Leading Dutch filmmaker and newspaper columnist Theo van Gogh was killed in Amsterdam on Tuesday morning. Conflicting reports are coming in about the precise circumstances. According to his production company, Mr Van Gogh was shot dead, but a local TV-channel reports he was stabbed and then shot.
The perpetrator, who is said to have stuck a pamphlet to Mr van Gogh’s chest, was reportedly shot in the leg in an exchange of gunfire with a motorcycle policeman, who is believed to be seriously injured. The suspect was arrested in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark and taken to hospital.
During his entire career, Theo van Gogh (47) courted controversy. One of his most recent productions dealt with violence against women in Islamic societies and prompted many death threats. The author of the film, Conservative MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has been under police protection since it was aired on Dutch national television. Mr Van Gogh was working on a film about Pim Fortuyn, the anti-establishment and anti-immigrant politician who was shot dead two years ago.
Nov. 2, 2004