Saturday, April 09, 2005

Curiouser and Curiouser 

From the Philly.com article linked to in the comments of a previous post (registration required), here's some American perspective on Jared from Simone Weichselbaum's article, "Philly DJ Surrenders to Danish Cops":

He gained some fame when he went from young Center City hip-hop fan to co-founder of his own indie-music label.


Heller, 34, apparently couldn't take the pressure of having his name printed in newspapers from Denmark to Philadelphia as a possible suspect in the dismemberment-murder of a Danish cab driver so he called Danish police early yesterday morning.

"I am here," he told cops from a pay phone, according to police inspector John Lorentzen. "Come get me."


The one-time South Street resident founded Illadelph Records in the mid-'90s. It is a local label that produced tracks from unknown musicians as well as the popular Roots.

Heller moved to Denmark five years ago, deejaying at clubs. He married a Dane, left her, moved around Europe and recently settled back in Copenhagen.


Cops believe Heller helped his 27-year-old Sudanese friend, who goes by the street name "The Jaguar," cut up the cabbie. Witnesses told police they had seen the taxi driver leave a Copenhagen bar with the two men.

A Danish judge ordered Heller to stay in police custody for 27 days as cops investigate the cabbie's death and prosecutors decide whether to file formal charges. Right now they are preliminary.

Heller's father, Arthur, still lives in Center City. He did not return calls from the Daily News.

Ever heard of the Danish hiphop band "The Loft?" Neither had I. Apparently, however, Jared contributed to their debut album, "No Ordinary Man." B.T. reports that band members are "in shock" that Jared was involved in this grisly case. He apparently raps on three cuts from the album: "Turn a Trick," "Can You Feel It," and "Hold On."

DK: -Han virkede som en meget flink fyr, og derfor er jeg også dybt rystet. Han var meget taknemmelig for at få lov at være med på pladen. Han var helt ned på jorden, slutter Martin Bøge Pedersen.

EN: "He acted like a really nice guy, and that's why I'm also deeply shaken. He was real grateful to get the chance to be on the album. He was totally down to earth," concludes Martin Bøge Pedersen.

You can sample some of Jared's cuts on the Loft's website.

(I wonder how long that'll last? There's already a question about Jared on their Guestbook: "Ret bizart at ham den mord mistænkte Jeared Heller medvirker på jeres kanon gode album.... Har selv jeres album, men hvilke numre er det han rapper på? Ønsker jer forsat sucess med jeres musik...." Which means, "Real bizarre that the suspect murderer Jeared [sic] Heller contributed to your really cool album... Got your album myself, but which numbers is he rapping on? Wish you continued to success with your music!")

This is all great stuff, but where's the bio on Jaguar? Was he part of the big hiphop scene in Sudan? Or what?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Jared, Race, and Immigration 

Strangely enough, the free daily metroXpress had an article about the murder that included information about Jared I hadn't previously seen. Specifically:

The American has been gone for a while -- and neither has his family seen anything of him. His wife Hawo Abdulkadir, who's a social- and health-assistant, hasn't seen her husband since Easter, and she doesn't understand that he's involved in this case.

"He's never been a criminal or done anything like that," she told TV2-News.

The racial element is probably going to be interpreted differently in America than it will be here. Americans will see a white guy hooking up with a black guy to kill another white guy and draw what conclusions they will. Danes won't see it quite that way.

Danes are looking at nationalities, not skin colors. You've got a Sudanese guy and an American guy, both of whom had been in Copenhagen for a while, teaming up to kill a Dane. Hm.

Danes are already anxious about immigration. I won't even bother trying to dig up relevant links: just Google "denmark immigration" and have a look around. A heinous crime like this one isn't going to do much for the beleaguered pro-immigration forces if it does in fact turn out that Jaguar and Jared are guilty.

Just another interesting twist...

Jared Goes Mum 

According to both Politiken and BT, probably both drawing off the same Ritzau news agency feed, are reporting that Jared "would neither declare himself guilty or not-guilty in Copenhagen City Court on Thursday" and that he will now be imprisoned for four weeks, 13 days of that sentence in isolation.

The press has now dubbed our man Jared Amerikaneren, meaning simply "The American." I doubt this characterization will color the Danish perception of other Americans—although I would think twice before buying or renting a chainsaw in this country.

I don't know how legitimate the comments in the previous post from folks who claim to know Jared Heller are, but here's what we do know about him: he's a thirty-four year old American DJ "known in Copenhagen's hip-hop and pub circles," he has no passport, is reportedly involved in the Copenhagen drug trade, and when arrested for murder (and dismemberment by chainsaw) he can't even bring himself to plead not-guilty.

So although I don't doubt that his family and friends in the U.S. and Europe support him, I'm not sure I'd characterize him as "a good man."

On the other hand, the whole notion of a racist element to the crime hadn't even occurred to me.

The fact that Jared has turned himself in and refused to talk, however, suggests to me, as a complete amateur ass-hat in the field of criminal justice, that he's equally frightened of the police and of Jaguar. Or maybe he's a cunning bastard and just wants to make it look like that's the case.

Wouldn't a "good man" have gone straight to the police, whatever actually happened, and said, "something horrible has happened, and although I look guilty you have to believe that I only stood by during the crime for fear of my life?"

