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Another Monster Ch19

Another Monster Ch19

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Published by Ivana NIkolic

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Published by: Ivana NIkolic on Oct 21, 2011
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07/28/2013

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Chapter 19Fritz Verdeman(August 2001; Dusseldorf)Near the end of August, I began to feel thatadditional research would be necessary in the CzechRepublic to solvethe Johan mystery. One, should I head to Brno, toinvestigate Johan's mother's identity? Two, should I headto Bohemia,the place of Johan's father's birth, and look for Germancareer soldiers? But Bohemia is a very large area, and Iwouldneed additional clues... Three, should I visit theBohemian town of Jablonec, the hometown of Bonaparta'sbirth, for moreinfo on his background? Four, should I look into theidentities of the 46 bodies found at the Red RoseMansion, andinterview the families of the researchers whodisappeared? I marked these priorities down in my memobook, and decided toextend my stay in the area.It was at this time that fortunately (orunfortunately), I received a sudden call from Hr. FritzVerdeman, theDusseldorf-based lawyer who had been unable to grant myinterview requests on several occasions due to thebusyness of hisschedule. He informed me that he had one free hourtomorrow for an interview. He had represented Dr. Tenmain court, knewInspector Lunge and Agent Suk, and had looked into thepast of the mysterious freelance journalist, Grimmer.It was Verdeman's reputation for overturning falsecharges that got him involved with this case to beginwith. Itwas my interest in how he decided that a person's chargeswere just or false, why he chose to approach Tenma afterthedoctor was to be tried and yet did not hire an attorney--and how he convinced Tenma to open his heart to him--thatmade medecide to leave Prague at this time to meet him.Perhaps the one thing most necessary to understandDr. Verdeman is the scandal of his father, StefanVerdeman. In1968, in the midst of the Cold War, Verdeman, an
 
electronics wholesaler who bought ownership of the radiostation KWFM,was charged with spying and the murder of a federalParliament member's secretary, and sentenced to twentyyears inprison. Fritz's father maintained his innocencevehemently, but died in prison, in 1972.In 1973, as relations between East and West began tothaw, the highest court in the nation overturned thesentence, restoring the honor of the Verdeman name. Atthis time, Fritz was in a gymnasium school.He studied hard, graduation from law school, joinedthe prestigious Hoffman Law Firm, and successfully provedhisclient innocent in the famous Heinz Holliger case. Asuccessful string of consecutive innocent verdicts led tothe "son ofthe spy" being a star of the legal world.Dr. Verdeman greeted me in a compact office. Dressedin a white shirt with necktie, he was surrounded bypapers,and appeared to be very busy. He stood up, shook my hand,and apologized for refusing my earlier requests, and thesuddennature of his offer. His manner struck me as quitedifferent from the image I had been led to expect, thatof the no-nonsense professional, the sharp gambler. I found him tobe passionate and dedicated to justice.- I'd like to start with Dr. Tenma... Can you tell mewhat it was that led you to take on his case?"The original request came from a very wealthy man. Iam naturally suspicious and sensed some politicalsneakinessbehind it, so I declined."- That would be the request from Herr Schuwald... orperhaps his son, Karl. I have permission from both ofthem.You may tell me if this is so."Yes, that would be correct, but after that... Ireceived an offer from a man named Alfred Baul, whowanted topartner with me in representing Tenma. He was hired by agroup of Tenma's former patients, and it was from thisthat Isoon discovered Tenma was actually a strong humanitarianand excellent doctor. I met with Dr. Tenma, my mental
 
innocencesensor began to go off, and I considered representing himin court."- You have a reputation for striking down falsecharges. Does the choice to represent a client stem froma hunch?"Yes... From the person's reputation and deeds, whatthey have done in life. I scrutinize them once someonehasrequested my help. After all, the enthusiasm that theclient has for saving the defendant is often a valuablestudyasset."- What do you think of the public perception that youare coolly assessing your chance of winning or losingwhenyou make that decision?"Well, that actually does happen, even after I accepttheir case, so it doesn't bother me. The thing is, as youknow, I have my father's yoke around my neck. It's onlynatural that I am interested in winning, because I wantto helpthose who have a chance of having their chargesdismissed."- And what was your impression of Tenma, when you methim?"I had never seen such a strange man. He was moreinterested in proving the existence and danger of thisyoung mannamed Johan than in proving his own innocence."- Did you think he was innocent?"Yes. I knew from the instant I saw him. However, Ialso felt that he was in danger of martyring himself. Ireceived that impression when he told me of how theentire string of events started."- Started?"Yes. Dr. Tenma had followed his boss's orders andchanged the order of his operating patients. After thepersonhe bumped downward died, he blamed himself terribly. Whenthe same case occurred again, he ignored his orders anddid theoriginal surgery. It was Johan whom he saved that time...Johan, the murderer. He tried to escape his positionbearingthis enormous cross, wondering if all lives were trulyequal or not."- And how did it happen that you were asked to take

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