Wednesday, 30 November 2011
WHERE IS MY APOLOGY?
"Those in residential care are probably the most difficult of children. The girls are as bad as the boys. Many people with experience know that to be true!
WHAT ON EARTH DID LORD ENNALS MEAN BY THIS EXTRAORDINARY STATEMENT? DID HE FORGET THAT A LOT OF THE CHILDREN IN THOSE PAEDOPHILE/PIMP RUN DUMPS THEY HAD THE CHEEK TO CALL CHILDREN'S HOMES HAD ALREADY BEEN ABUSED - OUT THE FRYING PAN AND INTO THE FIRE!
HANSARD 1803–2005 → 1990s → 1991 → June 1991 → 3 June 1991 → Lords Sitting
Staffordshire Children's Homes: ReportHL Deb 03 June 1991 vol 529 cc463-74 463
§ Lord Ennals My Lords, perhaps I may first thank the noble Lord, Lord Henley, for reading the Statement made by his honourable friend in another place. From these Benches I also express our thanks to Mr. Allan Levy and to Barbara Kahan for what is a very remarkable, though sad, report. In my view they brought the best of their skills to the task. Those of us who have known Barbara Kahan for many years are grateful to her for the wisdom and experience contained in the report.
I have a modest interest to declare in that about 18 months ago some young people from NAYPIC (the National Association of Young People in Care) with which I have had contact over many years, came to see me with much of the evidence which was presented to the inquiry. They were deeply concerned because they could not get anyone to express an interest in the situation or to undertake an inquiry. Therefore, on their behalf, I wrote to the county council and to the social services department urging that there should be an inquiry into the matter. I was then asked whether I would care to give evidence. However, I had no direct evidence and therefore I did not avail myself of the opportunity. Nevertheless, I took an interest in the matter from that time onwards.
This is an unusual case in that the inquiry did not follow the death of a child. I suppose that it is worse in the sense that the inquiry was into a regime called Pindown which had existed since 1984 and which was imposed by a fully qualified social worker over a period of roughly five or six years.
466 The report tells a terrible story. Pindown was not a clandestine policy. The routines of punishment and control were recorded in council records. However, the social services inspectorate officers who visited three of the homes in 1977 failed to detect the dangers of Pindown; though the circumstances which existed at the time in those homes must have been drawn to their attention. Similarly, the local authority's supervisory visits did not identify the problems. I believe that we must ask why it was that the social services department did not realise the extent to which they were not only in breach of practice but also in breach of the law. We must also ask how it was that the SSI officers did not report the existing circumstances to the Secretary of State or even to the local authority.
Only yesterday the Minister, Mrs. Virginia Bottomley, accused Staffordshire social services department of having, ‘singularly failed to discharge its responsibilities".’ She said it was unsatisfactory that unqualified youngsters in their first job should be trying to care for disturbed children. I entirely agree with that statement. However, she went on to say: ‘We need our streetwise grannies back in the children's homes".’ I wonder how that aim is to be achieved and whether the Government will say what further funding will be made available. Further, will the strategy of training recommended in the report be implemented? That seems to me to be one of the most disturbing aspects of this and, indeed, other cases. Staffordshire County Council, in a statement on the issue of staffing resources, said that, ‘only central government can resolve the constraints upon Staffordshire and other local authorities trying to deliver good quality residential care for children".’ I agree with that. However, it is not good enough that the buck should be passed back and forth between local authority social services departments and the Department of Health. Both of them must share the responsibility for what has happened. They must also share responsibility for putting the matter right. I hope that this excellent report will lead to positive action. I also hope that it will lead to a complete overhaul of the way that we treat children and young people who do not fit in with society.
From these Benches we call, first, for an independent national inquiry into the complete range of children's homes, including resource levels and complaints procedures. I believe that what has been done thus far is just not good enough. Two days before the Levy Report was published the Government commissioned an inquiry into the state of children's homes which is to be headed by Sir William Utting, the Chief Social Services Inspector. It is said that the report is expected to be published within seven weeks; that is, before Sir William retires on 19th July.
Having known Sir William Utting for many years, I must stress that I have the greatest possible respect for him and for his abilities. However, I do not believe .it is proper that the inquiry should be conducted by the head of the inspectorate who quite patently did not discover the circumstances which gave rise to the 467 report. I believe that there needs to be an independent inquiry which must be able to draw on a wider range of information than will be possible in the seven weeks available to Sir William Utting. He says that he will have completed the report by the time he retires on 19th .July. It is difficult to see how adequate research and analysis can be brought to his attention in that time.
Secondly, we hope that there will be a more positive attitude on the part of the Government towards funding, staffing and inspection. Staffing levels are dangerously low. Social services are failing to attract people with relevant training and experience. Indeed, social services directors were reported only yesterday in the Observer as having difficulty in recruiting suitable staff. It is said that new recruits often leave after only a few weeks. Moreover, there are currently 2,000 vacancies for residential social workers with a starting salary of £8,000. I hope that we shall hear a little more about what the Government intend to do as regards training.
I quote from paragraph 17.22 on page 154 of the report: ‘Recruitment policies and practice clearly indicated that filling gaps was more important than obtaining the services of qualified and experienced staff. Some of the holders of unqualified social work posts had, in our opinion, inappropriate experience and education for such work and should not have been expected to carry it out".’ It is important that the Government should recognise the fact that the training of residential social workers is crucial to finding a solution to the problem.
In conclusion, perhaps I may make two points. I do so without in any way retreating from the condemnation in the report, which I entirely accept, of appalling practices. First, it should be pointed out how incredibly difficult many of these young people are properly to discipline, control and help. They represent a quarter of those in care. The other three-quarters of those in care are fostered. Those in residential care are probably the most difficult of children. The girls are as bad as the boys. Many people with experience know that to be true. Secondly, I wish to say how difficult is the social workers',.task. My heart goes out to them. Every time there is an inquiry it is into something that has gone wrong. No one has an inquiry into something that has gone right. It is a thankless but crucial professional task. At the same time as handing out criticism, we should give credit to the many dedicated and highly efficient social workers who perform a remarkable service.
WHO THE HECK IS THIS LORD ENNALS ANYWAY?
Read now David Ennals, Baron EnnalsFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
The Lord Ennals
Secretary of State for Social Services
8 April 1976 – 4 May 1979
Prime Minister James Callaghan
Preceded by Barbara Castle
Succeeded by Patrick Jenkin
28 February 1974 – 9 June 1983
Preceded by George Wallace
Succeeded by Patrick Thompson
Member of Parliament
15 October 1964 – 18 June 1970
Preceded by John Arbuthnot
Succeeded by Peter Rees
Born 19 August 1922(1922-08-19)
Walsall, United Kingdom
Died 17 June 1995(1995-06-17) (aged 72)
Belsize Park, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
David Hedley Ennals, Baron Ennals PC (19 August 1922 – 17 June 1995) was a British Labour Party politician and campaigner for human rights. He served as Secretary of State for Social Services from 1976 to 1979
Early life and military careerBorn in 1922 to Arthur Ford Ennals and his wife Jessie Edith Taylor, Ennals was educated at Queen Mary's Grammar School, Walsall and the Loomis Institute in Windsor, Connecticut on a one-year student exchange scholarship. In 1939 he was a reporter on the Walsall Observer and during World War II he served in the Royal Armoured Corps from 1941 to 1945. Commissioned into Reconnaissance Corps in 1942 and posted to 3rd Reconnaissance Corps. He served in North Africa, Italy and the Rhine Crossing. He failed to return from a night patrol during the Normandy campaign in June 1944 and spent several months as a prisoner of war. He was invalided out with the rank of Lieutenant.
 Political lifeEnnals stood unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate for Richmond (Surrey) in the 1950 general election and again in 1951. He later joined the Labour Party and served as secretary to the international department at the Labour Party's head office.
In 1964 he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Dover. Following the 1966 election, Harold Wilson appointed Ennals as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Army. He moved to become Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department in 1967 under James Callaghan before being appointed as a Minister of State for Social Services in 1968. He lost his government post and his seat following Labour's defeat in the 1970 general election.
Ennals returned to parliament representing Norwich North following the February 1974 general election as was appointed Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. In 1976 he became Secretary of State for Social Services, which he held until Labour lost power in 1979. During his tenure he appointed Sir Douglas Black to produce the Black Report (published in 1980) into health inequality. After losing his seat in the general election of 1983, he was created a life peer, as Baron Ennals, of Norwich in the County of Norfolk.
He may be the only politician to be remembered for telling the truth and being laughed at for it. In a debate on health inequalities he told the House of Commons that "people who smoke cigarettes are going to die" - and a Member sang the line from "Fame": "I'm gonna live forever". The House collapsed in laughter and Ennals never quite lived the joke down.
 Other workFollowing his exit from parliament in 1970, Ennals became Campaign Director for the National Association for Mental Health (MIND), which he served as until 1973. He became Chairman in 1984, and served as President from 1989 to 1995.
After serving as secretary to the United Nations Association from 1952 to 1957, he became Chairman in 1984, as well as Chairman of the Gandhi Foundation, which he held until 1995.
 Personal lifeEnnals married Eleanor Maud Caddick (born 1924/1925) on 10 June 1950, and they had four children before they divorced in 1977. Later that year he married Katherine Gene Tranoy (born 1926/1927).
Ennals's younger brother, Martin Ennals, was a human rights activist and Secretary-General of Amnesty International. His son, Sir Paul Ennals, is chief executive of the National Children's Bureau.
He died in 1995 of pancreatic cancer at his home in Belsize Park, London.
 Footnotes1.^ Who was Who, OUP 2007
2.^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35746. p. 4483. 13 October 1942.
3.^ War Diaries of 3rd Reconnaissance Corps (TNA ref. WO166/10487)
4.^ War Diaries of 3rd Reconnaissance Corps (TNA ref. WO 171/418)
5.^ Who's Who of 475 Liberal Candidates Fighting the 1950 General Election. Liberal Publications Dept. 1950.
6.^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38051. p. 3938. 19 August 1947.
7.^ UK General Election results: October 1951
8.^ House of Commons Library: Members Since 1979
9.^ London Gazette: no. 49477. p. 12063. 14 September 1983. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
 ReferencesDalyell, Tam (19 June 1995). "Obituary: Lord Ennals". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituarylord-ennals-1587195.html. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
"Lord Ennals; Ex-Cabinet Minister, 72". The New York Times. 19 June 1995. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/19/obituaries/lord-ennals-ex-cabinet-minister-72.html. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
Glennerster, Howard (May 2008). "Ennals, David Hedley, Baron Ennals (1922–1995)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/59129. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/59129. Retrieved 2009-09-13. Subscription or UK public library membership required
 External linksHansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by David Ennals
Parliament of the United Kingdom
John Arbuthnot Member of Parliament for Dover
1964–1970 Succeeded by
George Wallace Member of Parliament for Norwich North
1974–1983 Succeeded by
Barbara Castle Secretary of State for Social Services
1976–1979 Succeeded by
Tam Dalyell Monday 19 June 1995
Members of the House of Commons and Ministers of the Crown have faults enough. But almost all of us have a few qualities in common. One such is personal energy. And even by the exacting standards of his Parliamentary colleagues David Ennals was demonically energetic. No working minute of his life passed by other than in the pursuit of some cause, small or usually great. Consistently he had the fullest diary of anyone I have ever met.
Ennals scurried around - and unlike most scurriers, he scurried to great effect - whether the objective of the hour was global peace, the plight of the mentally ill, or the predicament of some wretched individual from a far-off land; be it the Dalai Lama himself, some threatened refugee who had been brought to his attention by Amnesty International, or the Bihari community in Bangladesh, whom he visited regularly.
