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Peter R. de Vries

Peter R. de Vries
Peter R. de Vries (1995)
Born Peter Rudolf de Vries
(1956-11-14) November 14, 1956
Aalsmeer, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Occupation Investigative Journalist
Crime Reporter
Years active 1978–Present
Children 2 children

Peter Rudolf de Vries (born November 14, 1956) is a Dutch investigative journalist and crime reporter. His television program Peter R. de Vries, misdaadverslaggever (1995−2012) covered high-profile cases and set a Dutch television viewing record.[1] In 2005, he started his own political party which was disbanded soon after.[2]


  • Early life and career 1
  • Investigative journalism 2
    • The kidnapping of Freddy Heineken 2.1
    • Police corruption investigation 2.2
    • Kennedy investigation 2.3
    • Natalee Holloway disappearance 2.4
    • Joran van der Sloot sex trafficking 2.5
    • Death of Mariska Mast 2.6
    • Documentary work with Beth Holloway 2.7
  • Politics 3
  • Kidnapped 4
  • Bibliography 5
    • Board game 5.1
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life and career

Peter Rudolf de Vries was born on 14 November 1956 in Aalsmeer in the Netherlands. He went to primary school in Amstelveen and to secondary school in Amsterdam. From 1976 to 1977 he was in military service, where he had the rank of sergeant.[3]

In 1978, he became a journalist for the daily newspaper De Telegraaf in The Hague and later in Amsterdam. He gradually moved from general journalism to crime and he reported about major criminal cases in the Netherlands.[4] In 1987, he resigned from De Telegraaf and became chief editor of the weekly magazine Aktueel, which he transformed into a crime magazine.[5]

Investigative journalism

De Vries has worked for several publications in the past and has been an independent crime journalist since 1991.[5] He investigated the murder of Christel Ambrosius,[6] and revealed that Mabel Wisse Smit knew the drug lord Klaas Bruinsma better than she had previously admitted. Another important issue in his show was a found floppy-disk. This disk contained detailed information from AIVD research, the Dutch secret service. It turned out that the service observed the murdered politician Pim Fortuyn; the service thought that he had sexual relations with Moroccan men.[7]

The kidnapping of Freddy Heineken

In 1983 De Vries followed the case of the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken for the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. He attended proceedings and sometimes visited the hotels in France where the kidnappers Cor van Hout and Willem Holleeder were being held under arrest.

He wrote two books based on his investigation. The first was De zaak Heineken (The Heineken Case, 1983), released in the same year as the kidnapping. This was followed by De ontvoering van Alfred Heineken (The Kidnapping of Alfred Heineken, 1987), a novel from the perspective of Cor van Hout based on interviews De Vries conducted with Hout en Holleeder over a period of four weeks during his last hotel arrest in Évry, Essonne in 1986. The novel was later adapted as Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (2014) starring Anthony Hopkins.

In 1994 De Vries tracked down Frans Meijer, one of the kidnappers, in Paraguay.

Police corruption investigation

On 13 September 2006, De Vries was arrested in Oisterwijk and detained for several hours in Tilburg when he tried to confront a police officer with allegations about questionable actions concerning the inheritances of elderly women.[8] He was charged with one count of trespassing. The case was dropped in January 2007 "in view of the final results of the persistent search for the truth and the results of the disciplinary inquest" into the behavior of the police officer in question.[9]

Kennedy investigation

Kennedy moments before his assassination.

In the first half of 2006, De Vries and Wim Dankbaar produced a two and a half hour special about the 1963 assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy. In what has been De Vries' longest show to date, he spent two weeks in Texas speaking with former CIA and FBI agents and the ex-girlfriend of Lee Harvey Oswald. One of the interview subjects, James Files, said he was the gunman responsible for taking Kennedy's life. Files contradicted the findings of the Warren Commission and claimed that the CIA and the mafia were involved in the assassination.[10]

Natalee Holloway disappearance

In November 2006, a program by De Vries was broadcast in which he accused Joran van der Sloot, one of the prime suspects in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, of her disappearance in Aruba.

On 11 January 2008, Van der Sloot threw a glass of red wine into De Vries' face right after a live broadcast of the Dutch talk show "Pauw & Witteman" on which De Vries and Van der Sloot (with his parents) had been guests.[11] The wine got into De Vries' eyes and briefly it seemed to have caused him a considerable amount of pain. During the tense but peaceful conversation during the broadcast, De Vries had on several accounts challenged Van der Sloot's integrity.[12]

On 31 January 2008, De Vries said to the media that he knew what had happened in the case of Natalee Holloway. He shared his findings with the police, stating that he would publicly show this new-found evidence in a special episode of his television program.[13] On February 3, 2008, the undercover video aired on Dutch television showing Van der Sloot purportedly smoking marijuana and admitting to being present during Holloway's death. The show was watched by 7 million viewers in the Netherlands and was the most popular non-sports program in Dutch television history.[1] Patrick van der Eem, working undercover for De Vries, had befriended Van der Sloot, who was unaware that he was being taped when he said that Holloway had suffered some kind of seizure while having sex on the beach. After failing to revive her, he said that he summoned a friend named Daury, who loaded her on a boat and dumped her body into the sea.[14] The prosecutor in Aruba determined the video was admissible,[15] but the evidence was deemed insufficient to warrant re-arrest. Although the taped confession appeared damning, Van der Sloot argued that he was lying to impress Van der Eem, whom he believed was a drug dealer.[16] Van der Eem said that ABC paid US$830,000 to secure the rights to broadcast the program in the United States.[17]

