Killing of Nicole van den Hurk

On 6 October 1995, 15-year-old Nicole van den Hurk (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈnɪkɔːl vɑn dən ˈɦʏr(ə)k]) disappeared on her way to work in Eindhoven, in the Dutch province of North Brabant. On 22 November, her body was found in the woods between the towns of Mierlo and Lierop.

Killing of Nicole van den Hurk
Nicole van den Hurk.png
Nicole van den Hurk
Datec. 6 October 1995 (body discovered 22 November 1995)
LocationEindhoven, North Brabant, Netherlands
Coordinates51°25′37.7″N 5°40′1.63″E / 51.427139°N 5.6671194°E / 51.427139; 5.6671194Coordinates: 51°25′37.7″N 5°40′1.63″E / 51.427139°N 5.6671194°E / 51.427139; 5.6671194
TypeHomicide
SuspectsAndy van den Hurk (1996, 2011)[1]
Ad van den Hurk (1996)[1]
Jos de G. (2014[1]–2016[2])
AccusedJos de G.
ChargesTrial: Rape, manslaughter[3]
Appeal: Manslaughter
TrialTrial:
2 November 2015 – 21 November 2016 (2015-11-02 – 2016-11-21)
Appeal:
28 August – 9 October 2018 (2018-08-28 – 2018-10-09)
VerdictTrial:
Guilty (rape)
Not guilty (manslaughter)[4]
Appeal:
Guilty
SentenceTrial: 5 years' imprisonment[4]
Appeal: 12 years' imprisonment

In 2011, Van den Hurk's stepbrother confessed to the killing,[5] but was released a month later due to lack of evidence; he later said he had falsely confessed to get her body exhumed for DNA tests.[6] DNA collected from the girl's exhumed remains and from the crime scene led to the arrest of a man (who was referred to only as Jos de G. (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjɔz də ˈɣeː]) in news reports) in January 2014.[7][8] Charged with rape and manslaughter, De G. was acquitted of manslaughter but found guilty of rape in November 2016, and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment.[2] After the public prosecution appealed against the acquittal, De G. was convicted of manslaughter and his sentence was increased to twelve years.[9]

Background and disappearanceEdit

Nicole van den Hurk was born on 4 July 1980 in Erkelenz, Germany, to a single mother. After her birth, her mother began a relationship with a Dutchman; the three later moved to the Netherlands together, where the couple then married. In 1989, Van den Hurk's mother and stepfather divorced with the stepfather winning custody of Nicole.[10][11] In April 1995, the mother committed suicide in Tilburg.[11] At the time of her disappearance, Van den Hurk was staying at her grandmother's house in Tongelre.[12]

On the morning of Friday, 6 October 1995, the fifteen-year-old began cycling towards Woensel shopping centre [nl], where she was working a holiday job, failing to arrive.[13][14] At 18:00 that day, police found her bicycle in the river Dommel. Between then and 17 October, the police searched the river and a nearby forest, and on 19 October, her rucksack was found near Eindhoven's canal; the canal and its south bank were searched the following day. Between 28 and 29 October, these areas were searched again. Her stepfather denied the hypothesis that she had run away to Germany, where her extended family lived. By 20 November, police had received around 300 leads.[1]

On Wednesday, 22 November, a passerby found her body in the woods between Mierlo and Lierop.[11][15] Her funeral on 28 November was attended by some one thousand mourners.[16] Her post-mortem showed she had suffered two fractures to the jaw, other injuries to the head and fingers, and a rib injury caused by stabbing.[17]

InvestigationEdit

On 24 October 1995, an anonymous man telephoned police saying he could identify the killer, but the call ended prematurely. The recording of the call was broadcast on national television in January 1996 in an attempt to trace the caller.[13] Later, the team of detectives was reduced to four.[1][13] In February, a friend of the Van den Hurk family arrested for drug trafficking claimed to have been forced to smuggle heroin by men involved in the killing.[1][18] The police said this testimony was flawed and was of no help. Meanwhile, Passie magazine offered a reward for details about the killer. Between May and June, the victim's stepbrother and stepfather were arrested in connection with the killing, and then cleared.[1][13]

In 2004, a cold case team investigated the killing to no avail.[19][20] By 2011, the victim's stepbrother Andy had moved to England. On 8 March, he confessed to the killing in a Facebook post, and was arrested by British police.[5][21] He was extradited to the Netherlands on 30 March,[22][23] but was released five days later[24] as the Facebook post was the only evidence against him.[25] Later, he retracted his confession, saying that he believed his father was the culprit;[26][27] in a 2016 interview, Andy claimed to have falsely confessed to the killing in order to revive attention to his stepsister's death and get her body exhumed for DNA testing.[6] Her remains were exhumed in September 2011 to allow DNA samples to be obtained,[28] while the reward for the killer's details was increased from 25,000 guilders to 15,000; within a week of this, the police announced that foreign DNA had been found on the remains[29] and that they had received more than twenty new leads.[30] In January 2014, the police arrested a 46-year-old man identified as Jos de G.[31] after his DNA matched samples found on the remains and at the crime scene.[20][32] De G. had previously been convicted of three rapes, being sentenced to three years preventive detention and compulsory treatment for one of them.[31][32] He was known to have left his ex-girlfriend's home after a fight hours before the victim's disappearance.[33]

