Maybe you have had this happen: A story appears on the news set in a place where you have been. That happened to me this past weekend when I heard about a hostage situation in Hilversum, in the Netherlands. The scene was at 3FM, a public radio station that is part of NPO – Nederlands publieke omroepbestel a/k/a Netherlands Public Radio.
Over the years I have done occasional consulting work for these good folks. When I looked at the crime scene photos, I thought to myself, I’ve climbed those stairs but I am glad I wasn’t there last week.
But this story isn’t about me, it is about Dutch DJ Giel Beelen and any other media personality who has been stalked.
When I read the story I immediately thought of Mary Lucia from 89.3 The Current who was stalked by an obsessed fan a couple of years ago. You can see our coverage of Lucia’s ordeal here.
According to a report last week in Britain’s Daily Mail [link] a man took a female employee hostage at 3FM to protest the exit of Giel Beelen, one of Holland’s most popular radio broadcasters.
|Dutch police secure the crime scene|
Beelen, who was not the station at the time of the incident, had taken a job at another station. However, there was rumor going around that Beelen had been turfed because of his liberal political comments on his 3FM morning drive program.
The assailant, who was not named in the Daily Mail’s article, forced his way into 3FM around 6am and took a female employee hostage while demanding that Beelen be rehired at 3FM. Dutch police cordoned off the building shortly after 7am and captured the assailant around 8:30am. Police said the man was carrying a knife. The female employee was not injured.
Beelen gained worldwide notoriety a few years ago when he achieved a Guinness World Record for the longest continuous broadcast lasting 198 hours on-the-air. Beelen also holds the Guinness Record for the longest time spent crowd surfing in 2011.
This incident happened in the general location where Dutch right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn was gunned down in 2002.