AMSTERDAM (AP) – Thousands of people lined up on Wednesday to pay their last respects to criminal journalist Peter R. de Vries at a theater on the banks of the Amstel River in the Dutch capital.
De Vries at the age of 64 after being shot dead in an Amsterdam street on July 6 following one of his regular appearances on a Dutch TV show, an attack which sent shockwaves through the Pays -Low.
De Vries’ coffin could be seen all day at the Théâtre Royal Carré. A huge photo of De Vries hung on the facade of the building next to the text ‘On your knees, this is not a way to be free’.
De Vries was the Netherlands’ most famous criminal journalist, writing and writing a bestselling book on the 1983 kidnapping of beer mogul Freddy Heineken and campaigning tirelessly to resolve unresolved cases and clear the names of the people wrongly convicted.
Two suspects were arrested shortly after his shooting and are still in custody. Dutch police said the suspected gunman was a 21-year-old Dutchman and a 35-year-old Pole living in the Netherlands was accused of driving the getaway car.
De Vries had recently been an advisor and confidant to a witness in the trial of the alleged leader and other members of a criminal gang whom police described as an “oiled up killing machine”.
The alleged gang leader, Ridouan Taghi, was extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2019. He remains in jail while on trial along with 16 other suspects.
A private funeral was scheduled for Thursday for family and friends.