TrialEdit

When the case first came to court in April 2014, De G.'s lawyer disputed the DNA evidence, as DNA from other people, including Van den Hurk's ex-boyfriend, was also found on her remains;[33] the lawyer argued that Van den Hurk may have had consensual sex with De G., had had multiple sexual partners, and may have been pregnant when she died.[34][35] In July, the murder charge against De G. was dropped in favor of manslaughter and rape charges.[3][36] At another hearing in October 2015, De G. denied contact with Van den Hurk at the time of her disappearance, but said he may have had consensual sex with her a few days earlier.[37]

De G.'s trial began on 2 November 2015.[38] Prosecution experts testified to the DNA evidence.[39] Later in the month, the trial was suspended for two weeks during investigation into a witness's statement that De G. had confessed to killing a girl.[40][41] In a later interview, the witness and another person said De G. had made this confession while the three were in a mental institution together a decade earlier.[41] De G.'s attorney argued this testimony was motivated by the €15,000 reward.[42]

A trace of semen containing DNA from at least three people—believed by prosecution experts to be De G., Van den Hurk's then-boyfriend and her stepbrother—had been found on her remains.[6][43] With experts disagreeing on the reliability of the sample, it was announced in March 2016 that scientists would re-analyse the DNA results using new methods.[6] On 19 April, the court heard that it was 2.28 million times more likely than not that De G. was one of the people whose DNA was found on the remains.[44]

On 12 October 2016, the prosecution demanded that De G. receive fourteen years' imprisonment, asserting that he could not have had consensual sex with Van den Hurk, arguing that she had no time for a relationship.[45] On 21 November, De G. was found guilty of rape and sentenced to five years' imprisonment.[4] In determining the penalty, the court took into account the finding that he was legally insane at the time of the crime.[46] He was acquitted of manslaughter on the basis of the possibility that the person whose DNA was found on the remains who was not affirmatively identified was involved in Van den Hurk's death.[4]

