Looking down gun barrel
A 65-year-old murder mystery has been solved. Image: Hellebardius/Flicker/CC BY-ND

A 96-year-old woman has confessed to a murder, bringing to a close a 65-year-year-old mystery that has baffled Dutch authorities. Atie Ridder-Visser admitted in a letter to killing Felix Gulje in the mistaken belief that he was a Nazi collaborator. She will not be prosecuted.

A murder confession

Leiden mayor Henri Lenfrink announced that on Jan. 1 he received a letter from Ridder-Visser confessing to the murder. She had been a member of the Dutch resistance.

In her letter, Ridder-Visser recounts going to Gulje’s home. She rang the doorbell and told Gulje’s wife that she had an important letter for her husband. When Gulje returned home later that evening, she shot him in the chest. He died in an ambulance on the way to a local hospital.

Mistakenly accused of collaboration

Gulje, the head of a construction company in Leiden, Holland, had been suspected of collaborating with the Nazis during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. Gulje was arrested by Dutch authorities after the war but was acquitted on all charges. In the years since his murder it has come to light that he aided Jews as well as a Catholic group involved in the resistance.

After the war

After the war, Ridder-Visser moved to Indonesia. She also lived in Spain for a time, but eventually returned to the Netherlands. She never had children. In her letter, Ridder-Visser admitted to the mayor that she was wrong and regretted the murder. Last month, she met with two of Gulje’s grandchildren and told them she was responsible for the death of their grandfather.

No prosecution will follow

Mayor Lenfrink said Ridder-Visser could not be prosecuted after so many years and urged the press to let Ridder-Visser be. He said she is very frail, needs assistance and can not hear well. Although sympathetic toward the ailing woman, Lenfrink condemned her actions. “Even now, after 65 years, the murder should be strongly condemned. It is a case of vigilantism, and is unacceptable,” he said.


The Envoy: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theenvoy/20110609/ts_yblog_theenvoy/96-year-old-dutch-woman-confesses-to-world-war-ii-era-murder

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/08/atie-ridder-visser-1946-murder-mistaken-nazi-_n_873205.html

Monsters and Critics: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1644758.php/Dutch-woman-96-admits-to-murder-of-wrong-suspect-65-years-ago

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