How a Sister's Testimony Brought Down a Criminal Mastermind
By Astrid Holleeder and Astrid Holleeder
In 2013, Astrid Holleeder decided to testify against one of the world's highest-profile gangsters: her brother Willem.
Willem Holleeder is one of the most notorious criminals in contemporary history. Best known for his involvement in the 1983 kidnapping of Alfred Heineken, CEO and Chairman of Heineken, and his infamous 2006 trial in which he was convicted of extortion, money laundering and membership of a criminal organization, Willem Holleeder captured the attention of the world. What few knew was how Willem had terrorized, extorted and threatened his family for thirty years, just as his alcoholic father - an employee at Heineken - had dominated and mistreated the family for years. Children, sisters, women, in-laws and mother: no one escaped the despotic behaviour of father and son.
But Willem's latest conviction is quickly becoming the trial of the century. Charged for his involvement in multiple assassinations, including that of his former partner and brother-in-law, Willem is finally being put on trial for murder, all due to the shocking and incriminating testimony of his own family. Having spent years as his unwilling consigliere, Willem's own sister Astrid is finally breaking her silence and going on the record.
In this stunning memoir, Astrid finally reveals decades of familial manipulation and fear and her own thrilling experience working as a double cross, preserving enough trust to attain the information that would convict her brother for life.
Astrid Holleeder is a Dutch lawyer and writer. She is the sister of criminal Willem Holleeder and was, together with her older sister and a former friend of Willem, a witness to his prosecution. Her memoir Judas sold 80,000 copies on the first day of publication. The book became the best-selling book in the Netherlands in 2016. Her second book, Diary of a Witness, also became an instant bestseller.
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- Publication date:
09 Aug 2018
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Written from her place in hiding, Judas is Astrid's story of deception, turmoil and -ultimately - courage . . . A stark statement about how one familial tie can strangle so many lives — The Washington Post
A harrowing, courageous account of murder and family loyalty while sacrificing her career and her identity in the process. A riveting, sensational, unforgettable autobiography — Kirkus
Holleeder's engrossing story reads like the last will and testament of a dead woman walking — Publishers Weekly
In her compulsively readable memoir...Holleeder tells the story of how she became a witness against her criminal brother... a moving and heartbreaking tale of the toll exerted on the families of headline criminals. Especially recommended for fans of such TV shows as The Sopranos and Breaking Bad — Booklist
Guaranteed, you've never read a memoir like Judas, already a runaway hit the Netherlands where it was first published . . . Reading Holleeder's matter-of-fact account of the years leading to this decision gives the uncanny sensation of reading a death wish — Refinery29