ALBLASSERWARD – On Tuesday, the police in Groot-Ammers has Gerard de G. arrested for involvement in the controversial murder of the animal feed trader Arie Blokland (46) from Giessenburg.

The victim had not come home last Friday from a tour of some customers in the polder Liesveld. Search for a night where he had last been, yielded nothing. A day later, a baker found his body along the Lek near Nieuw-Lekkerland. The animal feed dealer appears to have been seriously mistreated. The suspect, the victim's 28-year-old nephew, would have been his last customer.

Arie's wife Wil immediately gets a bad feeling on Friday if her husband does not come home at the agreed time. Although he had called earlier that day from Langerak that he had delayed something because he unexpectedly had to go to a farmer at five o'clock., but he would certainly be back in Giessenburg at half past five. He had promised that to his administrative assistant, which he would bring home because of the bad weather.

Arie and Wil Blokland

Wil immediately calls all customers that her husband often visited, from the Biesbosch to the northeastern part of the Alblasserwaard. When she hears from a fellow trader that Arie will pass his cousin Gerard de G at five o'clock. would go, panic strikes. She remembers that Arie and Gerard had a fight earlier that day. And she knows that Arie was wary of the farmer in the Hinterland of Groot-Ammers. Gerard is said to have threatened him recently via a driver from Arie's company. He would have said that he would prefer to destroy Arie.

The quarrel between the two cousins ​​is about paying off a debt of just over 8800 gulden, says the administration employee of Arie. According to her, that is the amount for which Gerard had bought animal feed from Arie over time without paying. It came to a payment arrangement. Gerard believed on Friday morning that he had now paid off the amount within one term. But Arie would come back later that day and show evidence that two more installments were due. The drive to his cousin's farm in the dimly lit Hinterland would be fatal for Arie.

* Location of Hinterland 33, Land Registry Apeldoorn

Search

On Friday evening, Wil immediately collects her brother-in-law Niek Blokland and Arie's friend Cor de Jong. They search in and around Gerard's yard. Arie's 19-year-old son is also on the scavenger hunt. Gerard is not at home at the time and Arie's car is not at the farm. Niek reports a missing person at eleven o'clock in the evening.

Officers of the national police will look at the Hinterland and talk to Gerard's father, with whom Gerard lives. Because not only Arie, but his car is also missing, the policemen still pierce with flagpoles in the water of the wetering on both sides of the hinterland. Given the bad weather, there is a chance that Arie has entered the water. But none of it yields anything.

Gerard comes home at a quarter to one in the morning. He says he went to Utrecht for a date with a girl. But when she didn't show up, he drove to a pub in Brandwijk. And now he is on his way to the neighbors where someone's birthday is. He has no idea where Arie might be. He confirms that Arie was with him at 5:00 pm to collect the last part of his debt. He says he paid for everything, after which they would have split up as good friends. The police are puzzled and call it quits, to the despair of Wil Blokland, who insists that something terrible must have happened.

Find body

A day later Wil's premonition comes true. A baker who visits customers on the Lekdijk makes a lurid discovery about fifteen kilometers away in Nieuw-Lekkerland. A dead man lies in a reed-covered area along the river. It turns out to be Arie Blokland. Section shows that he was stabbed twice in the heart region. He also has a stab wound in his neck. Furthermore, his larynx was broken in two places and he had nine blows to the head with skull- and skull base fractures and brain bruises as a result. Arie succumbed almost immediately to the consequences of the violence.

* Find of the body on the Lekdijk near Nieuw-Lekkerland. Foto: Police report, Detective Kanters

The victim must have had a substantial amount of money with him, since Gerard would have paid him his outstanding debt. A grain merchant where Arie was earlier that day also paid him a substantial sum. All in all, he should have had about eight thousand guilders in his pocket. But the wallet with the money is nowhere to be found. Furthermore, his watch is Arie's, a notebook and ballpoint pen away. And his Volkswagen 1500 is still not above water. On Sunday the police dredged with police boat RP20 on the Lek between Groot-Ammers and Nieuwlekkerland. A large neighborhood survey will also take place that day along the entire Lekdijk. Both searches remain without result.

Katendrecht

The murder of the Giessenburg cattle feed trader is now the talk of the town and not only in the Alblasserwaard. All national media report about it. This is how it can be done on Mondays 13 December, an apprentice shipbuilder rings the bell when he picks up a Volkswagen on Katendrechtsestraat in Rotterdam 1500 parked flat and skewed. He recognizes the car from the newspaper. The windows on the left are open and the keys are still in the ignition.