De Vries wrote the introduction to the June 2008 book Overboord: hoe ik Joran van der Sloot aan het praten kreeg (Overboard: how I got Joran van der Sloot to talk) in which Van der Eem recounts his experience with Van der Sloot with transcripts of the undercover video.[18] On September 22, 2008 in New York, De Vries accepted an International Emmy Award in Current Affairs for his coverage while accompanied by Natalee's mother Beth Holloway.[19]

Joran van der Sloot sex trafficking

Police photo of Joran van der Sloot

In November 2008, De Vries aired undercover footage of Van der Sloot making preparations for the apparent sex trafficking of Thai women in Bangkok. De Vries claimed that Van der Sloot was making $13,000 for every woman sold into prostitution in the Netherlands.[20] Van der Sloot used the alias of "Murphy Jenkins" to avoid Thai authorities.[21] Peruvian Minister of Justice Aurelio Pastor said that Thailand is pursuing criminal charges against Van der Sloot. According to The National Enquirer, he is being investigated for his involvement in the disappearance of young women he may have recruited for a Thai sex slave gang while posing as a production consultant for a modeling agency that would send them to Europe.[22]

Death of Mariska Mast

In August 2010, De Vries traveled to Subiaco, Western Australia in an attempt to interview dive instructor Daniel Ian Ross, who is being sought through Interpol for the August 2008 death of 23-year-old Dutch tourist Mariska Esmeralde Mast at the Honduran island of Roatán.[23][24] Ross was initially arrested and released after surrendering his British passport with instructions not to leave the island. Ross, who has dual citizenship, then used his Australian passport to leave the island.[23] Ross denied responsibility for the death through his lawyers in Australia, which does not have an extradition treaty with Honduras.[25] An autopsy report stated that Mast died of blunt force injuries and asphyxiation resulting from strangulation.[25] His flatmate Jisoo Han, who helped take Mast to the hospital, was later arrested and is under house arrest in Honduras.[26] Han publicly appealed to Ross to come forward and exonerate her.[25] Ross called the police when De Vries attempted to contact him at his home on August 19. De Vries was arrested and paid a $200 fine for disobeying a police order to move on. On September 6, Perth magistrate Giuseppe Cicchini rejected an application by Ross for a restraining order against De Vries, who had by then left the country.[27] De Vries criticized the Western Australia Police for arresting him, stating: "I didn't touch him, I didn't insult him, I didn't threaten him... This is a homicide case and I tracked him down and now you're putting me in jail. That's the world upside down."[28]

Documentary work with Beth Holloway

On September 11, 2010, De Vries traveled to Lima, Peru with his television crew and Beth Holloway to visit Miguel Castro Castro prison where Joran van der Sloot was being held while awaiting trial for the murder and robbery of Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramírez.[29] According to Van der Sloot's attorney Maximo Alonso Altez Navarro, his client was taken to meet them "practically by force."[30] Altez Navarro stated that the meeting with Holloway took "less than one minute," with Van der Sloot saying that he could not speak to her without his lawyer present and handing her his business card. Altez Navarro claimed that Holloway was "snuck" into the prison without being identified by the media crew who she was with.[31] A prison spokesperson stated that Holloway's name was not found in the visitor registry.[29] The group was removed from the prison, reportedly after a hidden camera was discovered by the guards.[32] Representatives for Holloway and De Vries denied that a hidden camera was involved nor was anything seized.[33] Colonel Abel Gamarra of the National Police of Peru stated that no arrests had been made. While in Peru, Holloway spoke with Flores Ramírez's brother Enrique on camera.[31] On September 17, De Vries and the group left Peru for Panama and arrived in Aruba on the same day.[34] He spent a few days in Aruba working with Holloway on a documentary about her missing daughter to be run on Dutch television, reportedly with the cooperation of prosecutors who had been investigating Van der Sloot.[33]


In 2005, De Vries started a political party, Partij voor Rechtvaardigheid, Daadkracht en Vooruitgang (P.R.D.V. or Party for Justice, Action and Progress). On October 31, he presented his plans that mainly focused on changing the existing political culture in the Netherlands. To prove his point, he stated that an opinion poll on 16 December would decide whether he would actually continue his party or not, with a 41% cut-off point. Since only 31.4% thought De Vries would be a gain for Dutch politics, he decided to disband the party.[2]


