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Thursday, 11 July 2013

“She stole my job and therefore she must die!” – Apparent ‘dog eats dog’ situation in a carpet store leads to act of outrageous violence at broad daylight

On your own admission, you raised up the knife
And you brought about ending another [wo]man's life
And when it was done you just threw down the blade
While the red blood spread wider then the anger you made…

This is the second time that I start a blog with a quote from the bittersweet, sad and beautiful song ‘Murder’ by one of my all-time favorite artists, David Gilmour. Yet again, there is a sad reason for this quote.

Yesterday, a homicide took place in a carpet store in Rotterdam. One of the shop assistants, a 47 year old female, was stabbed to death with a knife at broad daylight. The suspect, a 43 year old man, was hours later captured by the police.

This morning, the news was published that this murder seemed to have an unpleasant economic component to it, although this news was partially overruled at a later hour.

The Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad printed the story, of which I print the pertinent snips:

The man, who is suspected of stabbing a 47 year old woman from Schiedam to death in a carpet store, worked in this Rotterdam carpet store himself. Reputedly, the victim falsely accused the suspect of sexual intimidation, causing him to lose his job. The man would have sworn to get revenge on this woman. 

However, acquaintances of the victim stated that the suspect had been hassling the woman for a long time. According to them, the woman had been stalked by him for over a year.

The carpet shop, where both victim and suspect worked, had been in the middle of a reorganization. The woman from Schiedam would have filed the complaint against the apparent killer, hoping that she could keep her job, at the expense of this 43 year old colleague from Utrecht.

The suspect’s wife informed AD that her husband had worked in this carpet store for 24 years.”He addicted his life to the company. That he was fired, broke his heart”.

Ton’s wife stated that she tried to stop her husband in the morning, and when she couldn’t, she warned the people in the shop. “I called them and I said ‘Close down the shop. He is on his way. He has gone crazy!’. However, they didn’t listen to me".

It is not clear yet, whether this is indeed a crime out of revenge towards the woman, who ‘stole’ the suspect’s job, in order to save her own. It could also be a typical ‘crime of passion’ by a scorned lover, who became a deadly stalker in the process.

Nevertheless, the apparent economic component of this homicide case struck me this morning, when I read the news. How desperate and outraged can someone become, that he takes a knife and travels the 50 km from Utrecht to Rotterdam, in order to kill a (former) colleague in the shop where he worked for such a long time.

If this murder case has indeed been caused by the economic circumstances, as described in the early version of the AD article, it produced only losers:
  • the woman, whose ‘master plan’ to save her job apparently led to her own death;
  • the suspected killer, who wasted his future and that of his wife and children, out of feelings of revenge;
  • the carpet shop, which apparently has been tricked in unjustly firing a colleague and now lost two colleagues in the process, while becoming a crime site ‘without any commercial future whatsoever’; 

It might be a huge cliche, but this crisis gets nastier every day!

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