Marksman jailed for Kerkrade bloodbath
22 July 2004, AMSTERDAM — The 38-year-old former marine marksman who shot and killed his estranged girlfriend and three members of her family was sentenced to 20 years jail on Thursday.
22 July 2004
AMSTERDAM — The 38-year-old former marine marksman who shot and killed his estranged girlfriend and three members of her family was sentenced to 20 years jail on Thursday.
He has also been ordered by a court in Maastricht to undergo compulsory treatment at a secure TBS psychiatric hospital at the end of his prison sentence.
Earlier this month, the prosecution had asked the court to impose a life sentence, claiming that Paul S. was untreatable. But the court ruled he had to be given the opportunity to rehabilitate and regain a place in society.
The court took into account the findings of a psychiatric assessment prepared by the Pieter Baan Centre in Utrecht. Experts at the centre concluded S. was not of sound mind when he committed the murders.
The former marine has at one time given firearms training to police officers.
S. admitted the killings and an earlier court sitting heard how he could not accept the relationship with his former girlfriend, Daniela Vromen, 29, had ended. He also had a longstanding dispute about business matters with her family.
When he discovered Daniela had removed items from the home they had shared and changed the locks, S. snapped.
Dressed "Rambo-like" in military fatigues, he went to her family home in Kerkrade and shot her, her brother Patrick, 34, and her mother, Jose, 64, on 24 October 2003.
He then went to the fitness centre run by Daniela's father, Lei, 60, and shot him in front of several onlookers.
A recording of Lei calling the police for help was played to the court. It ends as the victim was shot by S. Police arrested S. a short time later.
Officers were sent to the family home to break the news, only to find Daniela and her two relatives had been murdered earlier.
S. has told investigators the events of the day appeared to him like a "black and white movie" and he did not know what came over him.
Describing the first three murders, he said he went into the house, saw "silhouettes" and opened fire.
It has also emerged that S. wrote a letter to regional newspaper De Limburger in which he suggested he had been friends with Dutch marine Erik O. and they had served together in the specialist anti-terrorist commando unit, BBE.
O. is currently under investigation and faces criminal proceedings for shooting and killing a suspected looter in Iraq. More than 1,000 Dutch troops are stationed in southern Iraq.
Under the direction of the government, the BBE has allegedly carried out top secret missions in foreign countries, including Cambodia. The government has denied claims it is sanctioned to use deadly force.
"As the best trained specialists, we help each other out of a feeling of loyalty, trust and camaraderie," S. wrote to the newspaper.
"We are not unstable, aggressive monsters and/or murderers! We are unfortunately the last remedy in a terror-infected world".
He also said there was no link between his and O's case, except for the fact that people died in both.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + Kerkrade murders