Woman Confesses to Murder She Committed —in 1946

96-year-old Atie Ridder-Visser killed a man she believed to be a Nazi
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2011 1:27 PM CDT
The ultimate cold case.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A murder mystery has been solved with the confession of a 96-year-old woman—and it only took her 65 years to do it. The 1946 killing of Felix Gulje, the head of a construction company who had high political ambitions, rocked the Dutch political landscape at the time. Atie Ridder-Visser confessed to the killing in a letter to the mayor of Leiden, saying it happened in the mistaken belief that Gulje had collaborated with the Nazis. Two subsequent interviews with her, and a review of the historical archives persuaded Mayor Henri Lenferink that her story was true. Ridder-Visser will not be prosecuted, Lenferink said.

On the cold sleeting night of March 1, 1946, Ridder-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, and he died in the ambulance. "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. "Mrs. Ridder-Visser is a very old, very frail woman who hears poorly, is disabled, and needs help," he said.

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