In 1982, Peter was kidnapped for a few days, after being lured to a farm in the Dutch countryside, aiming for an exclusive scoop on an unsolved murder, which of course was a bait. According to statements he recently released, he found himself lying naked, bound and gagged in the chassis of a submarine for a few days, during which he had to endure all sorts of cruelties. Peter was forced to swallow human faeces, and had to imitate recognisable sounds of routine kitchenware. Peter eventually managed an escape after the kidnapper accidentally drugged himself.[35] The news on the kidnapping, and the humiliating tortures were met with considerable delight by Dutch media, and it was suspected that Peter kept it silent for a long time to keep his reputation as tough detective credible.[36]


  • De zaak Heineken ("The Heineken Case", 1983)
  • Veronica 25 jaar toonaangevend (1984)
  • Uit de dossiers van commissaris Toorenaar ("From the files of Police Captain Toorenaar", 1985)
  • De ontvoering van Alfred Heineken ("The Kidnapping of Alfred Heineken", 1987), adapted as Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (2014) starring Anthony Hopkins
  • Beroep: Misdaadverslaggever ("Profession: crime reporter", 1992)
  • Cipier, mag ik een pistool van u? ("Warden, may I have a gun?", 1993)
  • Een moord kost meer levens ("A murder takes more lives", 1994)
  • De moord die nooit mag verjaren, en andere minireportages ("The murder that should never expire, and other mini-reports", 2002)
  • Alleen huilebalken hebben spijt ("Only crybabies have regrets", 2005)
  • Een crimineel liegt niet altijd... en andere waargebeurde misdaadverhalen ("A criminal doesn’t always lie... and other true crime stories", 2006) ISBN 978-90-261-2188-3
  • De zwanenzang van criminelen en andere reportages ("The swan song of criminals and other reports", audiobook, 2007) ISBN 978-90-261-2334-4

Board game

  • Peter R. de Vries Misdaadverslaggever ("Peter R. de Vries crime reporter") ISBN 978-90-261-1924-8

See also


  1. ^ a b "Joran van der Sloot remains at liberty".  
  2. ^ a b "Peter R. de Vries niet naar Den Haag: Politieke carrière in de kiem gesmoord" (in Nederlands). TNS NIPO. 2005-12-16. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  3. ^ (Dutch) Biografie. Retrieved on 2008-02-03.
  4. ^ (Dutch) De Telegraaf periode. Retrieved on 2008-02-03.
  5. ^ a b (Dutch) Aktueel periode. Retrieved on 2008-02-03.
  6. ^ "Man arrested for Putten murder". DutchNews. 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  7. ^ "aivd-diskettes / Woede om onderzoek naar Fortuyn".  
  8. ^ (Dutch) Peter R. de Vries gearresteerd. Retrieved on 2006-09-13.
  9. ^ (Dutch) OM Breda seponeert erfvredebreuk Peter R. de Vries. Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
  10. ^ "Peter de Vries: CIA achter moord Kennedy" (in Nederlands).  
  11. ^ "Former Holloway Suspect Tosses Wine in Face of Reporter on TV Show".  
  12. ^ Van Der Sloot Slings Wine. Retrieved on 2008-02-03.
  13. ^ (Dutch) TV guide. Retrieved on 2008-02-04.
  14. ^ "A Videotaped Sting May Have Solved the Mystery".  
  15. ^ "Aruba prosecutor: Tape admissible".  
  16. ^ "Van der Sloot not arrested in Natalee case". DutchNews. 2008-02-15. 
  17. ^ "Holloway tapes: Van der Eem used cocaine". DutchNews. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  18. ^ Van der Eem, Patrick; Byars, Elizabeth E. (July 2008). Overboord: hoe ik Joran van der Sloot aan het praten kreeg (in Dutch). TM (FMB uitgevers).  
  19. ^ "Endemol's Peter R. De Vries wins Emmy in Current Affairs".  
  20. ^ "Report: Natalee Holloway Suspect Involved in Thai Sex Trafficking".  
  21. ^ "Holloway suspect involved in Thai sex trade".  
  22. ^ Black, Caroline (2010-07-16). "Van der Sloot Being Investigated in Thailand for Participation in Sex Slave Gang, Disappearance of Girls, Says Report".  
  23. ^ a b "Impossible Interview with Honduras Murder Suspect". Honduras News. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  24. ^ "Wanted: ROSS, Daniel Ian".  
  25. ^ a b c Jones, Lloyd (2010-09-09). "Korean appeals for Perth man to help".  
  26. ^ Pownall, Angela (2010-09-06). "Court bid fails against Dutch journalist".  
  27. ^ "Restraining order on Dutch TV crew fails".  
  28. ^ Jones, Lloyd (2010-08-21). "Dutch crime reporter slams WA police".  
  29. ^ a b Briceno, Franklin (2010-09-17). "Holloway's Mom Confronted Van Der Sloot in Jail".  
  30. ^ "Natalee Holloway's mother meets with van der Sloot".  
  31. ^ a b "Natalee Holloway's mother sneaks into jail, confronts suspect". MSNBC. 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  32. ^ "Attempt to interview Joran van der Sloot fails".  
  33. ^ a b Myers, Shanisty (2010-09-20). "Holloway and de Vries leave Aruba".  
  34. ^ "Beth Holloway is Back in Aruba".  
  35. ^
  36. ^

External links

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