Dutch detectives turn to the power of podcasts to solve the 1991 murder case

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Dutch detectives are chasing 15 new potentials in a 30-year murder case, inspired by the current popularity of real crime documentaries to broadcast their own three-part podcast in an initial unfortunate police investigation.

The identity of the murdered man found in the electric blanket occupied by a busy highway in August 1991, and the identity of his murderer, has not appeared in the last decades since his discovery despite a national probe.

A 70-minute series of police podcasts detailing previous efforts to rupture the case, and recent developments, including the reconstruction of the victim’s face, with the help of Dundee University, have opened up new opportunities for investigators to investigate,

The story is attracted by thousands of listeners, the first attempt by officers in the Netherlands to break the cold case with their own crime podcasts and expose the obstacles faced by detectives.

“It’s like a document,” said Martin de Wit, a former journalist who works as a spokesperson for cold cases at the Politics Nederland Communications Department. “I came back with the cop who was first on the scene. I went back to this place with him and talked to the others who worked on it. I talked to the forensic experts and the team that is working on it now.

“At the moment we had 15 podcast scams – very useful information – and my colleagues are working on it now. The victim was 60 or 70 at the time. We want to find out who it was and who did it. “

The success of recent genuine crime programs, such as the American documentary “The Murderer”, following the conviction of Steven Avery for the murder of Teresa Halbach, offered a clear indication that the subject would be of interest, but the challenge lies in its own strength. engagingly telling a story.

Detective Johan Baas, who left on holiday to join uniformed officers on the scene as early as 1991, said he had no doubts about participation. “The creators asked me if I wanted to talk to the podcast, and I would do something to help finance the dead man’s identity,” he said.

“I told them through everything we did. We had nothing like that in the 1990s, and we couldn’t tell everyone the information we had. Now we can share information that only the perpetrator and the police can know. “

It was a hot summer in 1991, when local workers in the town of Naarden, 15 km east of Amsterdam, found a disintegrated body. There was evidence of several stab wounds on the dead man’s chest.

The podcast goes through the listener’s discovery of the body and the trawl for trails from forensics experts and others.

Baas, who was 33 at the time of the murder, recalled that this was a fight to identify the corpse because DNA testing technology was in its infancy and there was no national sample control database at this stage.

The man’s fingerprints were not recorded. Such was the state of disintegration, it was difficult to judge when he died, not for the police artists to form.

Men’s clothing and blankets, which were made in Germany, also provided no traces, as they were sold in thousands.

Part of the blanket in which the victim was wrapped. Photo: Dutch police

All the detectives that the detectives had to continue during the initial six-month investigation were a ring on his finger.

Baas said, “We went to the jeweler and told us that it was a gold ring and had a sign saying where it was made. It was made for a mail order company called Otto. We looked at all the rings that Otto had sold and went to talk to someone who bought them. It was the only leadership we had. “

Baas said they spoke mainly to one man who no longer had his ring because he was selling it to someone at a bar in Amsterdam. But the mysterious merchant didn’t appear, and no one in the facility knew his name.

He said, “There were no facts to say” yes or no “about whether it was a victim. I had to look for the family of the dead. He was an older man, maybe a father, and that weighed on me. We worked for six months and it was very frustrating. We worked very hard across the Netherlands, north to south and east to west, but we never identified him. “

Two years ago, a new technology was used to create a man’s face image. He is believed to be about 65 years old, and was more of a Eastern European than a Turkish one, as anticipated at the time of his discovery.

De Wit said, “The Cold Case team wanted to go public. We thought we could be traditional and make a press release, go to our TV investigative program. However, this was the case with so much information that we can share. Perhaps the smallest detail can open the case. Maybe if we do, someone can help us take the next step.

“It was a great success and we have a lot of exposure in this case, so it’s just logical to do it again. In other regions, departments are now considering this. In cold cases, you can share more. However, this does not mean that it cannot be applied to new cases. “

(brandsToTranslate) Netherlands