1994. 22 Year old stewardess Christel Ambosius is raped and killed in the house of her grandmother in the village Putten. A drop of semen is found on her leg and preserved. Soon, two men are arrested.
1995. While they admit under intense police pressure, they later deny any involvement. The interviews were not recorded on video. The two are convicted to 10 years imprisonment.
2002. The two are set free after serving 7 years. Only after they are set free, the highest court tosses out the conviction in not to be misunderstood words. Police had tunnel vision, evidence against the two was withheld, etc. They are set free and are given compensation, but of course their innocence is not accepted by everyone. Where there is smoke, there must be fire. The case is wide open again, stirring up the village. By now, this is already the most discussed case in my country’s history.
2005. A 29 year old man is convicted of beating up his girlfriend.
2007. After fierce legal protesting, he is forced to give DNA material, which is analyzed and stored in the national database for convicted offenders.
2008. The National Forensic Laboratory calls the cold case team: a coincidence, a present, a gift: the DNA of the man shows a match with the semen found on Christel Ambrosius’s leg 14 years earlier. The then 18 year old man (boy?), now 33, lived in the same village at the time of the murder, but he was never seen as suspect. Police cries victory, evidence is, as it seems, conclusive and undeniable. Kristel’s family keeps quiet, but the earlier convicted men are relieved the case seems to come to a close.
This is not the first time police is said to have serious tunnel vision in high profile cases. I have very mixed feelings about this.
- Record keeping of one’s DNA? Hmmmmm, I am not too sure I like that. It is now mandatory for convicted criminals. The profiles are destroyed for the suspects not guilty.
- I am thrilled the bastard is caught, and two innocent (but scarred) men walk.
- Once a criminal, always a criminal? I like to think not.
- How the hell did it take 3 years to find the match?
BTW: Anyone in favor for the death penalty, hmmmm? Sure, sure, for THIS guy of course yes, but we wouldn’t know that would we? (“Ok, ok, we killed the wrong ones, sorry, SORRY!!! But we are most definately sure we got the real bastard now, so, let’s kill him too”)