Residents of the street have been complaining about the abandoned car all weekend. But the police will only look when a connection has been made with the suspected robbery in Groot-Ammers. Police quickly discover traces of blood in the car and warn their colleagues from the polder. Local residents say that they saw someone parking the car on Friday evening, when he got out, Had walked away with a little bit of hairiness. "A bit dandy", says a resident, As if he wanted to say: who makes me what?”

* Volkswagen Arie in Rotterdam-Katendrecht. Police report, Detective Kanters

Cab driver

The case gained momentum when a taxi driver from Utrecht reports. He too read about the murder and couldn't help thinking about a suspicious customer he had to drive from Utrecht to Ottoland on Friday evening.. The customer had unexpectedly stopped the car earlier, already at the exit to the village. At checkout, he demanded that the driver turn off the car's interior lights. And when a cyclist passed, the customer ducked. The exit to Ottoland is less than two kilometers from Groot-Ammers.

The police picks up Gerard de G. op. First, officers show the taxi driver a picture of the farmer. If he recognizes him as the customer he had to drive to the Alblasserwaard on Friday evening, a confrontation follows. Once again he is sure that Gerard is the man who behaved so conspicuously in his taxi. "This is definitely him." The G. arrested on charges of aggravated manslaughter, c.q. murder. The farmer would have stated on his own: "I did not do it."

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Jealous?

The violent death of Arie Blokland had already loosened tongues in the Alblasserwaard. But his cousin's arrest is totally the talk of the town. Still, his potential involvement seems to surprise few. Gerard is generally known as a tough man, a boaster and a defaulter whose farm would fall over.

He is said to have dropped out of elementary school and entered the Navy where he was trained in various combat techniques. People also say that he would regularly be found in the red light district of Rotterdam, despite the fact that he had a fiancé who was making wedding plans.

The contrast with Arie Blokland couldn't be greater, say the regulars of pubs in the Alblasserwaard where the animal feed trader was a welcome guest. “Arie was a hardworking and jovial man. His cheerfulness and sunny mood were contagious ”, they know how to tell. "He was also on hand to help when someone was in trouble."

Arie was known as a man with "the big swing", that is, as a generous person. The money that has now become fatal for him, "Was loose in his pocket." Many remember how Arie once saved two of his brothers as a boy of eleven years old when a fire reduced their farm in Giessendam to ashes.. He got in there 1931 including a savings account book with one hundred guilders as a reward from the Carnegie hero fund. Gerard has been jealous of his successful cousin?

But for some it is pointing to Gerard de G. to easy. So says one of the pub visitors: “The farmers here have to learn to work via the bank or the giro. It is irresponsible to send your suppliers out with so much money. That calls for difficulties!He said it would be much better if farmers finally replaced the banknotes with checkbooks. That is not only safer for the traders, but farmers, too, might sleep better if they had less cash at home.

Funeral

The judiciary is expected to release Arie Blokland's body on Wednesday and the funeral can take place. Hundreds of interested parties are expected at the funeral in the neighboring Schelluinen, both residents from Giessenburg, Schelluinen and Hardinxveld as customers and colleagues from all over Alblasserwaard. All newspapers will also be there.

In recent days, thousands of responses from all over the country have been received by the Blokland family. To be on the safe side, the police therefore deploy agents to keep traffic around the church and the cemetery of Schelluinen on the right track..


How it went:

The funeral of Arie Blokland op 15 december 1965 indeed attracts the expected interest. Five officers are needed to manage the many hundreds of people and traffic.

The police searched the house and yard of Gerard de G that same Wednesday. Traces of blood are found in the potato house. Several dozen potatoes also appear to be covered in blood. Blood from a cow, Gerard says. But laboratory research has shown that it concerns blood from a man with the same blood group as Arie Blokland (who has a different blood type than Gerard). Gerard maintains that he has nothing to do with Arie's death.

The police meanwhile hear all kinds of witnesses. Like a group of people running on 11 december, the day after the murder, was at a party where Gerard and his fiancé also came along. At that time there was extensive talk about the murder of Arie Blokland. People got the idea that Gerard knew more about it, they say. For example, it was not officially known where exactly Arie's body had been found. But Gerard would have told that it was in a reed bunting along the Lekdijk.

And while the investigation seems to have reached an impasse. Direct evidence that Gerard had to do with Arie's death, is missing. Then comes February 1966 a painter to come up with the story he's on 12 December last. Gerard saw a pool of water along the provincial road, near his farm. That is reason for the police to press on 1 March to dredge. Jeans are coming, a sweater and a shirt. Gerard says he does not know the clothes, but testify, including his fiancé (then now ex-fiancé), are sure they are his. The pants contain a paring knife whose blade matches the stab wounds of Arie Blokland.

The police are also holding reconstructions, including at Katendrecht. The resident of the Katendrechtsestraat who is on 10 december 1965 someone the VW 1500 van Arie had seen such a bad parking, Gerard de G recognizes. by his "showy walk".

