Local newspaper Het Belang van Limburg has revealed details of one of the two letters fugitive soldier Jürgen Conings left behind before disappearing with an armoury of heavy weapons.
One of the letters was to the police, to warn them of what he was about to do. That included a threat against virologist Marc Van Ranst. Conings is now known to have staked out Van Ranst’s home the evening before he disappeared, and before Van Ranst and his family were moved to a safe house. Yet he did not strike.
The letter to his partner Gwendy begins:
“Dear G., dear darling. When you receive this letter, you will know that something is wrong. I am very sorry that you are the person who is now in a lot of grief and pain. I want you to know that I have done everything I can to prevent this, but have not succeeded. I also want you to know that this whole event has nothing to do with you and my feelings for you. I can no longer and do not want to continue with the future as it looks now.”
He also makes it clear that whatever happens next is his own choice and concerns no-one else – a disclaimer that is taken to suggest he has no confederates.
"I can't live with the lies of people who decide how we should live,” he goes on. “The so-called political elite and now also the virologists decide how you and I should live. They sow hatred and frustration, worse than it already was. And no one rebels against that. If you say anything, you will be punished.”
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He describes his forthcoming action as ‘rebellion’ and then makes clear what outcome he expects.
“I don't care whether I die or not. But then it will be my way, then I will live my last days how I want. I know that I will suddenly be enemy of the state. They will look for me and find me after a while. I am ready for that. Gradually everything fell into place and I have started making preparations.”
Finally, after a long digression on an unrelated case, he turns his attention again to his partner.
“I want to make it clear that you have nothing to do with this, hence the other letter for the police or whoever receives that letter. My apologies for the misery of the police and court you will be experiencing now. I make sure that there is nothing to be found. Everything is gone,” he writes.
“I tried to make your house as neat and tidy as possible before I left. Your house that you can be proud of. Pass on my regrets to your mum and dad. I know I'm hurting them with this too. I realise that very well. But I can no longer go on. Something must be done to point out to certain people that this cannot continue.”
The letter concludes with an intimate message, and an unmistakeable farewell.