Joining the dots

Lucia ... Haga Hospital ... Justice ... Media

Bellitoni is the name of an amateur symphony orchestra in the Hague. It seems to be one of the places where key players in the Lucia drama met socially: medical specialists, members of the public prosecution service, politicians, academics, influential media people. Many had been close friends since their student days in the early 70's. Students of medicine, law, politicology, ... whatever; all passionate about music and music making.

One thing seems certain, that the Lucia case was frequently discussed during rehearsals and other gatherings. Prosecutor to medical specialist: "Don't worry, we are going to hang the witch" (maak je geen zorgen, de heks gaat hangen).

How could I know this? Well, not everyone joined the witch-hunt enthusiastically. Some people even found it deeply disturbing. In the modern world, almost everyone is connected to almost everyone in six links. In a small country like the Netherlands, two or three links will already take you a long way.

One might say that the initial series of judicial convictions of Lucia as an evil serial-killer (2003, 2004, 2006) were secured through the network of personal connections linking the medical, legal, political, and media worlds. Locked down tight, through a transformation from shaky statistics to (in the words of the appeal court at the Hague, 2004) incontrovertible medical-scientific proof. However another network of personal connections, activated in 2003 by its links to the first network, severed in 2005-2006, growing in strength through 2006 towards 2009, linking the worlds of science, media, politics; in particular linking to the international media and international scientific communities, took care that the Dutch legal system put its best minds onto the case, leading finally to a fair re-trial in Arnhem, 2009-2010.