Ennals was far too formidable an operator for it to occur to anyone that his endless good works were an opportunity for a wry smile. He was the nearest approach in a political animal - and political animal he emphatically was, exuding its nature from every pore - to perpetual motion.
David Ennals was the second of the astonishing and distinguished sons of Arthur Ford Ennals and his wife Jessie Edith Taylor. The eldest brother, John, who died in 1988, was the long-time Director of the UK Immigrants Advisory Service from 1970, Chairman of the Anti-Apartheid Movement 1968- 76, and a war hero with Tito's partisans. The youngest brother, Martin (who died in 1991), later Secretary-General of Amnesty International, for which he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, was the Information Officer of the National Committee for Commonwealth Immigrants.
Martin Ennals resigned in 1968 in protest at the Labour Government's treatment of Kenyan Asians, at a time when David was Parliamentary Under- Secretary at the Home Office and James Callaghan was Home Secretary. There was much agony on both sides but Ennals family unity survived undamaged. David took the view that he would have been astonished if Martin had acted otherwise. The Left were angry with David but, as Frank Allaun put it to me yesterday, the Left recognised that if he was to stay in post David Ennals was bound to take the Government line.
"What makes you Ennals brothers tick?" enquired Richard Crossman, Secretary of State for the Social Services, in 1968 when David had just been appointed to his Department as Minister of State at the DHSS. A whole fascinating story emerged: their father was an ardent Baptist, winner of a good MC in Flanders; their mother inherited all the hard-work ethics of generations of Black Country iron founders. Family prayers every morning inculcated the belief that a moment's idleness was synonymous with grave sin. If you knew something was wrong it was a dereliction of duty in the Ennals household not to try to do something about it. Injustice or wrongdoing once identified had to be confronted.
Like his brothers, David went to Queen Mary Grammar School, in Walsall. Unlike his brothers, David did not attend a British university. He turned 17 in 1939, and was trained as a gunner operator in armoured cars, and rose to the rank of Captain in the Royal Tank Regiment by the age of 23. He saw service in North Africa, Italy and the Rhine Crossing. It was appropriate that Ennals's first ministerial post, in 1966, should be as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Army. With his six years of war experience he was totally at ease with officers and men. He confessed to me that he found it delicious dealing with the top brass who respected him for his war record; Ennals delighted in argument with them and more than one senior officer has told me that he enjoyed combative conversation with Ennals. Even more to the point, he was prepared to argue with Denis Healey, his Secretary of State for Defence, as later he would stand up to Dick Crossman.
Ennals played a role out of all proportion to his supposed seniority in the 1964 Government thanks to his naturally argumentative nature and because he was a henchman of the Prime Minister.
After a brief time at college in Connecticut (which gave him a lifelong pro-American stance) Ennals had taken a job with the Council for Education in World Government, from 1947 to 1952. It was this milieu that drew him to Liberal politics. Having failed in two successive elections at Richmond in the Liberal interest, he got the job as Secretary of the United Nations Association. His contemporary Peter Shore, who was then Research Secretary of the Labour Party, told me that Ennals's Liberal flirtation was forgotten in Labour Party circles because he was admired as an enormously vibrant Secretary of the United Nations Association. It was this work that won him the position of the Overseas Secretary of the Labour Party in 1957- 64. It was in this capacity that he accompanied Harold Wilson on a number of journeys, particularly to Moscow, which created an enduring link with the future Prime Minister. Colleagues senior and junior knew that Ennals had a special empathy with and access to Wilson.
However it was on his own merits that Ennals became the Labour candidate in the litmus paper constituency of Dover. Through enormous hard work he turned the Conservative majority from 1959 of the popular and effective Tory MP Sir John Arbuthnot into a Labour majority of 418 (24,115 to 23,697, with 5,843 Liberals). Arbuthnot, who was my neighbour on the Public Accounts Committee, told me afterwards without rancour, "I doubt if any other Labour candidate would have beaten me in Dover." I was deeply impressed when speaking in support of Ennals in Dover in 1963 by the homework that he had done on the then problems of the Dover Harbour Board and of the Mariners who manned the cross-Channel ferries.
Ennals's rise was meteoric. He went from being Under- Secretary for the Army via the Foreign Office to become, in 1968, Minister of State responsible for Health. When he first heard of Ennals's appointment to his department, Crossman exploded: "Ennals is Harold's creature. First of all, Harold asked Barbara Castle to take him on as her PPS; he then appointed him in Defence to keep an eye on Denis Healey; he then put him in the Home Office to spy on Jim Callaghan; and now he wants him to keep tabs on me!"
In the event Crossman had second thoughts and pretends in his diary that he wanted Ennals in the first place. As it turned out, relations developed far better than anticipated. This was partly because Ennals had the capacity to row with Crossman and show a desirable forgettery the following day. Sir Patrick Nairne, who was then Second Cabinet Secretary, told me yesterday that he thought that Ennals was very skilful with his senior ministers. It was partly because Crossman deep down realised that Ennals had a patent desire to help the mentally ill. This passion had roots in first-hand experience as one of his children was mentally ill. By July 1969, Crossman had come to a considered opinion:
He is not a mysterious man and in certain ways he is terribly straightforward, but his standards and behaviour fascinate and impress me. He is extraordinarily efficient and willing. He simply does what I ask him and he adores being a Minister. He is a first-rate Minister of State, with great ability but there is some quality that he lacks. It's not that he has no political principles. He has violent feelings, he likes writing to the Prime Minister to protest against income policies, he likes making speeches and getting publicity. I don't know what the unattractive thing in him is. Is it that he is cold? No, more that he is metallic, almost not flesh and blood. But I am enormously impressed by him.
To be candid, Ennals was mightily concerned in that period with his own advancement to Cabinet. He watched his rivals like a hawk and on one occasion, disconcerted by the Prime Ministerial favour being dispensed to Eric Varley, somewhat unwisely suggested to Crossman that he do something about his own promotion. Since it was the wrong moment Crossman tartly quoted Aneurin Bevan: "There are two ways to get into the British Cabinet - to persuade them that you will kick them in the private parts if you don't, or to crawl. David, you are a natural crawler, so don't make silly postures!"
Like many other excellent Members of Parliament, David Ennals lost his seat in 1970. As with others it created for him enormous personal financial problems, not least because of family illness and personal obligation. Ennals was very persuasive when he returned, suggesting that MPs who lost their seat should be given a cushion because he didn't want his experience to be shared by colleagues. Unlike others, Ennals was soon adopted for another seat, Norwich North. Poignantly, he said to me when he lost it in 1983: "Unlike you, I have never had the luxury of a relatively safe seat and you cannot know what difference it makes to a man knowing that he is spending his life fighting a marginal constituency." And that is why Ennals should be acquitted of a certain frenetic quality in his politics.
On becoming Prime Minister in 1976, James Callaghan sacked Mrs Barbara Castle as Secretary of State for the Social Services. In her diary entry for 8 April she wrote: "He [her assistant Jack Straw] also said my successor was to be David Ennals. I was shocked. None of us trust him since his Common Market switch."
The background to this was a controversy about many aspects of foreign policy; many Labour MPs did not like the way that they had been treated by Ennals who had unwisely often given the impression that, as a minister in the Foreign Office, he was an acknowledged Labour expert on foreign affairs, by background and ministerial position, and therefore knew better than they did. The fact that over 20 years earlier Ennals had been Castle's bag carrier Parliamentary Private Secretary at Overseas Development did nothing to help.
It was hardly an auspicious start. The Left were less than enchanted. Truth to tell, as a cabinet minister, Ennals was more at ease with civil servants than with the Parliamentary Labour Party or the broader Labour movement.
Patrick Nairne, the Permanent Secretary in 1975-79, described Ennals as "A notably caring minister - he was delightful for officials to work with. He commanded our confidence and was willing to take a fresh look at the many problems of the Department." It was Ennals's considerable ill-fortune that his time as Secretary of State coincided with increasing ill-health. Several key departmental meetings with junior ministers and senior officials had to be held in a side ward of Westminster Hospital. Ennals insisted on remaining in post, which was perhaps not the most satisfactory solution for a beleaguered Labour Government without a Commons majority. In the autumn of 1978 an already desperately unsatisfactory situation with the hospital workers was allowed to fester. And I fear that the thought occurred to many Labour MPs that the "Winter of Discontent" would not have been allowed to develop to such extremity if the Secretary of State for the Social Services had not been partially hors de combat.
To his vast credit Ennals overcame his health problems. He did excellent work for occupational therapy, for the anti-smoking campaign, and for coping with Alzheimer's Disease. His last important Commons appearance as Secretary of State was to answer a debate on 3 March 1979, which I had initiated, on the transplant of human organs. It was typical of Ennals that for the next decade and more out of office he should have used his position in the House of Lords to further the cause of the transplantation of human organs.
It was a great sadness that his adopted Vietnamese son, Phuoc Ky Ennals, should have been killed at the age of 21 in the forces in an accident. Ennals was remarkable in overcoming adversity and the Labour movement is the poorer for his passing.
David Hedley Ennals, politician: born Walsall 19 August 1922; Secretary, Council for Education in World Citizenship 1947-52; Secretary, United Nations Association 1952-57, Vice-Chairman 1991-95; Overseas Secretary, Labour Party 1957-64; Chairman, Anti-Apartheid Movement 1960-64; MP (Labour) for Dover 1964-70, for Norwich North 1974-83; PPS to Minister of Overseas Development 1964; Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Army 1966-67; Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office 1967-68; Minister of State, DHSS 1968-70; PC 1970; Campaign Director, National Association for Mental Health (Mind) 1970-73, Chairman 1984, President 1989-95; Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1974-76; Secretary of State for Social Services 1976-79; created 1983 Baron Ennals; Chairman, Gandhi Foundation 1984-95; married 1950 Eleanor Maud Caddick (three sons, one daughter; marriage dissolved 1977), 1977 Gene Tranoy; died London 17 June 1995.
Mr David Ennals
Former MP for Norwich North
Also represented Dover
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Entered Parliament on 15 October 1964 — General election
Left Parliament on 13 May 1983 — General election
Most recent appearances
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Most recent appearances
Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Reduction of Rate of Value Added Tax (27 Apr 1983)
“The Minister must be disappointed that only one Conservative Back Bencher is present, apart from the Parliamentary Private Secretary behind him, and that he has received such monumental support for his stance on VAT. The hon. Members for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) and Gateshead, West (Mr. Horam) criticised new clause 1 only because it does not go far enough. The hon. Member for...”
Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Reduction of Rate of Value Added Tax (27 Apr 1983)
“My point is directly related to the new clause. Charities perform an invaluable service that fits in with the theses of both the Government and the Opposition. They have taken on vast responsibilities in social services. They provide services such as homes for the elderly, the mentally handicapped and children, which would be excluded from VAT if they were provided by local authorities. It is...”
Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Reduction of Rate of Value Added Tax (27 Apr 1983)
“It does. If the Government will not completely relieve charities from VAT, at least this new clause will provide modest relief. If there was any political will to ease the burden of taxes, it would be done. The political will has been found to relieve the burden of VAT—”
More of Mr David Ennals's recent appearances
AND WHAT EXACTLY WAS NAYPIC? BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE
WHICH IS HARDLY SURPRISING I SUPPOSE, GIVEN THE DISGUSTING WAY I HAVE BEEN TREATED, WITH EVERYONE TRYING TO SHOVE EVERYTHING UNDER THE CARPET, NO-ONE HAS EVER TRIED TO HELP ME SORT OUT THE MESS OF MY LIFE, THEY WON'T LET ME HAVE A COPY OF THE ALLAN LEVY REPORT, THEY JUST LEFT ME TO ROT
WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?
