Dutch crime godfather given life for five murders


Willem HolleederImage copyright
Dutch prosecution service

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Holleeder will face a full life term in jail

Willem Holleeder, the Netherlands’ most notorious gangster, has been found guilty of ordering a series of murders of figures in the world of organised crime.

Holleeder, now 61, achieved notoriety in the 1980s for the kidnapping of beer tycoon Freddy Heineken.

He then became a big crime boss and has been convicted after a lengthy and expensive trial in Amsterdam.

Among his victims was friend and associate Cor van Hout.

The judges convicted Holleeder of ordering five murders and one manslaughter and sentenced him to a full life sentence in jail.

They also found that he had formed a crime gang and ordered killings with jailed associate Dino Soerel and since-murdered criminal Stanley Hillis.

The prosecution case relied on the sensational testimony of his sister, Astrid, who made secret recordings of their conversations.

Astrid Holleeder went into hiding when she revealed her betrayal. Van Hout was married to Holleeder’s sister Sonja, and she too gave evidence against him.

Image copyright
Private collection Holleeder family

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Astrid Holleeder, shown here with her niece in 1983, has gone into hiding

“Something had to happen to stop him,” Astrid Holleeder told the BBC last year.

“I know he wants to kill me and I don’t blame him for it. In a day there are many moments someone can be there and shoot you. It’s always there. I really feel a Judas. I betrayed him.”

Willem Holleeder: Guilty of ordering murder and manslaughter

  • Sam Klepper, criminal – shot dead, 2000
  • Cor van Hout, friend, brother-in-law and ex-accomplice – shot dead, 2003
  • Willem Endstra, property developer – shot dead, 2004
  • Kees Houtman, drug dealer
  • Thomas van der Bijl, bar owner and family friend – shot dead, 2006
  • Also guilty of ordering 2002 attempted murder of John Mieremet, Klepper’s business partner – later shot dead in Thailand, 2005
  • Also guilty of ordering manslaughter of Robert ter Haak, who died of bullet wounds in the murder of Cor van Hout.

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