, if someone steals medical records and sells them against the family’s wishes, then it will cause them undue stress and hardship by simply having to deal with the situation. Put yourself in their situation and if you still can’t see why it would cause them hardship, then no amount of explanation will suffice.

I have not judged the guy who took his own life because I do not know if he is guilty or not. But I should have said “if” he was the guy who stole the records. In my opinion, the truth would eventually come out and whoever the perpetrated the crime would look like a profiteering and heartless criminal who was preying on Schumacher’s family’s misfortunes and grief. It’s too bad he saw no way out other than suicide. The suicide was a tragedy as was Schumi’s accident.



Agree again 100%.

It is pretty obvious that Schumacher is in a tragic state and would it not be better to come clean and end the speculation.

I am all for respecting the privacy of the familly but Schamacher lived the majority of his life in the public eye and I say come clean and get it over with.


At least some people seem to see how ridiculous it is for others to pass judgement on a dead man. I for one have sympathy not for the Schumacher family in this regard but for the accused. The likes of Kehm & Co will sleep well I guess… They’ll be paid well and haven’t lost anyone. The Schumacher family will still have the best care and a trail of short sighted fans claiming they are true victims instead of a man who chose to kill himself on being accused of something. I can’t understand how people on here can conclude because he committed suicide he was guilty. Perhaps they should learn a little more about suicide before passing judgement.


Look so suspicious…

| would wager this man was helped to ‘commit suicide’…

who would kill themselves over something so trivial in terms of the actual crime?

sorry i dont buy it.


You are not rich with 50k€.


50k would make the majority of humanity in our present world consider themselves as rich. Believe that. Marc


agree but that is switzerland


Obviously this is a tragic outcome to an ill advised attempt at a get rich quick scheme by an everyday working guy. He didn’t even try to hide where he was sending emails from, didn’t ask for an outrageous sum of money, it was inevitable he would get caught. That said it appears he feared the public opinion and possible prison time more than death. Sad indeed, I feel sympathy for his friends and family.

What I don’t understand is the hard line Michael Schumacher’s manager has taken in this matter. While I value my privacy and agree the Schumacher family should certainly have their privacy respected at a time like this Sabine Kehm’s statements have always seemed rather militant. Of course the family should have the right to sue anyone who published the medical records but it seems to me publication was not going to happen. If it did it would probably have happened in some tabloid where it could easily be discounted as specious and misleading. For Ms. Sabine Kehm to now say, “We are at a loss for words and deeply shocked” seems a little disingenuous. Perhaps Ms. Kehm could use a little more development in her use of diplomacy.


I’d say that was very diplomatic.

What would you have said?

Scuderia McLaren

I’d have said, “What goes around, comes around.”


Incredible. When will we ever get some good news ? This is like a nightmare that refuses to end. If the incredulity surrounding Schumi’s fall and his coma wasn’t bad enough, now another casualty related to the same incident. Tragic.


This is very sad indeed, we’ll never know whether it was him or not now.


Hmmm, when one commits theft or fraud and gets caught, even with a high profile figure, few think of suicide. Unless this guy had prior depression issues, I’d be suspicious of this death.


I don’t believe this guy killed himself. He was likely murdered.


Very true. Suspects die in police custody all the time.

kenneth chapman

from a purely clinical disassembly, had the family/medicos been upfront and freely dispersed accurate and informative details of shumachers state of welfare there wouldn’t have been any so called ‘toxic treasure’ to hawk to the media in the first instance.


Absolutely, now can we have your historical records – academics, legal, personal et al please be shared with all your friends and colleagues ? Of-course its better that know so that there isnt any value of that one rogue friend stealing those from you and distributing those to your friends…

kenneth chapman

@ ravi…sorry but i missed this post of yours…what would you like to know about my medical records? do you want the ‘full enchilada’ or just a brief synopsis? i am 75 years of age and i have all the usual problems associated with an ‘aged’ person & before you jump to conclusions….no i am not senile, i don’t actually suffer any ‘mental issues’ that i am aware of and i can still tie my shoelaces. now what else would you like to know…….?

Scuderia McLaren

Sound like, “Had the medicos breached the Schumacher’s privacy, then…”

Are you kidding? Hill/Villeneuve fan? Schumacher can’t be the blame for everything. How it can be his fault is beyond me.


@Kenneth Chapman: The very basic question may be: Why do the Schumacher family & medico have to share freely the accurate details about Schuey’s state of welfare to everyone else in the world? Basically we all are not in the “need-to-know” group, and even if they choose to release absolutely no info about the champ’s condition they couldn’t be blamed, correct?

kenneth chapman

@ alan…..i take your point but given the massive outpourings of grief, real or imagined, felt by shumacher’s legions of supporters it seems as though such an all embracing cloak of secrecy is/was a badly designed policy. i say that as an observer, not as a fan or a follower of shumacher. personally i couldn’t give a FMT about his condition but there are, i understand, many thousands of people who do.

during his time in F1 he lived and breathed huge public acclaim. it is quite normal to be interested in his welfare so why should they deny this basic request?