The reality of protected child abuse and snuff networks
In stark contrast to the lacking visual evidence, victim-witnesses not only have been testifying about violent abuse and -trafficking networks for a long time, they also mentioned very specific and similar details, including the torturing and killing of children, sometimes in front of cameras. These reports really got off the ground in the United States in 1987, followed a few years later by Great Britain. Since the Dutroux case exploded, we also know that similar testimonies have come from Belgium and surrounding countries. As we shall see, Russia followed in 2000.
One of the more interesting cases pertaining to snuff movies is a child abuse and -trafficking ring of Brits who were forced to relocate to the Amsterdam region in the 1980s. Over the years, this ring made the news on several occasions.
The first time was in 1990, when a teenage victim-witness, Andrew, contacted welfare workers of the British National Association for Young People In Care (NAYPIC). Andrew claimed to have been a victim of a British pedophile ring and forced on several occasions to film snuff movies in a warehouse in or around Amsterdam. The welfare workers were skeptical, but until further developments the teenager was allowed to live in the home of NAYPIC's London development officer, Mary Moss. Just before Andrew was to give a more official testimony, he was drugged and pulled into a van, right in front of Moss' home. The teenager had already been threatened and followed in the streets before this kidnapping. It's not known if he was never heard of again. The report on Andrew also stated:
"Welfare staff at Naypic have been convinced by Andrew and other runaways that such [snuff] films are being made. They have been told of a paedophile group known as the Elite Twelve, which is prepared to pay up to Pounds 5,000 to youngsters to make videos involving torture and sado-masochism, and which may lead to murder."
"They have also been told of a snuff movie made last year when a 14-year-old boy was beaten by three men in an East End flat, raped and battered to death with clubs."
"Chris Fay, an adult adviser to the association, said: "I am convinced such videos exist. I have been shown one in Amsterdam by a Dutch colleague. It showed three men wearing leather masks cutting up a girl aged about 13 with a flick knife." (65)
In this article, one of the top experts in pedophilia, Ray Wire, is quoted as having seen snuff movies in the United States. On other occasions Wire explained that he watched them while on a fellowship in the United States with the FBI doing his behavioral study on child abusers (66). Apparently, he later stated that the films he had been shown were "sophisticated simulations", but was still sure that the FBI had real ones in their possession (67).
In April 1997, the British-Amsterdam ring again made the news. The first thing reported was that there had already been inconclusive joint UK-Dutch investigations in 1990 and 1993 (68). Also, by 1997, these police services were in the possession of at least three statements from child abusers that this ring had produced a number of snuff movies (69). Unfortunately, the only film specifically mentioned in the press had all the hallmarks of being fake, and indeed this later appears to have been the case (70).
The pedophile ring yet again made the news in June 1997 when it was announced that Warwick Spinks, a violent pedophile who ran a homosexual boys club in Amsterdam (who also claimed he could arrange snuff films), was to be released. Spinks had been convicted only two years before for drugging and sexually assaulting a homeless boy, kidnapping him to Amsterdam and selling him to a homosexual brothel. When his apartment was raided, police found his clients' names, details of their sexual preferences, phone numbers and information about young boys. (71)
The most detailed investigation of the British child abuse colony in Amsterdam was published in November 2000 by the Award-winning journalist Nick Davies. Now even more evidence was provided for the existence of not only a vast boy trafficking network, but also for the existence of a small number of snuff movies. As it's always best to read the original sources, a long excerpt from this article follows:
"A year after Bristol detectives finally started to unravel the ring of paedophiles who had been abusing children there for up to 20 years, they found an informant with an alarming story. The man, whom we will call Terry, had a long history of sexually abusing boys. He did not come from Bristol but, by chance, he had come across some of the paedophiles the detectives were investigating - in Amsterdam, where he said they had become involved with a group of exiled British child abusers who had succeeded in commercialising their sexual obsession. The exiled paedophiles were trafficking boys from other countries; running legitimate gay brothels and selling under-aged boys "under the counter"; they had branched out into the production of child pornography. And they had killed some of them... Terry said he had seen most of the [worst] video himself and had vomited before he could reach the end..."
"Soon, other informants were offering more detail. One man said he had seen Warwick Spinks selling a special video for pounds 4,000. It showed a boy whom he thought was only eight or nine being sexually abused and tortured by two men. But the most startling allegations came from a gay man, "Frank", who had gone to Amsterdam in July 1990 and found himself caught up in this paedophile underworld. In 1993, he spoke to the same officers at Scotland Yard."
"Frank told police that Warwick Spinks had invited him to come on a trip to the Canaries, where he had suggested Frank should help him sell videos and showed him a sample. Frank said he watched in growing horror as the video played out a murder - a boy who seemed to be no older than 12 was beaten and attacked with needles, before being castrated and cut open with a knife..."
"[Scotland Yard and their Dutch counterpart] recruited an undercover officer to pose as a child abuser and befriend Warwick Spinks in England. In a series of meetings, Spinks described how he picked up boys in Dresden, in Bratislava in the Czech Republic, and in Poland, where, he claimed, they cost only 10p. The undercover officer asked Spinks if he could get him a sado-masochistic video featuring boys as young as 10, and Spinks replied that he knew people in Amsterdam who could: "I know, well I knew, some people who were involved in making snuff movies and how they did it was, they only sold them in limited editions, made 10 copies or something, 10 very rich customers in America, who paid Dollars 5,000 each or something like that". Spinks divulged no more about the video and failed to produce a copy of it...Without more evidence, Scotland Yard could not justify the expense of keeping the undercover officer or of sending officers to Amsterdam..."
"In search of their origins, I went to Berlin, to the Bahnhof Am Zoo, where the trains arrive from all over eastern Europe, bringing the destitute in search of a dream. A specialist social worker there, Wolfgang Werner, told me there were some 700 east European boys, aged from 11 to 17, who had ended up in the sex industry in Berlin. But, to his knowledge, many hundreds of others had been taken off on a kind of underground railroad which fanned out to Zurich and Hamburg and Frankfurt, and, most of all, to Rotterdam and Amsterdam..."
"About that time , he and Edelman [Germans] stopped trafficking, not so much because of Goetjes's arrest but because they had been told some of the boys were being used in snuff movies..."
"At first sight, Terry might have been describing the video Frank saw but its details differ: Frank described a video shot in a barn; Terry says his was shot in a flat. Frank described the abuse and murder of one boy; Terry says there was a second boy, who was also being abused and who was alive at the point he turned off the tape. And yet, the overlap is striking: the specific nature of the violence is identical; and Terry names the man who actually committed the killing - he is the same German whose barn was allegedly picked as a porn studio by the child porngraphers. Terry, Frank, Edward and Spinks certainly mixed with the paedophile colony in Amsterdam in 1989/90 and all four separately claim at least one boy was killed on video. Spinks told the undercover officer that a German boy was killed; Frank says Spinks once hinted to him that a German boy named Manny had been murdered; we have confirmed from talking to boys who worked in Spuistraat [there were two clubs, owned by vicious paedophiles Alan Williams and Spinks] at the time that a boy of that name and nationality, then 14, did disappear. Terry, however, says he thinks the victim of the video which he saw was Dutch, named Marco and probably 16..."
"The Bristol detectives can get no further. The Dutch say they will not investigate, and Avon and Somerset police have neither the funds nor the legal power to run their own inquiry in the Netherlands." (72)
Other evidence of snuff movies had surfaced several weeks before the article above was published. In September 2000, the Italian media broke the story of a Russian child abuse network -centered in Murmansk and Moscow- which besides regular child pornography and hardcore SM, also shot snuff movies, selling them for at least 4,000 pounds per video. The children were recruited through familiar tactics: they were lured away from the street or orphanages with empty promises, while a small number was kidnapped. Most clients, among them businessmen and government officials, came from Italy and Germany; others came from France, Britain, America and Japan. Several "large financial companies" were tied to the network, but names weren't given (73). The Observer reported:
"Last week Italian police seized 3,000 of Kuznetsov's videos on their way to clients in Italy, sparking an international hunt for paedophiles who have bought his products. The Italian investigators say the material includes footage of children dying during abuse..."
"The Russian videos, which had been ordered over the internet, were intercepted when they came into Italy by post, repackaged and then delivered by undercover police officers. They cost between Pounds 300 and Pounds 4,000, depending on what type of film was ordered."
"Covert film of young children naked or undressing was known as a 'SNIPE' video. The most appalling category was code-named 'Necros Pedo' in which children were raped and tortured until they died."
"The Naples newspaper Il Mattino published a transcript of an alleged email exchange between a prospective client and the Russian vendors. 'Promise me you're not ripping me off,' says the Italian. 'Relax, I can assure you this one really dies,' the Russian responds. 'The last time I paid and I didn't get what I wanted.' 'What do you want?' 'To see them die.'" (74)
A Swedish newspaper added:"The pictures are unbearable for normal people to watch. Here are prolonged rape sequences with children begging to be spared. They are abused until they faint. Then they are murdered in front of the cameras... Yes, there are even scenes of actual autopsies on young people... In the 'product catalog' of the pedophiles were pictures of a 10 year old girl who had been killed by
Andrei Minaev, one of the three main suspects of having ran the Russian ring. By the time the affair hit the news, his two partners had already been released from prison due to a recently-launched amnesty program for inmates. The picture is an excerpt of one of the confiscated videos. hanging. A five year old girl with a grimace of pain as she is raped. An adult is killed by gradual crushing." (75)
Even though this news is hugely important, there have been only a handful of newspaper reports about this whole affair. In Italy, some of the most passionate reporters were quickly done away with after they had shown a number of abuse images in a late night television program (76). In contrast to the US media, which appears to have been completely silent on the subject (77), several British newspapers briefly wrote about the affair. But even in Italy the whole matter vanished from the public eye within one or two weeks with no follow up reports having been published since. So as usual, those who want answers are left with numerous questions: Have
the hundreds of suspects against whom evidence was found been prosecuted? What happened to the thousands of others who were still under investigation? Was this network tied to other networks? What happened to the videos? Can snuff movies still be considered a myth?
As for Belgium, besides witnesses in the Dutroux affair, there have been others who claimed that child abuse and snuff networks are a reality.
In July 1998, Marcel Vervloesem and his Morkhoven Workgroup (Werkgroep Morkhoven), a private anti-child pornography group, made international headlines after having obtained thousands of pictures from an internet-based, sadistic, child pornography network, ran from an apartment in Zandvoort (a town near Amsterdam) (78). They also acquired a list of clients and associates of this network, which turned out to include the earlier-mentioned Warwick Spinks (79). Because the children who appeared in these pictures came from all over the world, international police agencies were very interested and managed to identify several dozen victims. It was mainly the Dutch and Belgian authorities who failed to do their job, and when one reads that there are links to the British- Amsterdam paedophile ring (80), a person who probably procured children for high level officials (81), an anonymous "contact" of the Dutch royal family (82), and one of the girls named by X1 (83), things suddenly begin to make sense again.
