On May 1st 1999, a beautiful young Dutch teenager, Marianne Vaastra, was brutally raped and murdered, in a high profile case that shocked the whole of the Netherlands. The 16-year-old was last seen alive cycling home, and was discovered the following day on a field with her throat cut. Police found the killer’s blood and semen at the scene. Shocked locals immediately suspected the killer must have come from the nearby asylum seeker’s refuge, full of foreign strangers.
The refuge was very unpopular and made locals feel threatened by outsiders. Therefore people blamed bleeding-heart politicians for causing the murder to occur. So, in October of that year, a riot started in the nearby town of Kollumer, leading to the mayor being attacked with eggs. One woman was arrested and convicted for a racist offense in leading the riots.
Meanwhile police focused their investigation on the asylum refuge, where staff reported an Iraqi had been staying but vanished on the night of the murder. Interpol tracked him down in Istanbul, where he was arrested and brought back to the Netherlands. However, his DNA was found not to match that found at the scene and he was released. An Afghani man from the asylum suffered the same treatment and was released, then a further ten men were respectively suspected, arrested and let go. All in all, twelve different suspects were arrested with the crime, but none convicted.
After a local DNA sweep, police announce that the killer could not have been foreign, and must have been a local. A stunning development that went against everyone's instinctual feeling that such a violent crime must have been committed by a stranger. As ever, it seems the people failed to see that the majority of violent is crime is perpetrated by people who are close to each other, in one way or another. But the police now had no leads. The case was closed, then re-opened, and in 2003 closed again, seemingly an impossible crime to solve.
Despite the fact that the turmoil and outcry against the asylum blew over, the horrible truth of the young girl's terrible murder was never forgotten, however. On September 29th 2012, police began a further DNA test to be conducted within a 5km radius of the crime scene. On a voluntary basis 8000 males submitted to the test, which was set up to find similar Y-chromosome males to the murderer, in order to help narrow the field for future investigation. Amazingly, and against all expectations, there was one perfect match. So on November 18th farmer Jasper S. aged 45, who lived a mere 2.5 km from crime scene, was arrested having volunteered his own information. To this day no one knows why he did it. Was he foolish and crazy? Was it a penitent wish to be caught?
Finally, on December 6th, Jasper confessed to the murder of Marianne Vaastra, ending one of the greatest mysteries in European crime history.
sources: 1; 2; 3