An Austrian duke shot three members of his family dead during a row over inheritance at their castle, prosecutors claim.
Count Anton von Goëss, 54, the owner of Bockfliess Castle in Mistelbach, Lower Austria, allegedly blasted his 92-year-old father Count Johannes Ulrich Goëss, stepmother Margherita Cassis-Faraone Goëss, 87, and brother Ernst Goëss, 52, with a shotgun.
Von Goëss was arrested by police on suspicion of murder, and has allegedly confessed to the killings, which took place in the Bockfliess Castle's offices last Thursday, local media reports.
According to the police, all victims were shot at close range and a hunting rifle was found at the scene.
The alarm was raised by a neighbour of the stately home who allegedly became suspicious after she heard noises that sounded like 'bangs' on Thursday afternoon around 2pm.
The police arrived at the crime scene to find the Count expecting them and he did not resist arrest.
Initially nobody could explain why the Count, who was described by all accounts as polite, sociable and socially conscious, brutally murdered his family.
The police refused to comment on a possible motive, citing the importance of ongoing investigations.
However, the nobleman's defence have said he suffering from an incurable terminal disease.
A lawyer acting for the Count, who also goes by the nickname 'Tono', claimed he suffered headaches from tumours, that caused 'a certain amount of confusion to set in', Peter Philipp told Austrian news site OE24.