On November 30th 1989, a bomb killed Herrhausen on his way to work, just about half a mile from his home. The bomb had been hidden in a saddle bag on a bicycle next to the road that the assassins knew Herrhausen would be traveling in his three-car convoy. In the bag was a 15 lb bomb that was detonated when Herrhausen's car interrupted a beam of infrared light as it passed the bicycle.
No one has ever been charged with the murder. For a long time, the German federal prosecutor office listed members of the German terror group Red Army Faction (RAF) as the only suspects. However, almost 20 years after the killing prosecutors started to focus more on the involvement of the Stasi, the former East German secret police.