Appeal caseEdit

The public prosecution appealed against De G.'s acquittal shortly after the trial ended.[47] The appeal case began on 28 August 2018.[17][48] On 29 August, the prosecution demanded a sentence of fourteen years' imprisonment, as they had done in the initial trial.[49] On 9 October, the acquittal was overturned and De G. was sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment for the rape and manslaughter of Van den Hurk.[9] The sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on 16 June 2020.[50]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Beenen, Carin (17 March 2011). "Chronologisch overzicht moordzaak Nicole van den Hurk" [Timeline of Nicole van den Hurk murder case]. Eindhovens Dagblad (ED.nl) (in Dutch). Netherlands. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Dit moet je weten over de zaak-Nicole van den Hurk" [Here's what you need to know about the Nicole van den Hurk case]. NU.nl (in Dutch). Netherlands. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b Newmark, Zack (4 July 2014). "Homicide charge dropped in Van Den Hurk murder". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Newmark, Zack (21 November 2016). "Jos de G. guilty of rape, not murder in '95 death of Nicole van den Hurk". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b Young, Richard (18 March 2011). "Cold case murder – Stevenage man hands himself in". The Comet/Comet 24 (thecomet.net). Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Maas, Amy (10 April 2016). "Dutch police turn to Kiwi scientists to help solve 1995 cold case". Stuff.co.nz. New Zealand. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Aanhouding voor 18 jaar oude moord op Nicole van den Hurk" [Arrest made in 18-year-old murder case]. NU.nl (in Dutch). Netherlands. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Verdachte moord Nicole van den Hurk is tbs'er" [Nicole van den Hurk murder suspect is psychiatric patient]. NU.nl (in Dutch). Netherlands. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b "In hoger beroep 12 jaar cel voor verkrachten en doden Nicole van den Hurk". www.nu.nl. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Ad van den Hurk niet de vader van Nicole" [Ad van den Hurk not the father of Nicole]. Eindhovens Dagblad (ED.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. 24 May 1996. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  11. ^ a b c Belleman, Saskia (2 November 2015). "Familie Nicole hoopt op einde lijdensweg" [Nicole's family hope for end to agony]. De Telegraaf (telegraaf.nl) (in Dutch).
  12. ^ "Vrijspraak Jos de G. voor doden Nicole van den Hurk, 5 jaar voor verkrachting" [Jos de G. acquitted of manslaughter of Nicole van den Hurk, gets 5 years for rape]. Boevennieuws.nl (in Dutch). Netherlands. 21 November 2016. Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d Graven, Henrieke (18 March 2011). "De zaak Nicole van den Hurk op een rij". Omroep Brabant (omroepbrabant.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  14. ^ Het Zesde Zintuig. Season 2. Episode 1 (in Dutch). RTL Nederland (RTL.nl).
  15. ^ "Na 21 jaar komt OM met strafeis in moordzaak Nicole van den Hurk". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS.nl) (in Dutch). Netherlands. 12 October 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Belangstelling uitvaart Nicole enorm". Eindhovens Dagblad (ED.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. 29 November 1995. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Alles draait om het bewijs in hoger beroep in zaak Nicole van den Hurk". www.ed.nl (in Dutch). 28 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  18. ^ Deadline (TROS), 8 February 1996.
  19. ^ "Stoffelijk overschot Nicole van den Hurk vrijgegeven". SIRIS.nl (in Dutch). Netherlands. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  20. ^ a b Newmark, Zack (17 January 2014). "Arrest made in teenage girl's 1995 murder". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  21. ^ Kagie, Sandra (18 March 2011). "Verdachte aangehouden in zaak Nicole van den Hurk". Omroep Brabant (omroepbrabant.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  22. ^ Vermonden, Ronnie (30 March 2011). "Zaak Nicole van den Hurk: stiefbroer Andy in Nederland". Omroep Brabant (omroepbrabant.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  23. ^ Young, Richard (31 March 2011). "Stevenage man extradited in Dutch murder case". The Comet/Comet 24 (thecomet.net). Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  24. ^ Vossen, Asja (5 April 2011). "Andy van den Hurk op vrije voeten". Omroep Brabant (omroepbrabant.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  25. ^ Janssen, Hans (1 April 2011). "Justitie in beroep: Andy van den Hurk niet vrij". Omroep Brabant (omroepbrabant.nl) (in Dutch). Den Bosch. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  26. ^ Spierts, Twan (15 April 2011). "Andy van den Hurk: 'Nicole was zwanger toen ze werd vermoord'". Omroep Brabant (omroepbrabant.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  27. ^ van Hoof, René (15 April 2011). "Ad van den Hurk ontkent beschuldigingen". Omroep Brabant (omroepbrabant.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  28. ^ Beenen, Carin (9 September 2011). "Lichaam Nicole van den Hurk opgegraven". Eindhovens Dagblad (ED.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  29. ^ Beenen, Carin (13 September 2011). "'Doorbraak in zaak Nicole'". Eindhovens Dagblad (ED.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  30. ^ "Ruim twintig nieuwe tips over zaak-Nicole". Eindhovens Dagblad (ED.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  31. ^ a b "Jos de G suspected in Van den Hurk murder". NL Times (nltimes.nl). 23 January 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  32. ^ a b "Van den Hurk murder suspect a repeat offender". NL Times (nltimes.nl). 21 January 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  33. ^ a b Zech, Maxime (24 April 2014). "Court hears details of cold case murder". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  34. ^ Pieters, Janene (2 December 2014). "Defense wants recusal in Nicole van den Hurk murder case". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  35. ^ Newmark, Zack (24 December 2014). "Judge bias claim tossed in trial of teen's alleged killer". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  36. ^ "OM laat moord vallen in zaak Nicole". De Telegraaf (telegraaf.nl) (in Dutch). Den Bosch. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  37. ^ "Suspect reiterates denial in 1995 rape, murder; Lawyer: Consensual sex possible". NL Times (nltimes.nl). 5 October 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  38. ^ Pieters, Janene (2 November 2015). "Nicole van den Hurk murder case in court 20 years after crime". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  39. ^ Pieters, Janene (9 November 2015). "Murder suspect challenges DNA evidence in teen's 1995 rape, murder". Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  40. ^ Pieters, Janene (12 November 2015). "New witness in 1995 teen girl's murder delays closing arguments". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  41. ^ a b Pieters, Janene (13 November 2015). "New witness: De G. confessed to strangling teen girl". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  42. ^ Pieters, Janene (20 April 2016). "Journalist ordered to testify in 1995 Nicole van den Hurk murder". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  43. ^ Pieters, Janene (31 March 2016). "DNA evidence re-examined in 1995 rape, murder". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  44. ^ Pieters, Janene (19 April 2016). "Court hears DNA evidence in 1995 murder". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  45. ^ Pieters, Janene (12 October 2016). "Suspect could face 14 years in prison for 1995 rape, murder". NL Times (nltimes.nl). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  46. ^ van Rooij, Bart-Jan (22 November 2016). "Toch nog hoop op 'meer' bij familie Nicole van den Hurk". Eindhovens Dagblad (ED.nl) (in Dutch). Eindhoven. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  47. ^ "Prosecutor appeals sentence in 1995 rape, murder". NL Times. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  48. ^ "Hoger beroep zaak Nicole van den Hurk: verdachte Jos de G. 'ik vecht voor mijn onschuld'". www.ed.nl (in Dutch). 28 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  49. ^ "Eis: veertien jaar cel Jos de G. voor doodslag en verkrachting Nicole van den Hurk". www.ed.nl (in Dutch). 29 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  50. ^ "De moordenaar van Nicole van den Hurk krijgt definitief 12 jaar cel". Hart van Nederland. Retrieved 6 October 2020.

External linksEdit