ZAt the beginning of the week, the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf opens with a play about the family of the alleged shooter in the attack on journalist and crime specialist Peter de Vries. The newspaper’s crime reporters quote family members who are “ashamed” of the crime. The two authors are among the most famous crime reporters in the Netherlands. Anyone who simply continues this work after the crime of last week must be fearless.
One of the two is John van den Heuvel, a former police officer and has worked for De Telegraaf for many years – and also for the TV program RTL Boulevard. This is the program in which de Vries appeared again last Tuesday – before he was shot at and seriously injured on the way back to the car near the studio in the city center. Van den Heuvel, who like de Vries has been researching the world of organized crime for a long time and is said to be on death lists, was not allowed to come to this studio in person for a while in 2018 because the authorities found the risk on the busy Leidseplein in the city center to be too high. Some saw it as a surrender of the state. Van den Heuvel has been continuously under personal protection for years because of threats – which de Vries has denied by his own admission.