The Rotterdam hotline for confused individuals and the responsible neighbourhood team may have failed to take correct action after being notified of strange behaviour by Joël S., according to dossier files reviewed by Dutch broadcaster NOS. The conclusions drawn from an in-depth review of the provided care are expected to be published after the summer.

Suspect S., one of Sarah’s housemates in the student building De Snor on Kralingse Kerklaan, had stated that he wanted to become a serial killer and that the time for ‘payback’ had come. It wasn’t clear which wrongs the suspect wanted to revenge himself for.


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Of clear mind

While mental health experts did call on S. at his home, they judged that he wasn’t suffering from any acute issues, according to NOS. He looked well-kept and seemed communicative and of clear mind. The care workers did not take any further action at that time and refrained from notifying the police.

Sébas Diekstra, the lawyer acting as the counsel of Sarah’s mother, says that the care workers lacked the proper qualifications and that they may have been able to prevent the student’s death.

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Additional neurological examination

Joël S. was brought before the court for the second time this morning for a pre-trial session. The forensic investigation has already been rounded off. One of the findings was that the victim’s blood could be found on S.’s clothing. It had already become clear in March that the suspect had confessed to committing the murder.

S.’s mental state is the subject of on-going assessment. The psychiatrists and psychologists who have examined the suspect so far have advised a neurological examination. The court agreed to this step on Tuesday. A neurologist will seek to establish the source of S.’s hallucinations and delusions.

The proceedings will resume on 11 September.