Prostitute serial killer gets life
28 November 2003
AMSTERDAM — The Appeals Court in Leeuwarden sentenced the 62-year-old Willem van E. to life in jail for the murder of a prostitute and the manslaughter of two others.
Van E. murdered Sasja Schenker, 34, in 2001. The deaths of Michelle Fatol, 23, and Annelies Reinders, 30, occurred in 1993 and 1995 respectively, but neither the original trial court in Groningen nor the appeals court could convict him of their murder.
Groningen Court sentenced Van E., of Harkstede, to life in jail in November 2002, as the prosecution had demanded. The prosecution also demanded a life sentence in the appeal, news agency ANP reported.
The serial killer was also convicted in 1975 of the rape and murder of two women in the 1970s. He was sentenced to 18 years and underwent treatment in a TBS psychiatric institute, but was released in 1990. TBS institutes have the power to detain someone for life by recommending against their appeal.
Directly after his release, Van E. — dubbed “the beast of Harkstede” — sought psychiatric help, claiming that he did not feel he was cured.
Van E. blames psychiatrists and his rehabilitation for the most recent murders because signals that he might kill again were not detected, NOS reported.
Leeuwarden Appeals Court described Van E. as “en enormous danger to society”, pointing to the fact that after two, very gruesome murders in the 1970s, he struck again. His latest three victims were working as street prostitutes in Groningen.
Van E. was arrested in November 1991, several months after the murder of Schenker and confessed to killing the three prostitutes. Prior to his arrest, great fear was reported among prostitutes working in the Groningen sex industry.
Psychiatric experts have attempted to study Van E. on several occasions and two of them who have had a chance to report their findings have declared the killer to be an untreatable psychopath with a strong tendency to commit repeat crimes. The court accepted these conclusions.
But Van E’s lawyers are expected to appeal the ruling and demand its annulment in the Supreme Court. The highest court in the Netherlands can only rule over whether Van E. received a fair trial or whether his legal rights were violated, but it cannot rule on the evidence.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Dutch news