For a Pentecost weekend, Spanbroek was more or less ‘the center of the world’, as a result of the mysterious kidnapping. On Friday afternoon, a man was pushed against his will into a car in the center of the village. Now that the victim has been found in Beverwijk, the West Frisian nature easily wins over the sensationalism. “We’ll just move on, you know.”
Spanbroek in the national newspapers, on radio bulletins and on the national newsreels. For three days, the village from the municipality of Opmeer was the center of attention. But, kidnapping or not, Tuesdays in Spanbroek are all about the market. The cheese farmer is there like every week and the nut stall is also there again.
Striking: in the street there is hardly any talk about what happened on the Herenweg on Friday afternoon. When the street suddenly filled with police cars, after a blond man – according to eyewitnesses – in socks was dragged into a car. There was a large-scale investigation in the village on Friday and Saturday.
On Monday it was announced that the still unknown man had been found in Beverwijk. “I’m glad about that. Can we just move on,” says a woman for Albert Heijn stoically. “He was confused, I understood. I hope they can help him.” At the bakery, the kidnapping is not exactly the talk of the day. “I wasn’t there that day. And after that? I haven’t heard much about it,” says an employee.
There is sometimes even indifference to the events of last Friday. “I just think it’s a weird story. A confused one guy carried in socks. At first I thought of an exam stunt,” says a man who lives in the village.
“A confused guy who is taken away in socks. At first I thought of an exam stunt”
“And then the police say: ‘He speaks German or English’. What is it? There is quite a difference between them.” He also shrugs. “It is nice that he has been found again, but otherwise… We will just continue and I do not feel unsafe at all. But I would prefer Spanbroek to make the news for a good reason next time. Because the football players of VVS’46 became champion, for example.” He points: “There, on the corner, there will soon be a grand café. That’s what I call good news.”
Nina works in a clothing store and was an eyewitness to the kidnapping. She has spoken to various media in recent days – including NH – and experienced strange days. “I am glad that the kidnapped man has been found again. I do follow the news closely, yes. I still want to know how this ends. In a way it puts Spanbroek on the map, but it is also nice if it’s just quiet.”
Remarkably often the name of recreation park West-Friesland in Opmeer, better known as De Perelaer, is mentioned. As if the kidnapped man would have a link to that. “A lot of strange things happen there,” says one resident. “Drugs, prostitution, you name it.”
“A lot of strange things happen there. Drugs, prostitution, you name it”
The name of the holiday park, which is located on the other side of the AC de Graafweg, is also mentioned at the local gas station. “Many people quickly think that that has something to do with it. Not everyone takes it as closely as possible with the rules, so to speak. But of course that is not necessary. The man can also be lost.”
The manager of the recreation park is happy to talk to us by phone. He prefers not to have his name mentioned. “That kidnapped man in socks? I’ve read it, yes. I’ve never seen him, so he’s definitely not an owner at our park.”
After 3.5 years he knows the bad stories about ‘his’ campsite. “Weird things are being told. The municipality has been boycotting recreational parks for years and we are constantly being put in a bad light. Entire hemp plantations would have been found here, but three plants may have been found in the past.” According to the manager, mainly retirees and Eastern European seasonal workers live there. “People should come and have a look, it’s a beautiful park.”
Back to the market. Where kilos of cheese are sold the old-fashioned way again. And where Spanbroek just seems to be Spanbroek again. There is little or no fear of recurrence. “Scared? No! I don’t expect it to happen again. And then we just keep going. We remain sober West Frisians, don’t we.”
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