Recent Book: The Railway Murders

Date01 October 1985
Published date01 October 1985
Subject MatterRecent Book
de dossiers van commissaris
in Holland).
De Fontein, Baarn, Holland.
The other day there appeared a book entitled ChiefConstable Toorenaar's
Dossiers, memoirs of a man of international fame who in 1983 was released from
functions (head of the Narcotica-brigade) and transferred to a dull administrative
at the age of 58, just
years before being pensioned.
took classes in the DEA, becoming familiar with the
American way of dealing with criminals. However, in Holland, his American style
was strongly opposed by the authorities who called them "wild-west-doing". There
was much jealousy and clashes occurred between
and teams of welfare
workers. the latter advocating being soft with criminals.
is my task to protect
the citizen",
not to spare criminals. But in this country the
citizen doesn't count any more".
In the last chapter of his book.
reveals how his superiors did not
hesitate to make use of accusations by notorious tough guys (selling information to
them, drugs dealing. etc.), and when investigations failed to have the result desired
(Toorenaar being integrity itself). his superiors were only too glad to believe an
imprisoned drugs dealer.
C.. who pretended to possess incriminating
documents in order to make an ass of the Judge and get out of prison.
Moreover. the investigators promised Theo C.a 100.000 guilders[!] if he
succeeded in finding incriminating information about Toorenaar.
Cwas released from prison and headed for an Italian holiday. keeping the
investigators in the dark; three months later he was arrested again. Now
put on the spot, invented a story about incriminating documents in his Swiss
bank's strong-room and to his own great surprise ("They will swallow anything").
he was believed and escorted to Switzerland. where, of course. the non-existing
documents were not found
Almost all the Dutch papers were suggesting that
was corrupt. and
the Haagse Post went as far as suggesting that Toorenaar's wife had a child
begotten by a big bug of the Chinese drugs-dealing. Chung Mon.
went a little
too far, the
family being already troubled enough by all those false
Toorenaar's alleged corruption. so
decided to start a
libel suit. which. at last. he won. The Haagse Post's journalist. having invented the
story, defended himself by saying he had written it just for the fun of it. "A
journalist with a queer sense of
indeed". remarks the chief constable.
Toorenaar, becoming tired of the slandering and the poisonous atmosphere.
resigned in order to start a private crime-investigation bureau himself.
His appreciation of the Dutch judicature is very low: "Amsterdam is losing the
struggle against hard criminality. the way of punishing is a genuine ridicule. We
often warned. but in vain; there are already a lot of criminal activities that don't
lead to conviction any more. For-example. young thieves caught
150 times
are not punished. Rapists. burglars. etc.. are set free immediately after their capture
for want of room in prison. Prisons in Holland? Like luxurious hotels: colour
television. an evening out three times a week, fine food on order, sexual
intercourse, and all that".
A brave and very interesting book, one of the rare accusations against Dutch
authorities, who allegedly leave both police and people they should protect in the
Edited by
GOODMAN: The Railway Murders
London: Allison and Busby. £7.95.
Acollection of 10 accounts of murders committed on the railways of this country,
put together and introduced by
Goodman. Covering both centuries, the
stories prove beyond any doubt
fact can hold the interest of a reader as well as
fiction, and those for whom the railways have always held a strange fascination will
wallow in "nostalgia" as the tales unfold. R. W. STONE, Editor
360 October /985

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