After five years of effort, a British family is ready to go to court this week to present new evidence showing that the death of a Jewish student was actually a murder, and not a simple traffic accident.
German police initially claimed that Jeremiah Duggan of Golders Green, North London, was killed in a traffic accident when he was hit by two cars in Weisbaden in March 2003. They implied that he had thrown himself in front of the vehicles in an apparent suicide.
Several months later, in November 2003, London coroner William Dolman tied the case up neatly with a narrative verdict and stated that Jeremiah ran into the path of the cars while in a "state of terror."
But the family didn't accept that, and fought for five years to force officials to reopen the case. They met with politicians and scholars at the House of Democracy and Human Rights in Berlin, among others, in an effort to obtain more information about the political cult known as the LaRouche movement, which they believe was directly involved in the murder of their son.
Duggan was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris when he was lured to Weisbaden for a conference on the war in Iraq hosted by the Schiller Institute. The young student was unaware at the time that the Schiller Institute is tied to the convicted U.S.-born Lyndon LaRouche, Jr., a figure associated with anti-Semitism and fascism.
Lyndon LaRouche, Jr., a United States maverick known as a radical anti-Semitic, a neo-fascist and a political cult leader, founded several political organizations in the U.S. and abroad, known collectively as the LaRouche movement. He has run as a perennial, minor presidential candidate eight times since 1976, but also was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1988 for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax code violations. However, he continued to carry out his political activities from prison and was released on parole six years later, in 1994. Most recently he was listed as a director and contributing editor of the Executive Intelligence Review News Service, part of the LaRouche movement.
Coroner Didn't Do His Job
This week attorneys for the Duggan family will argue that the coroner failed to conduct a proper investigation.
New evidence gathered by the three top forensic specialists shows the young student was savagely beaten to death with a blunt instrument. Their reports said that the damage sustained by his body could not have been caused by vehicles hitting him, and appeared to have been deliberately inflicted.
There are other strange facts that also don't add up with the picture of an accidental death or suicide.
German Police Were Negligent
Shortly before his death Duggan contacted his family in Britain and told them in whispers that he was “in deep trouble.” His mother, Erica, said he "sounded terrified" when he called, and had just managed to spell the first few letters of the word, "W-e-i-s-b…." before the line went dead.
Oddly, the drivers of the two cars that reportedly hit the 22-year-old student were both allowed to leave the scene of the fatality before the investigating detective arrived.
In addition, although Jeremiah's blood-soaked address book was found in his pocket, his passport was not.
Instead, his passport, which was also stained with his blood, was later handed to police by Ortrum Kramer, one of LaRouche's followers. According to the British Daily Mail, Kramer has never been asked how the passport came into her possession.
Liberal British Democrat MP Simon Hughes, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, added his voice to the Duggan family's campaign to investigate Jeremiah's death throughout the long process.
"As a London MP I feel an obligation to support the family," he told The Jewish News in mid-October before traveling to Berlin in connection with the case. "The fact is the Schiller Institute acts with anti-Semitic values and is very, very dubious. I am absolutely clear that there has not been a satisfactory explanation of what happened. We owe it to Jeremiah to make sure this is not swept under the carpet."