Astrid Holleeder was Wim Holleeder’s attorney, confidant, and most importantly his brother. A family from the Netherlands, the Holleeder’s lived a life of pain and suffering in their upbringing, and as a young adult Wim Holleeder became a major leader in organized crime. As the New Yorker reported, Astrid Holleeder exposed her brother’s misconduct, leading to a trial that could end with him sentenced to life in prison. According to Patrick Radden Keefe’s report, Wim Holleeder not only terrorized the streets of Amsterdam, he also targeted members of his own family, including Astrid, whose life he allegedly threatened more than once. Astrid and her family now live in hiding, having little to no contact with the outside world.
This investigative story provides details from Astrid and Wim Holleeders’ childhoods, through Wim Holleeder’s development as an infamous gang leader who served eleven years in prison for his role in the infamous 1983 Heineken kidnapping, to Astrid Holleeder’s public charges and current seclusion.
Astrid and Willem Holleeder’s story has not been widely covered in the US. The New York Times reviewed Astrid Holleeder’s 2018 memoir, Judas, but did not provide as much detail as Keefe’s story. The only other English-language source that appears to have covered the story was the BBC News.
Source: Patrick Radden Keefe, “How a Notorious Gangster Was Exposed by His Own Sister,” The New Yorker, August 6, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/06/how-a-notorious-gangster-was-exposed-by-his-own-sister.
Student Researchers: Brian Dagostino & Max Felsenstein (Drew University)
Faculty Evaluator: Lisa Lynch (Drew University)