96 Year Old Dutch Woman Confesses to World War II Era Murder

Lacye - posted on 06/10/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )




A 65-year-old murder mystery has been solved, with the confession of a 96-year-old woman in Holland.
On March 1, 1946, Felix Gulje, the head of a construction company in Leiden, Holland, was shot dead on his doorstep. During the Nazi occupation of Holland during World War II, resistance fighters had suspected Gulje of collaborating with the German occupation authorities. Dutch police officials had arrested Gulje after the war, but he was acquitted on collaboration charges. Indeed, in subsequent years, it's been reported that Gulje actually aided Jews during the occupation; he provided shelter and money, and allowing a banned Catholic group associated with the resistance to use his factory.
Yesterday, Leiden Mayor Henri Lenfrink brought the Gulje affair back into public discussion with an announcement that on January 1, he'd received a letter from Atie Ridder-Visser, a former member of Holland's anti-Nazi Resistance, confessing to Gulje's murder.
Lenferink "said a woman has confessed to the killing, saying it happened in the mistaken belief that Gulje had collaborated with the Nazis," the Associated Press reported.
"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," the AP wrote. "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 moved to Indonesia after the war, married, lived for a time in Spain, and then returned to the Netherlands. She never had children. She met with two of Gulje's grandchildren last month, to explain what she had done.
Lenferink said Visser would not be prosecuted for the crime, and urged reporters to leave her alone.
"Even now, after 65 years, the murder should be strongly condemned: It is a case of vigilantism, and is unacceptable," he said, according to the AP. But he added, "Mrs. Ridder-Visser is a very old, very frail woman who hears poorly, is disabled and needs help."


What do you ladies think? Should this woman be convicted of this murder? Or what is the point of doing it now that it was just so many years ago it doesn't matter any more? Is justice being screwed because it's a little old lady?


Becky - posted on 06/11/2011




I like Barb's idea of a civil settlement to any surviving family, or if he has none. to some sort of agency or service working with victims of war. I think that makes more sense and serves justice better than going through a lengthy trial and putting an old, sick woman in jail.


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Katherine - posted on 06/12/2011




Well there is no statute of limitations on murder.....I mean I agree with Amber about the cost of keeping her, but she did kill him. I think she should be held accountable in some way. Maybe under house arrest. I know she is frail, so she can't go anywhere anyways, but that would serve SOME semblance of justice wouldn't it?

Tara - posted on 06/12/2011




I think if she has confessed, that should be entered into the court system. No trial is necessary if she is confessing to being guilty. And I agree with Barb, she should pay retribution to the family members that survive the victim.

Stifler's - posted on 06/12/2011




Meh, is she likely to do this again? I don't see the point of convicting people who are not a danger to society. There is no such thing as justice and being charged for it etc. won't do anything.

Constance - posted on 06/12/2011




I don't condone murder but this wasn't a typical situation. During that time millions of innocent people died because of one man. Innocent people had to serve under Hitler. They did so to protect their families. That is exactly what this story is about. Inany situation like this you don't tuelly know who to trust. My guess is she made this decision based on fear. I know if I was faced with a decision during that time or something close to that then I can't sayI wouldn't do the exact samething. She confessed and has spoken with the family. I don't think the decision was for personal gradification and I am sure this has weighed heavy on her heart for years. She didn't have pleasue in taking a man's life but she did see him as a threat not only to her but to thousands as well. I do not believe someone should be punished if it is self-defense. I know there will be a lot of people that disagree that it was self-defense but it was. Millions lived in fear of being killed every second of every day for years. That was the case here.

Jenn - posted on 06/11/2011




It was war and she isn't the only to have shot someone because of their beliefs or orders given at the time. My German great-grandfather was shot off the doorstep of his home in Germany by an American war plane. He was merely a farmer. No justice has ever nor will ever be served. It was war and it incites people to do things they might never otherwise do. At least she confessed. Regardless if it was merely to clear her conscience, it gives the family more closure.

Barb - posted on 06/11/2011




I agree that a murder trial at this point would be nonsensical. But perhaps justice could be served in a civil case where any money she has would go towards the grandchildren and children of the man she murdered. Of course money would never replace what has been taken from them, but making her sacrifice, might help bring them some closure and yes, even at 96, i think she owes them that.

Desiree - posted on 06/11/2011




And how many other innocents died during that time because the /underground thought they were doing a service and the person they killed was a criminal but in fact turns out they were perfectly innocent. It happens constantly during war time. Just leave it alone how do we know that it hasn't bugged her for the last 65 years.

Teresa - posted on 06/11/2011




Well she is guilty and justice should be served but as others have said, it would cost more than its worth unless she were executed immediately and that will not happen.

Amber - posted on 06/10/2011




The odds are that she would probably pass away before the trial was completed. If she confessed and went straight to jail, it would cost more to keep her safe and healthy than it would if she were being provided for by her family.

Even if she was convicted, justice wouldn't really be served because she spent the last 65 years free. Would it really be justice? And would it really be worth the money spent by the government in the end?

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