"He made our lives hell": organised crime boss' sister
Willem Holleeder is likely to hear the testimony given by the three most important women in his life for the first time today. His two sisters Astrid and Sonja and Sandra, the widow of Sam Klepper who was murdered in 2000, secretly testified about Holleeder's criminal life two years ago.
Sonja Holleeder and Holleder's ex-girlfriend Sandra told their story to De Telegraaf. "Also to emphasize that we did not say anything about others but only about WIllem Holleeder. He made our lives hell, from which no escape was possible." Sonja said. "He not only threatened to murder us, but also my two children. To show ho insane he has become, he thought it a favor that I could choose which of my two children would be shot first." Sandra added that he also regularly threatened to kill her son. "He regards the growing children of the people he had assassinated as potential future threats. He was afraid that they would later take revenge." Sandra said. She had a relationship with Holleeder after Klepper was murdered.
According to De Telegraaf, Holleeder and his lawyer will not be happy about the statements made by the women. His lawyer, Stijn Franken, will be allowed to respond to the testimony in court tomorrow. Holleeder is currently suspected of the murders of Thomas van der Bijl and Cees Houtman, thanks to the testimonies of key witnesses Peter la Serpe, Fred Ross and Hidr K. These new testimony adds the assassinations of Cor van Hout, Willem Endstra and probably Sam Klepper and John Mieremet to the list.
The testimony by these women had not been used in the past two years because Holleeder was still free and it would be too dangerous for them. The Public Prosecutor only very recently decided to use the testimony of Sonja, Astrid and Sandra, after Holleeder was arrested thanks to the prosecutor deal with Fred Ross. Holleeder was recently transferred to the High Security prison in Vught, to prevent him from retaliating from prison.
To the outside world it seemed that Holleeder's family and friends were a united front, but in reality mostly fear prevailed within the inner circle. "Just like he treated extortion victims Endstra, Van der Bijl and Houtman, he treated us. There was no escape. Twenty-four hours a day we were under monitoring. The pressure increased more and more." Sonja said, she was the life partner of Heineken kidnapper Cor van Hout, who was murdered in Amstelveen in 2003.
Between 1999 and 2000, just before the second failed assassination attempt on Cor van Hout at his home in Amstelvee, Holleeder regularly tried to get information about his whereabouts from his sister. The two were once best friends, but had a falling out just before the millennium. "Willem continued to put me under pressure", Sonja told the newspaper. "He even put his gun to our son's head to force me to contribute to the death of Cor. I constantly had to tell him where Cor was. I also had to put the blinds in a certain position when Cor was home."
"Holleeder is truly a man with two faces." Sandra, who had a relationship with Holleeder in 2003, said. "After Sam was dead and I was alone, he took me under his wing. While I thought he cared about me, he only liked Sam's estate. I later discovered that he himself had Sam murdered. I lost everything in no time."
Sonja agrees. "He is considered a master criminal, but that is an inappropriate term because it sounds something like a compliment. In reality he is the devil. A woman was killed around here. Everyone thought it was me. My brother grinned; you'd better buy a bulletproof vest because that will happen to you." she said. "Especially the last two years, after we had made our statements, we constantly lived in fear that he would find out. We knew very well that if anything would leak it would be our death sentence, just like with Endstra, Van der Bijl and Houtman. They also said: if we are killed Holleder is behind it. That promptly happened too."