Another overlooked fact is the Morkhoven Workgroup's claim that they were in the possession of a snuff film, which they showed to Hubert Brouns, a member of parliament and a mayor of a Belgian county; and Nelly Maes, a former member of Belgian parliament, European Parliament, a senator, and today chairman of the European Free Alliance party. Jan Boeykens, chairman of the Morkhoven Workgroup:
"Several years ago, I saw with Hubert Brouns and Nelly Maes a videotape at Marcel Vervloesem's on which it could be seen how a criminal dressed as a physician raped a constantly crying 4 year old girl in the 'doctor's cabinet' while a 12 year old girl, a so-called nurse, brought in the necessary instruments on a platter." (84)
Brouns and Maes, together with Marc Verwilghen, the chairman of the Dutroux commission, had reminded the Belgian Minister of Justice in November 1997 about some of the work the Morkhoven group had done, but their recommendations were disregarded. Researchers of the Morkhoven Workgroup have been relentlessly persecuted and intimidated ever since they first began their investigations in 1989. Vervloesem has been the main target of both the justice department and the media, but he still fared better than one of his colleagues. On November 15, 1998, one of the (part-time) Morkhoven Workgroup
investigators, Gina Pardaens-Bernaer, died when she drove into a bridge pillar. Few in her surroundings believed this to be an accident. Pardaens had spoken to a number of friends about a video of a sex party in which a little girl was abused and murdered. She thought to have recognized one the participants in that video as a close associate of Michel Nihoul. It was also said that she had gotten her hands on evidence of a Belgian-French-Swiss child abuse network, and had sent what she had to a very interested Swiss police. In the weeks and days before her death, Pardaens had been warned off her investigation on many occasions: she had received numerous death threats; her son had been run off his bike by a car; emails and phone calls had been intercepted; strangers followed her on the streets and in cars; during a train ride she had been stopped by men who told her to cease her inquiries; at times her phone calls, fax machine and internet were jammed; and she had been interrogated and intimidated over one of the children she had been trying to find. (85)
It has not been unusual for people who could testify against Nihoul's innocence, or provide evidence of a larger network around Dutroux in general, to be intimidated or killed. There have been at least 20 to 25 suspicious deaths tied to the Dutroux case (86), with just as many reports of intimidation. At some point the deaths became so obvious that Jean Denis Lejeune, the father of one of the girls kidnapped by Dutroux, remarked:
"As if by coincidence people die. There is no explanation for their deaths. For instance, they are victims of a
October 2006, Marcel Vervloesem with Tiny Mast, the mother of murdered Kim and Ken Hehrman. Mast has also become a good friend of X1. Mast: "Those guys [inspectors she had to deal with] are so aggressive and so inhumane that I sometimes feel that they are part of the same clique as those who took away my children." Marcel, who came from a broken family, grew up in children's homes with 6 of his brothers and sisters. After he and his team had broken the Zandvoort case (and others) his half brother stepped into the limelight to accuse him of the exact same acts he was trying to prevent. Around his half brother a small group of other men came out to accuse Marcel (all came from his half brother's bar). This case has been going on for years, and while the media clearly supports the accusers, a judge recently demanded that the group around Marcel's half brother all be subjugated to lie detector tests, not the least because they (also) have been accused on multiple occasions of pedophilia and other criminal acts. Next to the abusers, the only ones benefitting from this debacle are the magistrates who had to follow up on the cases exposed by the Morkhoven group. That's not to say Marcel is a saint, but there's little doubt that he and his group are continually undermined by those who want to keep the existence of large scale child abuse networks secret.
deadly traffic accident just when they are under way to testify. Or one finds their charred bodies. Our judiciary apparently doesn't have sleepless nights over this." (87)
But besides members of the Morkhoven Workgroup there was another researcher who already in the early 1990s gave detailed information about Belgian child abuse networks and the reality of snuff movies. His name is Belgian Jean-Pierre Van Rossem, and apparently, just before bailing out, he had even arranged to play in one.
No doubt, van Rossem is one of the most eccentric and controversial persons of Belgium. However, even though he looks like a doped-up cult leader, he certainly isn't. In the 1970s, Van Rossem developed a piece of software called Moneytron which apparently could quite accurately predict trends in the money market. With an average return on investments of 18 to 25% in the 1980s and early 1990s, van Rossem gained a fortune of several hundred million dollars and attracted businessman from all over the world. At some point, he also counted the Belgian royal family among his clients. In 1991, van Rossem was sentenced to 5 years in jail on charges of massive financial fraud (released after about a third of the sentence, which is normal in Belgium). It would probably have been a lot longer if his clients would have testified against him. However, a lot the money van Rossem was handed appears to have been dirty.
Just before being convicted, van Rossem had become active in Libertarian politics and had won three seats in parliament. Around the time he went to jail he had begun to write books. One of these books was 'Hoe kom ik van de ground?' ['How do I get off the ground?'], published in 1993, in which he described his experiences with escort-services, brothels, SM clubs and other aspects of sex culture.
Even though he was enormously wealthy and knew everything about finance, van Rossem was mostly shunned by the Belgian aristocracy. Besides his unusual look and simple background, his anarchist tendencies appear to have been the main cause of that. Van Rossem has made numerous peppered statements, not only against the Belgian royal family and Islam, but more recently also about the West's financial clique keeping the third world poor, 9/11 and bird flu (88).
For his book 'Hoe kom ik van de ground?' van Rossem gathered a small group of people who went to all kinds of different sex clubs to give them a rating. Although this is already quite an unusual thing to do, especially for a reasonably prominent person, that wasn't even close to enough for van Rossem. Van Rossem also tried to unearth evidence of child abuse and snuff networks and it appears that he succeeded in that. His narrative of the whole adventure reads like a somewhat more hardcore version of the 1999 movie 8 mm with Nicolas Cage. At some point, Van Rossem took with him a well known customer of many different sex shops in Belgium and just across the border in the Netherlands. In all these shops he asked the owner for "more exclusive" material, obviously implying illegal, under the counter magazines, pictures and videos. None of the sex shops in Antwerp and Brussels could or would help him with this request. However, in a few stores in Hulst and Putte (two small towns about 60 km or 40 miles apart, the former just across the border in the Netherlands, and the latter in Belgium.
Antwerp is right in between them) he was able to get pedophile magazines, pictures and videos. One of the things that Van Rossem learned was that paedophiles were active at the Dutch- Belgian border who kidnapped children, often for brief periods, to abuse them in front of the camera. Apparently, the Dutch and Belgian police in these areas have numerous dossiers on this kind of abuse, but in the rare cases that a perpetrator is caught, they are usually unable to prove that the abuser is in contact with a network. As numbers on missing and killed children are too unorganized to be very useful, this might very well be true. (89)
After buying some of the pedophile goods, which included a painful rape of a small child, van Rossem went back to one of the sex shops and asked for even more hardcore material for which he was willing to pay a hefty price. He hinted that he would like to see a girl being murdered on camera. Within a week, van Rossem received what he had ordered for 5,000 euros, a price quite similar to later reports.
"The tape showed how the girl was brought into an empty room by a man with a hood over his head. She was handcuffed... The man cut the clothes from her body with a knife. She had scratches and bruises all over her body. He hit her in the face with his hand. After that she was thrown to the ground by the same man and anally raped. When he was done with this, he threw the girl against a wall and began to beat and kick her over her whole body. When she slid to the ground, he went to stand with one foot on all her limbs and broke with both hands her arms and legs. Then for some time he slowly worked on her with a knife, and stabbed her 32 times in total, mainly in the chest and abdomen. Finally, he cut her throat, again slowly. After that, he slowly labored on the girls' body, from the feet to her head, with great attention to the bloody details. It was perfectly clear that the girl was already dead by then. The whole movie had lasted 57 minutes and had not been edited." (90)
Having been supplied with this video still was not enough for van Rossem. While receiving the video from the sex store owner, he had inquired if he could be present when such a snuff movie was shot. The sex store owner had called to his anonymous supplier with this request and informed van Rossem that something might be arranged. But first he had to give his personal information. Two days after having watched the video, van Rossem was called by a representative of the organization that made these snuff movies, and was invited to a cafe in Breda (Netherlands) that same evening. When van Rossem arrived, a well-dressed man of about 30 years old approached him. This person informed van Rossem that he was to take him to a person "who could help him". Van Rossem was brought to another cafe where a slightly younger, but equally well-dressed man was waiting. This person informed him that they had looked at his personal and financial information and that this was satisfying. In
Van Rossem: part time computer expert, financial expert, politician and white collar criminal, but full time anarchist. He referred to "snuff" as "sniff", a term not often used. According to van Rossem, this term has been derived from "sniffing up the real atmosphere of illegal sex" (p. 125 of his book). Apparently, Texan millionaires, Japanese businessmen on a stopover in the United States and Arab sheikhs have become the most important customers of pedophile snuff movies (p. 125-126), which solely refers to movies in which a person is murdered for the exact purpose of filming the event for distribution. One thing we know for sure is that some of the (often Western intelligence-connected) overly religious Middle-Eastern princes and sheikhs have rather interesting sexual preferences. April 23, 2003, The Scotsman, 'Britons held over 'Royal sex ring'': "According to the popular weekly news magazine VSD, the Saudi prince, who has not been named, paid 1.9 million for three months of attention. Some 40 members of the call girl ring from Poland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the United States, Venezuela and Brazil allegedly travelled to Dubai at the end of January and were installed in a royal palace. The group included several models as well as male prostitutes and transvestites. Members of the ring were paid 27,600 each, the magazine said, as well as receiving presents including watches and jewellery from the Saudi royal... The prostitutes said they were under constant surveillance and were forbidden from making telephone calls."
This is by no means the only accusation. The Fortunato Israel prostitution ring also had Arab diplomats and businessmen among its clients, just as men from the notorious Adnan Khashoggi. Although covered up by an alleged child abuser, this ring was also tied to child abuse and murder through Maud Sarr and especially Israel's mistress, Roger Boas (in whose factory allegedly a snuff room was located). Kay Griggs, wife of Col George Griggs, also mentioned some of the Saudi princes in relation to child abuse, sexual perversion and blackmail. X2's testimony raised the question if van Rossem's research hasn't been too in depth for his own good.
two or three short conversations over the next two days a deal was made in which van Rossem would be taken to an undisclosed location where he could rape and kill a girl any way he liked. It would cost him 75,000 euros; 45,000 if he only wanted to watch.
Of course, van Rossem backed off at the last moment, leaving the organizers of the event with the impression that he was afraid to get robbed by them. Van Rossem went to one of his other apartments at the sea for the few months to lay low, but before doing that, he had deposited all his evidence and additional information in the mailbox of the Court of Cassation in Breda. Van Rossem waited and waited in the following weeks, expecting to be contacted or at least reading something in the paper about a follow up investigation. Nothing happened and nothing was reported.
The sex shop remained in existence and after some time van Rossem sent one of his contacts to inquire yet again for "special material". It turned out that there was a new owner who couldn't arrange any of this. After the contact explained that it had been possible in the past to get this "special material" at this location, the new owner explained that this is what had gotten the previous owner into trouble. So apparently something happened, but it never made the newspapers.
It is clear that van Rossem did as in depth research on the topic as possible, as he himself continually visited the red light districts of every major city he went to. He loved visiting prostitutes. Not withstanding that he did an excellent job with his book, in late 1996, X2 raised some question about how in depth van Rossem's research exactly has been. PV 117.535, November 19, 1996, summary of X2 testimony:
"Parties with under aged children in Eindhoven [large Dutch city near the Belgian border] with Delvoie. 18th century Castle. Departure in convoy from Knokke. The cars with German license plates followed with the little girls. Reception at the castle = a woman = price of 2,000 Belgian franks per person [about 50 euros]. It is necessary to come with another person. It is necessary to take off clothes. A bikini might be accepted. Swimming pool - sauna - solar bench - cold buffet. [There are] rooms without doors to [different] themes. Room with mirrors and cameras. Room with several mattresses. Room with obstetric tables - handcuffs - chains. Karel and X2 [went] 30-50 times to this castle [seemingly an average of about once a month]. Same little girls as those in Cromwell. Clients of the castle: Patrick Denis... Jean-Pierre van Rossem... Baron de Bonvoisin... Jean-Paul Dumont... friend of Patrick Denis = Carine... Another Carine and Patricia who work in the Palace of Justice in Bruxelles... Benoit Hubert... Claude Leroy... [Paul] Bourlee (attorney in Nivelles)... The little girls disappeared when they were about 15-16 years. For the orgies [were used]: little girls of 12-13 years. In the summer of '88, one of the oldest [Eva] (15-16 years) was taken into the sadomasochist room - she was never seen again. The little girls drank alcohol and came out of these parties [completely] numb."
