Judas: How a Sister's Testimony Brought Down a Criminal Mastermind

Judas: How a Sister's Testimony Brought Down a Criminal Mastermind

by Astrid Holleeder


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The incredible true story of a woman who risked everything to put her brother, a murderous psychopath and one of the world's most infamous crime bosses, behind bars.

Astrid Holleeder is in hiding because she had the courage to write this book. Her brother Willem Holleeder, best known for his involvement in the 1983 kidnapping of the CEO and chairman of Heineken brewing company, is one of the most notorious criminals in contemporary history. For decades, Wim ruled over his family mafia-style, threatening death if any of them betrayed him. Astrid and her sister, Sonja, watched as their brother eliminated anyone who got in his way, and they lived in terror of inciting his rage, unable to protect even their own young children from his violence. Trained as a lawyer, Astrid served as her brother's unwilling confidante.

Now, she's turning the tables on him. Charged for his involvement in multiple assassinations, including that of his former partner and brother-in-law, Holleeder is finally on trial for murder, all due to the shocking testimony of his own family.

An international bestseller that has sold more than 500,000 copies in Holland, this stunning, edge-of-your seat memoir chronicles Astrid's terrifying experience working as a double agent, preserving her brother's trust just so that she could get enough information to put him away for life. Judas is the intimate account of Astrid's deeply personal betrayal, set against the backdrop of their haunting family history and the astonishing world of the criminal underground.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316475334
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 08/27/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 583,610
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Astrid Holleeder is a Dutch lawyer and writer. She is the sister of the 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 half a million copies and became the bestselling book in the Netherlands in 2016. Her second book, Diary of a Witness, also became an instant bestseller.

Table of Contents

Prologue 3

The First Attempt on Cor's Life (1996)

Part I Family Business, 1970-1983

Mom (2013/1970) 17

Sonja and Cor (1977) 50

The Heineken Kidnapping (1983) 54

In My Heart (Three Positive Memories) 65

Jaap Witzenhausen (1983) 72

Part II Heineken's Curse, 1990-2007

Amstelveen (1997) 93

Life After the Attack (1996/1997) 99

The Second Attempt (2000) 109

The Third Attempt (2003) 119

Sonja's Grief 127

Part III Hidden Agenda, 2011-2013

A Plan Forms (2011) 135

The Release (2012) 147

Dying I (2013) 152

The Meeting 157

Lawyer (1995) 170

Francis and Wim (2013) 177

Rats 187

Meetings with Betty 204

The Method 210

Extorting Sonja 221

Richie (2013/2003) 225

Giving Out the Confidential Statements 231

The Threatening of Peter 239

Wim's Arrest 253

Part IV Diary of a Witness, 2014

The Order is Issued 259

The Pit 265

The Counterattack 271

Annulment 276

I'll Kill Him 278

Sandra and the Women 283

Fred Ros 302

Sandra's First Meeting with the CIU 308

The Attempt in Amstelveen 310

Wim Arrested After Statements Made by Ros 316

Part V Women Floor Holleeder, 2015-2016

Prison Visit (2015) 321

Mom's Blessing 331

Use of Preliminary Statements 336

Women Floor Holleeder 339

Consequences 342

Car Wash 344

Together Forever 348

Shooting Lessons 349

Dying II 353

Farewell to My Job 357

Wim Hears Us Testify 365

ESP (Extra-Security Prison) (2016) 367

Fort Knox 369

The Confrontation 377

Tired 383

No Limit Soldiers 386

Scooter Incident 391

We Celebrate Cor's Birthday 395

Afterword 397

Acknowledgments 401

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Judas: How a Sister's Testimony Brought Down a Criminal Mastermind 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ISABELLE ™ More than 1 year ago
I had previously read about Astrid Holleeder in an article of The New Yorker. Immediately, I was intrigued by the story of a sister choosing to betray her brother, a notorious crime boss, and the danger she lives in. It was very clear that because of her choice, Astrid Holleeder lived every moment in fear she will be killed in retaliation of her betrayal. After I read the article I knew I had to know more. About Astrid Holleeder, her brother, and more specifically, her journey to choose to testify against the person she was closest to. The minute I picked up this book I couldn’t put it down. While Holleeder’s writing style wasn’t the best (and at some points, a little too theatrical), what drew my attention was her experiences. From her abusive upbringing to her unwilling involvement in the criminal underground, Holleeder’s life is riddled with threats and impossible choices. I could feel my anxiety grow with her choices to betray her brother and work with the Justice Department to finally convict him for good. While I knew she’d be okay (she did end up writing a book, so she can’t be dead), I still couldn’t help but feel she’d suddenly be “liquidated” at any moment. That in the end, her brother will regain control over her life. I also liked how raw Holleeder was with her feelings. At the end of the day, this story is about how a family was forced to turn on one of their own. The same brother that made her life a living hell for years was also the one to take care of her when her father refused to. Holleeder’s choices were complex. As black and white as it might seem, there are nuances of a family that Holleeder was not afraid to be real about. Judas was a thrilling read and I could understand why it was so popular in the Netherlands. This kind of memoir is unlike any other. If you love a read that will put you in suspense, Judas is definitely the book for you.
saberle More than 1 year ago
The Dutch author of this fascinating memoir tells an almost unbelievable story of crime committed by her brother and his associates. Willem Holleeder, the writer’s brother suffered terrible abuse by his father. Who knows if that lead to his violent personality, but it certainly did not help. In the early 80s, Willem and a friend take for ransom an heir of the Heineken brewery fortune. They were caught and eventually ended up in prison. After their release they continued doing what they did best, all the while the author becoming their confidant and lending a sympathetic ear. A split erupted when Willem let a contract on another sister’s husband Cor, who had committed the earlier kidnapping of the Heineken scion. At this point, the author decided to turn against her brother. This fascinating memoir is the result of her decision to do what she felt was right. A well-done memoir of what can go wrong in any family. Highly recommended.