ARTHUR MAX,Associated Press
AMSTERDAM (AP) — A murder mystery has been solved — 65 years later — with the confession of a 96-year-old woman.
The 1946 killing of
On Wednesday, the mayor of Leiden,
Lenferink said he received a letter from the woman, whom he identified as Atie Ridder-Visser, on Jan. 1. Two subsequent interviews with her and a review of the historical archives persuaded him that her story was true.
On the cold sleeting night of March 1, 1946, Atie Visser rang Gulje’s doorbell in Leiden, and told his wife that she had a letter to give to her husband. When he came to the door she shot him in the chest. He died in the ambulance, the mayor said, reading a lengthy statement at a news conference.
Visser had been a member of the resistance during the 1940-1945
He was arrested after the war, but acquitted.
After his death it emerged that Gulje had sheltered some Jews and had given money to help hide others with other families. A banned Catholic association also held secret meetings in his home, Lenferink said.
Visser moved to Indonesia after the war, where she met and married
Lenferink said police never suspected the woman in the killing.
After disclosing her role, Ridder-Visser met two grandchildren of her victim last month to explain what happened and why she did it, the mayor said. He did not disclose details of that conversation.
Ridder-Visser will not be prosecuted, he said. Although the 18-year statute of limitations was lifted for serious crimes in 2006, prosecutors ruled that the change in law would not apply in this case.
“Even now, after 65 years, the murder should be strongly condemned,” Lenferink said. “It is a case of vigilantism, and is unacceptable.”
But he appealed to reporters to leave her alone. “