At least in the summary, it is not specified who of the guests did and didn't abuse the under aged girls. It's possible that this was just one of van Rossem's many paid-sex explorations and it is obvious that a one time visit would be enough for anyone to remember him. But still, this testimony does raise some questions.
However, many events in van Rossem's life, which is characterized by bizarre situations and controversial statements, raise questions. In some cases, his statements reflect a huge egotism, but he often appears to be giving the simple truth, something which is not appreciated by everyone. An example relating to the global trafficking of children and women (many other quotes have been taken up in his biography in 'the accused' appendix):
"The Philippines are the target of boy-loving pedophiles, who can get here anything they want. Nine or ten year old boys are loudly offered by hotel managers or by pimps on the streets. Rio has also become a pedophile paradise where boys and girls are offered freely. In Bangkok the lovers of hard sex and extreme SM or similar rushes can find what they are looking for... In clubs there is a floor show in which sex with dogs, snakes, goats or even donkeys, ponies and horses is very normal, and where girls are delivered to hotel rooms on an "everything is allowed" basis... Violent sex, in which the girls or boys are hurt, mutilated or killed, is very normal here. The eastern European countries formerly belonging to the USSR: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria have become sex paradises in a very short period... In a timeframe of several years Budapest has become an immense red light area, with hundreds of bars, cabarets and brothels, and has it become the largest rotating platter of trade in woman in Europe. In the streets of Moscow or St. Petersburg thousands of heroin and vodka addicted girls offer their services... Also with us the bars, cabarets and brothels are filled with eastern European girls." (91)
Even though the public still thinks that sadistic child abuse is mainly a crime committed by a few unorganized psychopaths as Dutroux or Fourniret, in professional investigating circles it is widely acknowledged that large, organized, sadistic child abuse networks exist right here in the West. Going through British newspaper archives provides one with numerous reports of pedophiles trading pictures and videos amongst one other, sometimes on a very large scale. Senior executives of Scotland Yard, Europol or Interpol (Bjorn Eriksson) have accepted the existence of large paedophile networks a long time ago (92).
Girls X1 had witnessed being murdered
X1 claimed to have witnessed the torture and murder of dozens of children, mainly in the period 1976-1988. She gave the first names of about 35 of these children and claimed to have forgotten the names of another 30 or so (93). Inspectors picked out some of the more interesting names and descriptions given by X1 in an effort to establish her credibility. As a result the investigations into four deceased girls were reopened: Veronique Dubrulle, Christine Van Hees, Carine Dellaert and Katrien de Cuyper. Even though X1's information about these girls turned out to be amazingly accurate, or, in other cases, led to whole lists of interesting coincidences, every single investigation was ultimately shut down.
The life and death of these girls has been described in great detail in the 1999 book the X-Dossiers and the 2004 Zembla documentary. Only occasionally a footnote will be used. As far as possible, every claim has been checked via the PVs.
Veronique Dubrulle, from Gent:
After correctly pointing out a picture of Veronique Dubrulle, X1 accurately stated that this girl had died in or around 1983. According to X1, Veronique had been tortured to death with a knife at an abuse party where Michel Nihoul, Annie Bouty, her pimp Tony, Emile Dellaert (father of another murdered girl in the network), a member of the Bert family and several others had been present (94). Veronique's father, Jacques, turned out to be an administrator of the cinema company Decatron NV, which was owned by the Bert family, and went on to become the long time chairman and patron of the International Film Festival of Flanders, located in Gent.
Patriek De Baets and his team looked up the death certificate of Veronique and it turned out that she had officially died from a chronic disease, apparently cancer. In any case, because of the nature of the disease, the inspectors couldn't figure out why a neuropathist and a neurosurgeon had signed her death certificate. They went back to X1 and asked if she knew any of these men. According to X1, these two doctors -one of them internationally esteemed at this moment- had been present at abuse parties organized by the Hanet family of UCO Textiles, also headquartered in Gent. She had been raped by one of them, the other was more interested in 7 to 8 year old girls (95).
The investigation into the death of Veronique was shut down in early 1997. One of the main arguments was that De Baets and his team should have waited with questioning X1 about the two doctors after she had been able to identify them from pictures (couldn't this be done afterwards, some would ask). The investigators were never given permission to exhume the body of Veronique.
Interestingly, around the time the investigation into Veronique's death was closed, the existence of the X-Dossiers was mentioned in the press for the first time. Inspectors who had been put on the Dubrulle case found out that Tony, X1's former pimp, phoned up Jacques Dubrulle three times right after these publications. Later research by the authors of the 1999 book 'The X-Dossiers' indicated that both men were good friends. The parents of Veronique, who were quite prominent at the time, have never tried to defend themselves against the accusations made by X1, which were reported in the press.
According to X1, the two Gent doctors were not part of her pimp's immediate circle and they were not involved in the child hunts.
Carine Dellaert, from Gent:
X1 had spoken about a girl named "Clo" since her first interview on September 20, 1996. According to X1, Clo had been 3 years older than herself and was murdered somewhere "between June and December 1983" (96). According to X1, at one point in 1983 she had been picked up from school by Tony and taken to a house in the region of Gent. She found her friend Clo there, lying on a bed. Clo was trying to deliver a baby, but in the process was continually raped and tortured. As a result, she had lost a lot of blood and ultimately died. The baby was taken away.
One of the few things X1 was able to remember about the life of Clo, was the street where her school was located. Armed with this information, the investigators were able to present X1 with 1981-1982 class photos on which she recognized Carine Dellaert as being her Clo. X1 also pointed to a certain "V.", about which she stated: "they killed her too". The investigators checked X1's information and it turned out that Carine Dellaert had disappeared on August 30, 1982, only to be found very badly decomposed in an abandoned cesspit on September 24, 1985. She indeed was 3 years older than X1. The other girl X1 identified by name also had died in 1983 (97).
During the investigation into the death of Carine Dellaert, X1 recalled that her Carine "Clo" Dellaert had worn "an ankle bracelet... a chainlet". And indeed, the 1985 autopsy report on Carine Dellaert mentioned that this girl had worn an ankle chainlet. That same report also mentioned that the remains of a laminaria tent were found at the height of Carine's pelvis. The only purpose of laminaria tents is to slowly open up the cervix to make it easier and more comfortable to give childbirth, again supporting X1's testimony that Carine was trying to deliver a baby in her final hours (98). Additionally, soon after her daughter's disappearance Carine's mother had found out that her daughter was in the possession of maternity clothing (99).In early 1997, the BOB in Gent, headed by prosecutor of the king Jean Soenen, took over the investigation of the X1-Dellaert link. They ceased all cooperation with Neufchateau and
began a campaign of manipulation and intimation, which ultimately led to the following
Carine "Clo" Dellaert, introduced to the network by her father, according to X1 and Carine's closest school friend. 1999, 'The X-Dossiers', p. 170: "A former neighbor testified that he had often heard Carine Dellaert shouting for help when she was alone at home with her father." conclusion by Soenen (read out in very bad Dutch on national tv):
"... the testimonies of Regina Louf, alias X1, have been closed definitively. As an overall conclusion it can be stated that all her testimonies have been totally unbelievable and the [inaudible] of pure fantasy. Her testimonies pertaining to the death of Carine Dellaert are completely wrong. During the investigation it clearly turned out that the girl Clo, if this person even existed, absolutely does not identify herself with Carine Dellaert." (100)
As usual, there's a total lack of respect for the victim and numerous statements had to be ignored and taken out of context before this conclusion could be reached. Besides some of the things that have already been mentioned, one example is the fact that the BOB in Gent claimed that X1's description of the villa in which the murder allegedly took place was inaccurate. The team of De Baets concluded otherwise, the authors of the the book 'The X-Dossiers' concluded otherwise, and finally a court of law also concluded otherwise (101). Unfortunately, the case was already dead and buried by that time.
Another important detail about the house designated by X1 that was
never investigated by the Gent BOB was that it used to be a brothel, the International Club, where many upper class people came. Coincidentally, the parents of X4 lived next door (102). A person named Gustaaf Derdijn had rented the villa since 1991 from the same people who owned the house in the early 1980s. During this time in the early 1980s, Derdijn had been the owner of the Co-Cli-Co, a night club where X1 claimed to have abused by customers of her pimp, Tony, together with Clo/Carine. Investigators found that the Co-Cli-Co was mentioned in Tony's diary. They also found out that when this night club went bankrupt in 1984, one of its largest creditors was Le Cinema Publicitaire, a videostore owned by Tony. The largest creditor was the firm All-Meat, in which not only Derdijn was a partner, but also the Dutch porn king Gerard Cok (103). Cok had been in a partnership with "Fat" Charles Geerts since 1981-1982. Geerts is one of the largest porn kings in the world and even more so than Cok, is intimately tied to the Dutch (and international) mafia. Interestingly, Geerts has been accused on several occasions of trade in pedophile movies (104).
Other examples of evidence ignored by the Gent BOB are the testimonies of Kristelle M. and Fanny V. (a pseudonym). Fanny was Carine's best friend at school. She remembered how Carine would often speak to her about sexual abuse by her father and his friends, and how Carine had often thought about running away from home (105). Kristelle M. was a classmate of X1 who was among those who confirmed X1's relationship with Tony, a person who often waited for her after school. X1 apparently told Kristelle at some point that she was pregnant from this man. Also, according to Kristelle, X1 often went out with a girl named "Christine, Carine, Caroline or Claudine" (106). In 1998, in the aftermath of the X1-Dellaert affair, some old classmates of X1 apparently confirmed that Carine had indeed been known as "Clo" by some (107). This would be a direct contradiction to the claims made by the BOB in Gent.
One of the main reasons cited by prosecutor Jean Soenen for his decision to close the case of X1-Dellaert was that she refused to cooperate when confronted with Carine's father, Emile. Unfortunately, Soenen and the press generally forgot to mention the circumstances of this confrontation. First of all, X1 had been confronted with Tony the day before, and even though he confirmed vast portions of her story, she had been completely drained by yet another intimidating confrontation in which all kinds of manipulations took place. Secondly, like Fanny V., X1 had already testified from day one that Carine's father had been the one responsible for bringing her into the sadist abuse network. It apparently also didn't bother the Gent investigators that Emile had already been investigated for accusations of incest in 1977, next to suspicions against him that he had an affair with an under aged girl in the Netherlands in 1965. Because of accusations of incest from his wife and because he waited a week before reporting his daughter missing, Emile became a suspect in the disappearance of his own daughter. During the investigation the police found out that Emile shot "sensual" photos of his daughter, that witnesses at Carine's scouting club thought that father and daughter were acting more like a couple in love, that Carine had become extremely afraid of the woods all of a sudden, and that she was often heard screaming in the weeks before her disappearance (108). It all didn't matter. Emile would be released, acquitted and later supported by most newspapers after the X1-Dellaert case had broken out.
Christine Van Hees, from the Brussels region:
The 16 year old Christine Van Hees was found tortured to death on February 13, 1984, after an emergency fire response to an old champignon factory. The murder had been surrounded by mystery from day one, and those that largely contributed to that (directly or indirectly) included Jean-Claude Van Espen (business associate and family of Nihoul; would play a crucial role in the X-witness investigation, supporting the fraudulent re-read conclusions), Guy Collignon (chief investigator of the Van Hees murder; apparently acknowledged a cover-up to Christine's brother), Baudouin Dernicourt (later one of the main X-witness re-readers), Didier de Quevy (lawyer of Alexis Alewaeters and soon Marc Dutroux) and Jean-Paul Dumont (CEPIC lawyer; accused by different sources of being part of the Nihoul abuse network). A group of punks was implicated, but no evidence could be found, only false leads.Over a decade later, on October 25, 1996, X1 mentioned a number of girls that she had witnessed being murdered. Among these names was a "Christine". Because of the details
X1 provided, De Baets and Hupez began to think about "le crime de la champignonniere".