Agree 100%.


All over €50000??? It was a dirtbag move, though a true and thorough dirtbag would never have felt any hint of remorse or shame, that it seems this guy did in order to take his own life. Tragic, and unnecessary.


I feel passionately about preserving what few remaining favorable aspects of the criminal justice process there are for defendants (depend specifics on what country you’re in of course, and so what regime under) – including, in more enlightened jurisdictions, presumption of innocence.


Not even sure why I used “most” in my post above, when it should be “all”.


A bit odd to respond 6 weeks later, but whatever. Thankfully those aspects you mentioned are of course still preserved in most Western countries’ criminal justice systems, so I don’t believe you have anything to fret about there.

Expecting these forums to mirror that is a bit much.


Why do you comment as if it’s a proven fact that the victim who took his own life is guilty of the crime of stealing the medical records?

I begin to doubt the appropriateness of opening this post to comments when so many are defamatory and disrespectful.


@JDanek007, you are correct that I have no way of knowing whether or not the suspect in the case did the alleged crime, just as you do not know that he didn’t.

Do you have some connection to this case? I just ask, considering the sheer number of comments from you on this particular post.

I also find it odd that the only post you’ve agreed with, is one that wildly speculates that there might’ve been foul play involved, instead of suicide.


Sad all round really. For Schueys family especially & how the medical file saga ended.

The criminal trying to sell a file to the media backfired & now found hanging in the cell. Toxic treasure equals bad Karma. It would have been interesting to see in court what possessed this dumbass to even contemplate he’d get rich on another families sadness.

Not much else can be said.


the key words in the article are …. The man, whose real name has not been released, was arrested on Tuesday and denied any involvement with the theft of Schumacher’s records. 🙂


@Clyde, it takes a community to raise a child, and we all have to do our part and pitch-in when inappropriate, juvenile comments are at issue.


@ JDanek007

my comment was moderated so you obviously could not get the gist of it….

anyways Since when did you become the moral police of this site ?


Clyde, what is so funny about 1) the original theft of the records and their attempted sale and 2) the suicide of the prime suspect that would lead you to “smile”?

and it seems that despite Jame’s best intentions to give the readers a voice, there are always those who abuse the privilege and don’t even understand the gravitas…

Scuderia McLaren

Then why kill himself?

Not the actions of an innocent man.


[mod] The man who committed suicide was not found guilty so the fact that you are passing judgement without any certainty is infantile. I certainly think whoever tried to sell the medical records is a criminal, but even then how badly does it affect Schumacher? His biggest problem isn’t the possibility of medical records going public. Whoever tried to sell them didn’t deserve to die for it, to me that is certain. Fame can bring many benefits and Schumacher has had more than his share and we all know that a trade off can be privacy. To me this just reeks of strong arm tactics and quite possibly a man who may have been in a mentally poor state was then accused of something and could not take it. The greatest instinct in a human being is the instinct of survival and for this man to take his own life in a cell is tragic on every level. When you equate this man’s death to karma and belittle him saying all he wanted is money you seem to forget that Micheal is literally a shell of his former self with all the money in the world. I think unlike what you say there is a lot more to be said.


@ pkara

You need help man


Clyde & Cheeypoof

Legal Associates fighting grime err I mean crime.

Down at city hall representing The Man.

Will chase Ambulances 😀

Though in court unable to use profanity (mod)

Its funny how people are commentating on so called innocent file snatcher

His goose was cooked when he was arrested. But one has to look at his mental state & whether the law enforcement had any info regarding his mental state…ironic really of they didn’t have his medical records or requested them.

Anyhow ones not getting into a mud slinging posting match regarding this story as it is a sad affair.


Don’t judge without all the facts. How said is it for this mans family as well. It is not only the Shumaker family suffering? Collateral damage and consequences also impact on others. It’s just sad all round.


You are presuming he was guilty which has not been proved or ever likely to be due to the tragic circumstance surrounding the allegation.


@Nickh said: “Why else would he take his life???”

—->>> b/c he was mentally ill – even if just temporarily.

Sane people do not commit suicide, regardless of the circumstances, and your callous comment shows a distinct lack of empathy and comprehension (you’re not alone in manifesting empathy disorder, however).

Scuderia McLaren

So an innocent man hung himself?

There is no evidence of foul play.



One can connect the dots up though, he knew he would be going to jail for a long time. Why else would he take his life???

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