Slowly but surely the network is closing around Gerard de G. herself. An investigation into three receipts that Arie is following up will follow 10 December to his nephew. The papers were wet, when agents watched them at the time. "I had dung on my hands when I took them", Gerard explains. But a closer inspection of the receipts reveals that there are spatters of blood on them that are not Gerard's.

It's coming, almost a year later, to a lawsuit in Dordrecht, with two long court days, in which numerous witnesses are heard. In the end, justice comes up 15 december 1966 to the demand of fifteen years in prison for qualified manslaughter, less the year that Gerard de G. has been in custody. That is not the maximum penalty. Research in the Psychiatric Observation Clinic of the Prison System in Utrecht shows that Gerard has a low IQ and a strongly disturbed personality with a very unfree and tense personality structure. "Heaven knows what will happen when it boils over", says professor Kloek of the clinic at the court hearing. Justice therefore believes that Gerard is insane. Someone with such mental flaws is not smart enough for premeditated murder, judges justice. Moreover: for the sentence it does not matter whether the crime is murder or aggravated manslaughter, says prosecutor W.A. from Saint Aulaire. Tbr (available to the government, the predecessor of tbs) would not be necessary according to him.

The defense casts doubt. Did Gerard de G. Arie was murdered on his own? Arie was a big man 1,85 meter. There were no other perpetrators? This appears to have not been properly investigated by the police. In addition, direct evidence in the form of fingerprints is lacking. The suspect had no blood or other traces of violence on his body. And was Gerard de G. really Arie's last customer? He hadn't mentioned a name on the phone. Wasn't he just killed on the way by someone who knows that at the end of the day, traders always walk around with a full wallet?

The court finds the involvement of Gerard de G. proved convincingly at the death of Arie Blokland. Op 23 december 1966 judges H. van Zeggeren also charged him with murder. He would have killed Arie in the stable and then the body with Arie's own VW 1500 transported to a reed bunting along the Lek. There he would have thrown the remains into the water. Gerard then drove on to Katendrecht to park Arie's car there. He then boarded the train to Utrecht, where he had a drink in a cafe and eventually took a taxi to Ottoland. At home he picked up his car, drove to the pub in Brandwijk and finally went to the birthday of one of the neighbors. According to the judge, all these actions indicate calculation. And thus murder. He puts him in prison for fifteen years, less pre-trial detention, and makes it available to the government. Gerard de G. denies and appeals.

The appeal is filed 30 en 31 mei 1967. Gerard repeats before the court that he has nothing to do with the death of Arie Blokland. Again the witnesses who had previously appeared in court are being heard. The Court concludes on 15 June that Gerard de G. Arie killed, transported and disposed of the body and left the car in Katendrecht. But the court gets no further than manslaughter. And because Gerard is less accountable, the court sentenced him to a prison sentence of twelve years after deduction of pre-trial detention., without tbs.

Gerard de G. comes up freely 19 juni 1974. But he does not stay on the right path for long. According to the Police's Investigation Journal, he subsequently engaged in healing. Upon his arrest in Den Bosch 3 maart 1975 all kinds of things were found with him that were stolen during several burglaries, including three cars. He also has a loaded firearm with him.

Years later, the case still appeals to the imagination. Jan W. Klijn from Groot-Ammers registers 1994 "Murder in the Alblasserwaard". He bases the book on conversations with the widow and newspaper articles. The book will be reprinted six times. Maar in 2019 he comes up with a novel based on the complete police file, "Injustice in the Alblasserwaard".

Sources:

Private file of the Blokland family with all police reports regarding the murder of Arie Blokland.

Telegraph, 5 mei 1931

AD, 15 december 1965

LevelLvl, 16 december 1965

Vrije Volk, 17 december 1965

Newspaper for South Holland and Utrecht, Schoonhoven newspaper, 17 december 1965

Telegraph, 18 december 1965

Newspaper for South Holland and Utrecht, Schoonhoven newspaper, 14 december 1966

AD, 14 december 1965

Telegraph, 14 december 1965

LevelLvl, 15 december 1965

Vrije Volk, 11 mei 1967

Newspaper for South Holland and Utrecht, Schoonhoven newspaper, 28 april 1967

Newspaper for South Holland and Utrecht, Schoonhoven newspaper, 31 mei 1967

AD, 1 juni 1967

password, 15 juni 1967

Vrije Volk, 24 oktober 1970

Police investigation sheet, 22 maart 1975

Contact, 17 mei 2018

Wedding photo Arie Blokland and his wife Wil Blokland-van Mill used with the permission of the family

Map polder Liesveld used with permission from Kadaster Apeldoorn

Author: Aries van Meeteren

published: 16-10-2020

story number: 156