According to X1, Christine had met with Nihoul in October 1983 and somehow began a relationship with him. After a while, Christine began to figure out that Nihoul was a pretty bad guy, but was afraid to speak about him to her parents. She feared that Nihoul and his friends might hurt her, or possibly her parents. Also, Nihoul had persuaded Christine
Christine Van Hees.
to have sex with X1 and participate in orgies. She was afraid that her parents wouldn't understand.
Against all protocols of the network, X1 encouraged Christine to try and speak with her parents. X1 briefly mentioned her advice to Christine to Mieke -another girl from the network- who unfortunately became so afraid of reprisals that she informed Nihoul and Tony about X1's dissent. As a result of that, X1 and Christine were taken to the abandoned champignon factory where Christine was murdered.
Whole documentaries can be made about just the X1-Christine Van Hees aspect of the X-Dossiers. To keep things relatively short, below is a quick summary of facts which indicate that X1 spoke the truth about Christine Van Hees and her murder. These facts have mainly been discussed in De Morgen newspaper, the 1999 book 'The X-Dossiers' and the 2003 Zembla X-Dossiers documentaries.
X1 had stated that Dutroux, who she described as a bit of an outsider, was present at the murder of Christine. Research showed that in the early 1980s Marc Dutroux and Bernard Weinstein visited the same skating rink as Christine Van Hees. According to Michele Martin, Dutroux went there alone since 1983 to make it easier for him to "seduce girls". Just before her death, it is known that Christine had a date with a "Marc" who could well have been Marc Dutroux. However, no conclusive research has been carried out. Additionally, Nathalie Geirnaert, a friend of Christine who lived in the same street as her, recognized Marc Dutroux on two old pictures from the early 1980s as someone who she had seen in the company of Christine. Nathalie explained that in the days before her kidnapping, Christine had become extremely scared of someone or something. When she would leave Nathalie's house, Christine would ask Nathalie to accompany her to her house or ask her to stay at the door until she was inside. The night before the murder Nathalie noticed a suspicious black car in front of Christine's house from 23:30 to 13:00. A man had been sitting behind the wheel the whole time. Nothing was done with Nathalie's testimony.
According to X1, Christine had met Nihoul in October 1983 and had begun a relationship with him. Friends of Christine later testified that she had begun to act different for the first time in October 1983. Also, Christine often went to the swimming bath of Etterbeek. One floor above this swimming bath the radio show of Michel Nihoul was located. Nihoul had already been very active in Etterbeek through the Dolo. Coincidentally, during the investigation into Christine's murder an anonymous tip came in that the Dolo in Etterbeek was the key to solving the Christine Van Hees murder. No investigation was carried out. In fact, somehow the investigators, headed by Van Espen, managed to write down that the tip was about cafe Chez Dolores instead of the Dolo.
In late 1984, Fabienne Kirby, a friend of Christine Van Hees in her final months, gave a testimony that would not be incompatible with the one of X1 12 years later. According to Fabienne, Christine had told her how she had ended up in a dangerous group of people involved in sex orgies and apparently sadism. PV 7112, February 20, 1984, Fabienne Kirby (anonymous at the time) to the judicial police: "We got to know each other in October 1983. Over time our discussions became more and more intimate. Christine told such unbelievable stories that I slowly became convinced that she made things up. She told me that she had gotten to know a group of people. She regularly saw them at an abandoned house close to her house. She regularly saw these people in the months October and November 1983. These people were older than Christine. She explained to me that meetings were held in that house, to which a road led about nobody knew. Other girls were in the group. Sometimes, she said, she went alone to the house to write her diary. Christine never spoke about this with girls from her school class. I was bewildered when she told me what happened there. She told me that if she ever spoke about this with her parents or brothers, her so-called friends would kill her and burn down the house. She told that in the group free love is practiced... She told me that this group attracted and frightened her at the same time. In early 1984, I noticed that Christine had changed a lot. She had lost weight, was paler and in any case took less care of herself. She said she wanted to blow up all bridges because very bad things had happened. I noticed that she had bruises, and a cigarette burn on her arm. She then explained that it had started as a game, that those games had started slowly, but then became violent. Christine had come into conflict with one of the other girls in the other group. She felt very much attracted to a member of the gang. She told me that it was possible to feel sexually attracted to a man, without really loving him. She truanted from school. About her friends she said: 'They are pigs, but I feel good with them.' She said me that, once you ended up in that milieu, you never got out. It was of little use, she said, to talk about it with someone, because no one would believe her.'" Kirby explained that she had undergone an abortion during the time that she knew Christine. The father would have been a member of the Derochette family and a full cousin of the now well known pedophile Patrick Derochette. A law clerk of examining magistrate Jean-Claude Van Espen, who headed the investigation into Christine Van Hees, married into the Derochette family and was tied to the kidnapping and murder of Loubna Benaissa. It is known that a woman named Nathalie Perignon phoned up Fabienne during the Dutroux and X-witness investigation. Coincidentally, Perignon had been present with three men in a black car observing the champignon factory where Christine had been murdered the week before. All four individuals in the car worked at Nihoul's Radio Activite and personally knew Nihoul.
X1 was blindfolded and bare-footed when she, Christine and the abusers stepped out of the car. Before entering the compound she felt a lot of gravel under her feet. It is correct that in 1984 there was gravel all over the place.
The compound she was brought into smelled moldy, like it hadn't been used for a long time. This seems likely, as the champignon factory had been abandoned since 1972.
X1's overall description of the champignon factory where Christine was murdered is accurate. The former owner and his son could step by step find themselves in the description given by X1; from stepping out of the car to the location where Christine had been murdered. The son of the former owner of the champignon factory to Zembla (Dutch TV), 'De X-dossiers - Part I' (March 11, 2003): "The doors. We had very special, hand-made doors. Old doors with ornaments, which she described perfectly. She knew all that. She drew the chimney and the living room. It matched quite well. The chimney looked like it. She drew the rose window. A rose window is a rose window. It could well be our rose window. What she told about the champignoniere was accurate. I showed the description [of X1] to one of my brothers. That girl had to have been there. There's no other way." 1999, Marie-Jeanne Van Heeswyck, Annemie Bulte and Douglas De Coninck, 'De X-Dossiers', p. 244-245: "The son is responsible for a stir when the texts [descriptions of the champignoniere of X1 and an inspector at the scene. They differ] are presented to him. 'That police officer has not been inside there, your witness X1 was'... The police officer in question, Jacques Dekock, is summoned that evening and immediately confronted with the son. The confrontation doesn't last long. It's true, he admits. He was so dismayed by the body that evening that he hardly looked at the rest of the building. The complex was demolished in 1989. Nowhere information is available about how the building looked in 1984. It was such a complex clew of houses, hangers, driveways, halls and basements that all who would try to do a little guessing on describing the place would be seen through immediately. And that is what is so bizarre. The inspectors just couldn't figure it out how X1 told them that she got there by car, stepped out, stumbled... The son of the owner had no problems with this. Almost immediately he could tell exactly through where X1 entered the building and how she reached the basement. That she stumbled in the hall is logical, he says. More people used to do that. By rebuilding two houses into one, a connection had been created with two stairs: the first one going down, then up again. 'In reality she was in the kitchen', the son deducts from the description of the wallpaper and the tiles - which also is perfectly accurate. He went through it with his family. 'There are things we read in her testimony that reminded us of details that we ourselves had long forgotten, like the motif on the tiles', he later says. Indeed, from the kitchen there was a separate doorway to the basement. And those flesh hooks? Yet another detail that only now recalls memories. 'Of course, then she was in the scullery', the son says. His uncle made meat pies and had created a sort of industrial kitchen in the adjacent building. With a pen in his hand the son draws the route that X1 must have travelled that night. The rugged wooden table, the rain barrel... Yes, yes, his father had left that when he moved out. It is extraordinarily, no question about it."
In 1984, a tampon with blood on it was found in a building located 30 feet away from the basement in which Christine had been murdered. This matches X1's 1996 testimony that blood in the vagina of Christine had been absorbed with a tampon. The blood type matched that of Christine's. A DNA test was in process in 1999, just as a DNA test on a cigarette butt that had been found at the murder site. However, Van Espen closed the investigation before the results could be made available. Burned notebooks and a satchel belonging to Christine were found in the same building, disproving claims from magistrates that this building was not accessible at the time of the murder. By confusing the description of the building and the basement, these magistrates had first claimed that X1's description of the murder site wasn't correct and that the bloody tampon was irrelevant. However, they were later forced to recant this argument as X1 had always made a clear distinction between the building where the abuse and torture began, and the basement where Christine was ultimately murdered.
In the last room X1 said she and Christine had been brought, she had seen a rope and a jerrycan. The police report at the time stated that a rope and a jerrycan had been found in the room where Christine had been found.
According to X1, candles were the only source of light in the building. A candle was among the items found at the murder location.
Christine's body had been found lying face down, arching back because a metal strand had been tied from her neck to her wrists and on to her ankles. X1 had mentioned how her Christine had been tied up in this same way and with a metal strand.
According to X1, Christine was set on fire while lying tied up on the ground. The autopsy report of Christine Van Hees showed that her body had been burned to such a degree that it initially was hard to tell her gender.
X1 described how one of Christine's wrists was penetrated by a "a metal bar... hollow inside... 30 centimeters long". Although the re-readers tried to deny the existence of a wound to Christine's left wrist, the first police commissioner to describe the scene wrote in his official report: "A nail is planted in the left wrist" and indicated that it had been taken from one of the numerous racks that were located in the building. Reading the testimony of X1, the former owner and his family also immediately thought about the racks and estimated the length of these hollow tubes at "30 or 40 centimeters". The "nails" in these racks indeed were thin hollow tubes, which at one time supported the shelves with growing mushrooms. Investigators and magistrates tried to spin the story by claiming that X1 had spoken about a "crucifixion" and specifically a "nail". Earlier, they had tried to claim that no object had penetrated the wrist of Christine. However, they could not convince the officer who had found the body of Christine to change his initial 1984 report.
According to X1, Michel Vander Elst was the one who beat the nail-like object through Christine's wrist with a hammer. A hammer was found at the location where Christine had been murdered.
The girl X1 talked about having been murdered was "Chrissie", full name Christine. She gave this name and details about the murder before De Baets and team could match it with the Christine Van Hees murder. Coincidentally, all other details also matched the story of X1.
One wonders how Jean-Claude Van Espen and his aides were able to conclude that X1 could never have been present at the murder of Christine, but that's exactly what they did. Their arguments, which can be read in the 'victim-witnesses' appendix, have been completely discredited. The X1-Christine Van Hees dossier should never have been closed.
Katrien de Cuyper, from Antwerp region:
The 15 year old Katrien de Cuyper disappeared in the evening of December 17, 1991 in Antwerp, after having last been seen making a phone call in the cafe les Routiers (the Truck Drivers). She was found dead 6 months later, on June 22, 1992. The autopsy showed that she had been murdered soon after her kidnapping. Those responsible were never caught.
On February 2, 1997, X1 recognized Katrien de Cuyper from a series of pictures shown to her. She explained how this girl had been taken to a castle and was murdered by a group of individuals that included Tony, Nihoul and Bouty (109). Before she was killed, X1 had noticed that Katrien lacked the routine of the more experienced girls. She thought this girl had been recruited by Tony.
