What if Willem Holleeder is your brother? Then you really have big balls, when you dare to write a book about him. I’m talking about the book Judas by Astrid Holleeder.
It is like writing your own death warrant. Well, that’s what it comes down to more or less. You need a lot of courage to do that. And yet, gradually as you read the book, you feel that this book has been the only way out.
Willem Holleeder, if you don’t know who that is you have lived under a rock for the past 35 years. He is one of the kidnappers of Freddy Heineken (former CEO of beer company Heineken and at the time one of the richest persons in the Netherlands). Holleeder has also been detained for extortion. His name keeps appearing in connection with many liquidations in the criminal underworld of Amsterdam. However, he has, so far, never been convicted for lack of evidence. Despite the many suspicions, Holleeder has been released in 2012.
The most famous criminal of the Netherlands has been inexplicably popular since. By then, Willem Holleeder wrote a column for a renowned magazine and recorded a song. Everyone wanted to take a picture with him and he was guest in television program College Tour. When watching the programme, you see a man who really likes all the attention. With a little smile on his lips you can’t help but notice he is enjoying every bit of it.
Astrid, who is a lawyer herself, decides to gather evidence to testify against her brother. So far, Astrid has been a trusted companion to her brother all this time. She decides to start recording their conversations. A life-threatening decision.
In her book Astrid Holleeder elaborately describes how her brother Willem terrorizes the Holleeder family. Not by definition physical, but here is a psychopath at work, who really leaves nothing to chance and everyone seems to be in his power. Astrid sketches her bizarre life and the very complex relationship with her brother. A shocking story with flashbacks to her childhood and gradually this autobiography reads like a thriller. There is no time to breathe, there is not a moment where Astrid has time for herself, because Willem is always around. Except for her sister Sonja, Astrid does not dare to trust anyone, not even the police and the justice department.
In February 2018, court hearings dealing with the content of the case against Willem Holleeder started. He is suspected of being involved in the death of at least six people who have been liquidated, often in broad daylight.
You have the feeling that Astrid is not yet showing all her cards on the table in this book. As part of the ongoing criminal case, she must have kept parts of the necessary material she can use against her brother. At least that is what you hope for. I wonder if the recorded conversations described in this book will be sufficient evidence to give Willem Holleeder the intended sentence of life-long in prison. We will have to wait and see, September 2018 the case resumed.
To order Judas by Astrid Holleeder via The Bookdepositry click on this link, or click on the book below to order on Amazon.
If you would like to know more about the Heineken kidnapping, watch the Dutch movie “De Heineken ontvoering”. I watched it recently and it is pretty decent. The trailer below does not show subtitles (however you get the idea), but this movie should have English subtitles if you decide to buy the DVD or download.
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