After X1 had given a description of the castle and the route she had travelled, the investigators were able to find the domain in question: Castle Kattenhof in 's Gravenwezel, owned by the de Caters family (110). It turned out that this family owned property in Knokke in streets where X1 had already pointed out some apartments where she had been abused (111). Baron Patrick de Caters, a co-owner of the de Caters domain, is a member of Cercle de Wallonië, together with Etienne Davignon, Prince Philippe de Chimay, Count Jean-Pierre de Launoit (vice-Président Cercle de Lorraine), Elio Di Rupo and Aldo Vastapane. All of these men have been accused of child abuse at some point, although it must be stated that some of the accusations are more reliable than others. Additionally, next to the de Caters domain, the castle of Axel Vervoordt can be found. Vervoordt is a famous art collector, who counts international pop stars and businessmen among his clientele. He too has been accused of pedophilia. More on that later.
The description X1 gave of Katrien was not the most convincing in the world, although the length and hair color of the girl she had seen did approximately match those of Katrien de Cuyper. In any case, the conclusion of the investigators appointed to this specific sub-dossier that Katrien de Cuyper in no way could have been X1's Katrien is definitely an exaggeration. However, the most telling aspect of the X1-Katrien de Cuyper case is not the conclusion of the researchers.
During the observation of Tony Vandenbogaert, X1's former pimp, it had become known that this person was in continuous contact with a gendarme officer from Antwerp. They would regularly call or email each other. But interestingly, after this fact had already become known, this particular gendarme officer was appointed to a leading position in the investigation into this same Tony. De Baets and his team reminded their superiors that this was an obvious conflict of interest. However, no changes were made, and this gendarme officer became one of those responsible for dismissing the possibility that the Katrien described by X1 couldn't possibly have been Katrien de Cuyper (in whose murder Tony was implicated by X1) (112). Another interesting fact about the Katrien de Cuyper case was that in mid 1999, when the Dutch police put together a catalog of pictures found at the Zandvoort home of pedophile
The pictures on the left and right show Katrien de Cuyper in approximately the final year of her life. The central picture shows the girl from the network. The mouth, the nose, the lines underneath her eyes, the shape of the face; even the eyes and eyebrows are far from incompatible. Only the hair has a different color, but there are explanations for that. Click picture to enlarge. Gerrie Ulrich, there was a porn photo in there of a girl which closely resembled Katrien de Cuyper (113). Among the pictures and documents found at Ulrich's were order forms to make requests for specific forms of child pornography. An investigation showed that Ulrich regularly donated large sums of money to a post office box located above the cafe in Antwerp (The Truck Drivers) where Katrien De Cuyper had last been seen making a phone call. Two Dutch porn firms were located at this address: Studio De Pauw and X-Kiss (114). Whether or not Katrien de Cuyper was found among the pictures in Ulrich's home, in
2004, the District Attorney's office in Antwerp closed the case by stating that the picture in Ulrich's home was a boy, after having been shown another picture -allegedly a photoshop- of "Katrien" with the body of boy (115). Now seriously, does the girl in the central picture even remotely look like a boy?
The Katrien de Cuyper case might not have been as powerful as the previous three, but it certainly remains interesting. And also in this case there's evidence of a cover up.
Who backed up the claims of X1
As already mentioned, in 1998, prosecutor of the king Jean Soenen stated the following on Belgian national television:"... the testimonies of Regina Louf, alias X1, have been closed definitively. As an overall conclusion it can be stated that all her testimonies have been totally unbelievable and the
Court documents filmed by Zembla showing the quote below in Dutch. It's also possible to largely read "Regina had this relationship WITH her consent and not AGAINST her will." [inaudible] of pure fantasy." (116)
This has since become the consensus view on X1. However, it's a lie. Even if one only pays attention to the official conclusions of the Veronique Dubrulle, Carine Dellaert, Christine Van Hees and Katrien de Cuyper cases, even then it not only has to be acknowledged that it is a fact that Tony Vandenbogaert had sex with X1 since she was at least 12 years old, but also that her parents approved of this relationship. According to the Soenen's own Gent Law Court, in 1998:
"It has been established that Regina, between her
twelfth and sixteenth year, had a sexual relationship with a much older and grown man, named Antoine V... Her mother knew about this, allowed the relationship and even encouraged it. Her mother at least felt a platonic love for this same V."
This was the unescapable conclusion from information provided by X1, followed by confrontations with Tony and her parents. However, after these three were forced to admit
parts of X1's story, they had to come up with an excuse. That excuse became that X1 -as a 12 year old girl- had taken the actual initiative for the relationship and had pressured her parents into giving Tony a key of the house. As lame as this excuse may sound, Soenen and the Gent Law Court were more than happy to incorporate this excuse into their final conclusion as an undisputed fact: "Regina had this relationship WITH her consent and not AGAINST her will." Soenen's aide, substitute magistrate Nicole
Left: X1's mother in the late 1970s. Mid and right: X1's parents in 1998, claiming complete ignorance on everything their daughter is talking about. They stated otherwise during interrogations.
De Rouck, repeated this "fact" on national television and added that these events had happened too long ago for Tony still to be prosecuted.
If you read the newspapers you would think otherwise, but X1's statements about her childhood in Gent and Knokke have been confirmed by many witnesses. Here's a list: 1. Tony: Admitted himself that he had sex with X1 since she was 12 years old (ignoring the testimonies that he already raped X1 at her grandmother's house almost a decade before) and that he had been given a key of the house to enter whenever he pleased (117).
2. X1's mother: Besides "admitting" that her 12 or 13 year old daughter had pressured her into giving Tony a key of the house, she confirmed that her daughter indeed had a sexual relationship with Tony (118).
3. X1's father: Admitted that Tony came into the house a lot more than he had previously stated. Also admitted that Tony picked Regina up from school and that he took her places (119).
4. Marleen van Herreweghe: Classmate who X1 said should have seen some of the abuse in Knokke and Gent. Marleen didn't confirm the abuse in Knokke, but did state that "there were sexual contacts between X1, that Tony, the mother of X1 and the housekeeper." (120)
5. Carine Verniers: Housekeeper of X1's mother in the 1980s who apparently didn't do a very good job, as the home of X1 has generally been described as dirty and messy. Pregnant for the first time when she was 18 years old and ended up with 4 children from 3 different men. She was in therapy for a while.
Unaware that a camera was taping her confrontation with X1, Verniers accidentally confirmed during a break that Tony, the mother and X1 all had a sexual relationships with each other. She also stated that she didn't believe that X1 was lying. After X1 pushed a little bit, Verniers also confirmed that she suddenly left the house after there were indications that her 18 months old child had been abused. When investigators tried to interview the by then 16 year old daughter, the confrontations ended in panic attacks and denial. No follow-up investigation was carried out.
In March 1997, investigators found out that Verniers had a lot of phone conversations with Marleen van Herreweghe. On one day Verniers received 38 telephone calls from acquaintances who also contacted Marleen that same day. The investigators suspected that an effort was made to get the stories of these two women straight (121).
6. "Odette" (pseudonym): "Odette" was a mistress of Tony V. in the 1980s. She confirmed that Tony often visited the mother of X1 and that she assumed that Tony had an affair with her. Odette: "I myself was kind of hungry for sex and like Tony there was no one better in bed... He tried to get to know everything about you... He liked to give people the feeling that he could blackmail them... I don't know what to think about the whole X1-affair and I find it hard to believe that Tony had something to do with those child murders. But still. When I read the book of X1, I cannot deny that everything she wrote about Tony is accurate, down to the smallest details. That was a shock to me." (122)
7. X2: At least two of the locations in Knokke where X2 claimed to have been abused were also pointed out by X1. Another street designated by X2 faced the hotel of X1's grandmother (123). Additionally, some of the abusers mentioned by X2 turned out to be the same as those mentioned by X1, like Vanden Boeynants, Baron de Bonvoisin and the Lippens brothers. There appears to be some confusion whether or not X1 recognized X2 from a picture (124).
8. X3 Mentioned Vanden Boeynants, an abuser that was also reported by X1 and X2.
9. X4 X4's parents lived nextdoor to one of the locations where X1 said she and Carine Dellaert had been abused (125). X4 correctly identified both Chantal S. and Nathalie C., youth friends of X1, as victims of the abuse network (126). In turn, Nathalie W. identified by name the mother and a sister of X4 (127).
10. X7 (Nathalie C.): Confirmed that she was the best friend of X1 between the age of 10 and 14, that she knew about X1's sexual relationship with Tony (X1 told her since the age of 12) and some of the abuse, that she knew about the sexual relationship between Tony and the mother of X1, that she had visited the house of X1's grandmother and that she was forbidden to visit the the first floor here (128).
11. Nathalie W. X1 identified Nathalie W. as a victim of the network (129) and apparently situated her at the sexclub Les Atrebates in the early 1980s (130). X1 also recognized her father (131). Nathalie W., on the other hand, correctly identified the pimp of X1 as "Anthony" and as a friend of Nihoul (whom she also knew) (132). Apparently, both X1 and Nathalie W. independently referred to Nihoul as "Mich" (133). Additionally, X4 identified Nathalie W. while Nathalie W. identified the mother and a sister of X4 by name.
12. Chantal S.: Confirmed the abuse of X1 at her grandmother's hotel-villa in Knokke. She remembered only one name, "Monsieur", which turned out to be correct, judging from X1's testimony. Like X7, Chantal gave many details which could be found in the testimonies of others, for example that she was forbidden to cry during the abuse or that she was not allowed to go to the first floor (134). X4 recognized Chantal S. as a victim of the network.
13. Anja D.: Classmate of X1 in the early 1980s. Knew about sexual relationship with Tony and that he brought her places (135).
14. Kristelle M.: Classmate of X1 in the early 1980s. Confirmed X1's relationship with Tony and that X1 had been made pregnant by this man. Indicated that X1 knew Carine Dellaert (136).
15. "Fanny V." (pseudonym): Classmate of Carine Dellaert. Confirmed X1's story about Carine Dellaert and stated that X1 had the same introvert attitude as Carine (137).
16. Parents of a classmate: In 1979, X1 mentioned to a classmate the abuse that was going on at her grandmother's hotel-villa. After this girl told her parents, X1 was invited over to retell her story. Knowing that X1 could never know all these details without having experienced them, the parents informed the principal of the school her daughter and X1 went to. X1 went to the principal, a nun, to repeat the story and showed the bruises in her neck. The nun told X1 that she was "a fantasizer" and called up her grandmother. Besides being heavily punished, X1 was sent back to her parents in Gent in an effort to stop the rumors that were going round the neighborhood by now. When X1 disappeared from school, the parents of X1's classmate assumed that she had been taken up in a child protection program. However, more than 10 years later they found out that this had not been the case. The girl, nor her parents were asked to testify about X1. (138)
17. Mieke: Girl from the network who went to live with X1 and her husband in 1998. She was never asked to testify, but apparently could verify many aspects of X1's story. She is not to be confused with Marie-Theresa "Mieke" from X1's testimony on Christine Van Hees. (139)
Dismantling the investigation
The initial investigation into Dutroux and Nihoul was headed by Michel Bourlet, the prosecutor of the king in the Neufchateau district, and examining magistrate Jean-Marc Connerotte. These two men already had gained somewhat of a martyr status, because several years before the Dutroux case they had been taken off the investigation into the murder of the socialist leader Andre Cools, apparently right before being able to solve the case. Then, in 1996, when they finally found two missing girls -alive- they became national heroes overnight.
It was Connerotte who appointed BOB officer Patriek De Baets and his team to the X1 case in early September 1996. In this function De Baets worked directly for Connerotte and could work relatively autonomous from his superiors in the BOB and the overall gendarmerie. The first major change in the investigation occurred on October 14, 1996. Connerotte was removed as examining magistrate, the reason being that he had attended a fund raising
Jean-Marc Connerotte, sacked from the Dutroux investigation before it ever really got off the ground. for parents of missing children. The problem here was that Sabine and Laetitia, the girls he had personally rescued from Dutroux's dungeon, were present at this meeting as guests of honor. The lawyers of Dutroux and Nihoul had gotten wind of this visit and began a successful procedure to remove Connerotte, arguing that the examining magistrate had shown with this visit that he wasn't carrying out his investigation objectively enough.
Although many wonder how Connerotte could have
been so careless, especially with such a sensitive case, there are quite a number of extenuating circumstances. For example, Connerotte, who was on leave and had married earlier that day, made sure to pay for the plate of spaghetti he was given, made sure that he did not to meet with the girls or their parents, declined to accept flowers from Laetitia and Sabine, and handed over the fountain pen the guests had been given to a judicial registrar (140). Also, Connerotte barely stayed an hour, but with this visit he and Bourlet (who also went) made yet another effort to change the consensus view that the justice department wasn't interested in parents of missing children or victims of child abuse.
All these facts didn't matter and Connerotte was replaced by the inexperienced examining magistrate Jacques Langlois. As rumors of a cover-up had already begun to spread, the removal sparked massive protests all around the country. In Brussels alone, more than 300,000 people went to the streets to protest (the famous White March), but it changed nothing. As the prosecutor of the King, Bourlet was not forced to step down. However, the examining magistrate does the majority of the in depth investigations. Therefore Bourlet's
hands were largely tied when Langlois came in and immediately decided that he didn't want to hear anything about child abuse networks. Langlois became one of those responsible for dismantling the whole Dutroux investigation by ignoring countless leads and sending his investigators off into all kinds of bogus issues.
A second major change occurred in early December 1996. Until that point, as said before, the BOB officers working with the various X-witnesses worked independently from the BOB and gendarmerie hierarchy. They had a supporting role in the Dutroux investigation and answered directly to Bourlet and Connerotte, and later on to the much less interested Langlois. However, on December 1, all the inspectors working on the sub-dossiers of the Dutroux affair, including the X-Dossiers, were brought together in a large secured building just outside Brussels. Gendarmerie Commandant Jean-Luc Duterme was appointed head of this investigating cell and was able to heavily influence the ongoing investigations.
With Langlois and Duterme in place the overall Dutroux investigation began to take a dramatic turn for the worse. In complete contrast with Connerotte and Bourlet, Langlois
Michel Bourlet, prosecutor of the king in Neufchateau since 1984. Has always been on the side of Connerotte, De Baets and X1, even though his hands were tied. Had a hilarious run in with Baron de Bonvoisin, one of the most notorious suspects in the X-Dossiers, very early on in the investigation. De Bonvoisin had arranged a meeting in his castle with some of the Dutroux case investigators, during which he called Bourlet and tried to make an appointment. Bourlet pretended to accept a meeting for the next day, but never showed up.
did not communicate directly with the interviewers of the various X-witnesses, but went to Commandant Duterme instead (141). While Duterme secretly, and without having the proper authority, began to "reread" the testimonies of the X-witnesses, Langlois dived head on into leads that Connerotte and Bourlet had suspected from day one to be disinformation (142). The major examples would be:
the digs in Jumet, which were inspired by the bogus claims of convicted pedophile Jean-Paul Raemaekers;
the November 1996 Oliver Trusgnach case in which high level politicians Elio Di Rupo and Jean-Pierre Grafe were implicated as pedophiles;
the prominent December 12, 1996 search of the Gnostic-Luciferian (Satanic) Abrasax cult.
The Jumet digs and the Oliver Trusgnach case were complicated disinformation schemes, ultimately meant to provide "skeptics" with examples that Neufchateau investigators could easily be fooled by captured child abusers and fantasists who make up stories. In fact, in a truly Machiavellian way, De Baets and his team were forced, without knowing anything about the case, to take up a primary role in the Trusgnach case the day before all the (soon to be discredited) accusations would be published in the press. Police commissioner Georges Marnette played a central role in both of these disinformation schemes, about which you can read in detail in 'the accused' appendix. Why there? Because both X2 and Nathalie W. identified Marnette as an abuser in the network (143).
The Abrasax story is less complicated. The following well known newspaper report, published on December 29, 1996 by the Sunday Times, is one of the best examples in which some of the most accurate (albeit hard to believe) information appears to have been strategically mixed in with a central piece of disinformation. "SATANIC sects involved in bizarre rites including human sacrifice are being linked by Belgian police with this summer's string of grisly paedophile murders in which at least four children died.
Five witnesses came forward last week and described how black masses were held, at which children were killed in front of audiences said to have included prominent members of Belgian
Picture of Abrasax headquarters in the small, stuffy home of Francis "Anubis- Moloch" Desmedt and Dominique "Nahema-Nephthys" Kindermans where maybe 20 persons could be involved in a ritual at the same time. The profoundly negative Abrasax cult consisted of four institutes: The Belgian Church of Satan, the Wicca center, the Order for Luciferian Initiation and the Gnostic church. Psychotherapy was also practiced here.
Keep the following in mind: like Jumet didn't disprove the existence of a network surrounding Nihoul and the Trusgnach case didn't disprove high level involvement in abuse networks, so the Abrasax disinformation doesn't prove (high level) Satanism doesn't exist. It's important to note that there are innumerable and very similar reports of cultist or Satanic practices in combination with child abuse. Going through US and UK newspaper archives since the late 1970s will turn up thousands of (mainly superficial) reports on ritual abuse and Satanism. In the X-Dossiers there also appear a fair dose of reports on Satanism and ritual abuse, which is not necessarily the same thing. You can read these reports in the 'victims and witnesses' appendix. More information on this aspect in part 15. society. One investigator said it was "like going back to the Middle Ages".
The tentacles of the sects appear to have stretched beyond the borders of Belgium to Holland, Germany and even America. The witnesses - several of whom claim to have received death threats - say that young babies were handed over by their parents willingly in return for money. In other cases the victims were abducted. [PEHI note: The incest aspect should definitely have been described here. The "abductions" should also have been explained in more detail]
The witnesses, who are believed to have identified the sites where the masses took place to the police, said organisers had also photographed participants and threatened to hand over their pictures if they went to the police.
The investigation centres on Abrasax [the crucial piece of disinformation], a self-styled institute of black magic, whose headquarters in the village of Forchies-la-Marche in southern Belgium was raided by police last week. Human skulls were among the objects removed from the run-down building.
... Police have long suspected that Dutroux, a convicted paedophile, was part of an international network which abducted children, sexually abused them and then killed them. Their activities appear to have been financed by the sale of pornographic videos filmed by members of the ring.
... Investigators are still trying to determine the precise nature of the links between the Satanists and the paedophile groups.
In a separate twist, a Belgian newspaper claimed yesterday that a former European commissioner was among a group of judges, senior politicians, lawyers and policemen who attended orgies held in a Belgian chateau and organised by Michel Nihoul, one of Dutroux's alleged accomplices. La Derniere Heure, which claimed to have a guest list, did not name the commissioner but said he "came with a girl, Josette, nicknamed Jojo, the Bomb".
Everything mentioned in this article is accurate, meaning that this is what a number of anonymous (to the public) witnesses were testifying about in Neufchateau at that
moment. Although not all spoke about Satanism, at least half of them did. But besides the exaggerated focus on Satanism, the disinformation here is that this whole Satanic or sectarian aspect of the investigation centered around the Abrasax cult. The X-Dossiers had absolutely nothing to do with Abrasax and even though there might have been some circumstantial Dutroux/Weinstein- related evidence against the cult to justify a house search some day (144), there's no good reason why, with all those other promising leads, this questionable and highly delicate one had to be picked out for a premature house search. Unless, of course, the aim was to discredit the whole investigation, which is what Connerotte and his chief investigator De Baets have publicly stated (145). The basic idea was to discredit any future claims of Satanism and extreme abuse by bringing up the (soon to be discredited) Abrasax affair. This motive also becomes obvious when one learns that Duterme, with the consent of Langlois, scrapped all of the 43 house searches recommended by De Baets and Bourlet. Their list was based on the most promising information supplied by the X-witnesses, which indeed included "a former European commissioner... judges, senior politicians, lawyers and policemen" (146).
By the time the Abrasax story hit the news, it was clear that Duterme was in town. He had gathered a small group of vicious debunkers around him, the most prominent being Eddy Verhaeghen, Baudouin Dernicourt and Philippe Pourbaix. When the main interviewer of Nathalie W. suffered a stroke in late January 1997, Duterme replaced this person and his partner with Dernicourt and Pourbaix. Nathalie had trusted her first interviewers and although testifying was a huge mental challenge for her, she did provide certain names and details that matched with those provided by other X-witnesses (147). This all changed when Dernicourt and Pourbaix went after Nathalie like a couple of attack dogs. They managed to completely destabilize the victim in a matter of one or two hearings. In March Nathalie dropped from the investigation (148).
The other favorite BOB officer of Duterme, Eddy Verhaeghen, played a key role in discrediting X1. In July 1997, Duterme's first version of the re-reads of the X1 interviews was done. Based on these re-reads De Baets and his team were fired later that month, and Verhaeghen became the new chief interviewer of X1. X1 describes how things changed:
"The two BOB officers with whom I have to work from now on come to pick me up for an 'informal' talk... The three of us go and sit at a table in a village cafeteria... Eddy voices my suspicions in the following words: 'We don't care if it is true or not. The only thing that matters to me is my paycheck at the end of the month.' I smile worryingly. Am I psychic after all? The discussion proceeds in the expected direction. The security- and investigative brigade of the gendarmerie thinks that the ball is in my court. I am the one who has to come up with evidence, they won't do any field- or investigative work anymore. In these words they ask for my cooperation. When I state that I do not have the authority to conduct searches, nor that I can come up with evidence if they are not willing to investigate, they just laugh at me... Eddy begins to insinuate that it all couldn't have been so bad. Because, look, I have a husband and four kids, I have everything that I wish and also, I can laugh... 'Come on', Eddy says rather loud, 'you also enjoyed it, didn't you? You can't say that everything was bad? You were in love with Tony, weren't you?' After exactly one year of hearings, in which I was treated with respect, I politely try to explain my feelings. I wasn't 'in love' with him, I loved him; like a daughter loves her father [at least, that's what she tried to convince herself of as a young girl]..."
"I am only really disheartened when Eddy and his colleague interrogate my friend Tania. This happens in such a dehumanizing manner that I begin to feel sick. Her hearing is not recorded on video, and they know it. The two BOB officers eagerly use their power position to destabilize and intimidate Tania by bringing up her personal life. They question her in an office where every BOB officer walks in and out of, and where my supposedly well-protected dossiers are up for grabs. Tania asks what her personal life has to do with the case. After all, she did nothing more than encourage me to testify, and made the first telephone contact with Connerotte... Are you also a victim? Were you also in the network? You're not going to tell me that you didn't have anything to do with the network of Ginie? Have you known De Baets a long time? Was this really the first time you spoke to him, the 4th of September 1996? Are you sure you never were in the prostitution? Are you really sure? The discussion continues along these lines the whole afternoon. Tania is intimidated. Tania even became so scared that she comes to me in the late afternoon, looks silently at me for a while and then advises me to stop testifying. For the first time my friend understands my words just before she phoned up Connerotte in '96: 'This is too big, Tania, I can't do anything against my perpetrators." (149)