I'm probably naive for thinking that "good men" can get through life without getting sucked into the drug trade and chainsaw murders—but that's a naivete I'd like to hold onto.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Jared Turns Himself In 

Finally, something breaks!

Earlier this morning, American suspect Jared Heller turned himself in to the police, who promptly arrested him.

DK: »Han følte åbenbart jorden brænde under sig, eller også var der ikke længere nogen, der ville huse ham,« siger kriminalinspektør Ove Dahl.

EN: "He apparently felt the earth burning beneath him, or else there was no longer anyone willing to house him," says Crime Inspector Ove Dahl.

If he felt the earth burning beneath him (that's a metaphor I'm keeping!), how do you think his old buddy Jaguar is feeling right now?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

News: "He's Probably Not In America" 

I haven't updated the story because there hasn't been anything to update. The biggest news today, for example, was the exciting observation that the American suspect, Jared Heller, doesn't have a passport and is therefore almost certainly not back in Philadelphia, where he's from. Which is just as well, because the paper also observes that neither the local police or the FBI there are even aware of the case.

Tut, tut, says Denmark's Inspector Ove Dahl. It takes time to expedite a manhunt.

I think it would be excellent if the end of this thing played out like the end of Fargo, with Jared and Jaguar finally making it into the clear, only to end up killing one another. (Or, more accurately, for Jared to jam Jaguar headfirst into a wood-cutter, at which point Ove Dahl would show up —pregnant, I suppose—and put a couple of holes in Jared.)

My difficulties with Danish seem to be eliciting more comments than my solicitation of alternative theories. That can't be good.

Monday, April 04, 2005


From Politiken, the latest update on the Adelgade Carvers. Basically: there's no news to report. The two suspects, pictured below, have simply evaporated.

Police photo.

The final paragraph tells us a little more about Jag and Jared:

Amerikaneren har blandt andet arbejdet som dj på en cafe og er kendt i hiphopmiljøet i København, og både han og Jaguar, der har arbejdet som kok, har været flittige gæster på hovedstadens diskoteker og værtshuse.

The American has worked, among other jobs, as a DJ at a cafe and is known in Copenhagen's hip-hop enviornment, and both he and Jaguar, who has worked as a cook, have been [diligent? busy? industrious? I don't know this usage of flittig] guests at the capital's discos and pubs.

Don't be shy about those theories, people. I know T isn't the only one reading this. What if I offered a prize for the theory that ends up closest to the truth? I think I will. Yes, I certainly will. So there's a prize to be had now... surely that's worth taking a stab at—okay, inappropriate metaphor.

But I'm interested in seeing how different people might put the facts together in different ways.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


I saw one of the tabloids referring to the case as "The Saw Murder" (Savmordet). It didn't strike me as sufficiently tabloidish to suit my own purposes, so I'm going to leave the case nameless for the time being. ("Last Fare to Adelgade," whispers Agatha Christie. "D is Dismemberment," coos Sue Grafton.)

In the latest developments, Copenhagen Police have hooked up with Interpol for help finding Jaguar wherever he may be on the European continent, and they're also now stepping up the hunt for amerikaneren ("the American").

(I'd like to take a moment to let you know that I have no relationship with anyone named Jaguar, have never gone pub-crawling in the Gothersgade area without a handful of my Studieskolen cronies along for the crawl, and that I have an absolutely airtight alibi for the times and dates in question. What's more, I've never set foot in Adelgade 63. Also, my name's not Jared Heller. So you've got one less American to investigate, Herr Ove Dahl!)

According to the article linked above:

Danish:Det drejer sig om Jared Heller, der tidligere har været gift med en udenlandsk kvinde, der er bosat i Danmark. De har et barn sammen. Heller er en hvid mand. Han har kort, nærmest karseklippet, rødligt hår, kort, rødligt skæg. Han er 175-180 cm. høj og almindelig til spinkel af bygning.

English:It concerns Jared Heller, who was previously married to a foreign woman who settled in Denmark. They have a child together. Heller is a white man. He has short, nearly crew-cut reddish hair, and a short, reddish beard. He's 175-180 cm tall and normal to slight of build.

Our man Ove Dahl says both men are believed to have taken part in the murder of Torben Knudsen. Police will be releasing photos of both men shortly.

Curiously, I saw a picture of Jaguar on the cover of B.T. yesterday: a smiling black man with feral teeth, raising a shot glass toward the camera. But I couldn't find it online just now, so I'm holding out for the official police photos and will try to remember to post links here once they're forthcoming.

So here's what we've got so far: Torben Knudsen, who's known for knocking back one too many and getting a little obnoxious in Copenhagen's pubs, is seen leaving a pub early Good Friday in the company of the white, red-haired American Jared Heller and the black, Sudanese Jaguar. Later he's seen buzzing at the door of an apartment at Adelgade 63. Then on Sunday his legs and one arm are found in an inner-city dumpster, and within 24 hours the rest of his body, including his head, is discovered throughout the area.

Jaguar is a bad egg, a former restaurant worker who'd apparently been roped into the drug trade. Jared is an American citizen who'd married another foreigner in Denmark and had a child.

Meanwhile, the woman who rents the apartment at Adelgade 63 where the stabbing and dismemberment occured is "of no further interest" to the police—meaning she's probably not even a material witness.

So... someone—probably either Jaguar or Jared—had to have access (maybe even a key) to the apartment while the woman wasn't home, and someone had to have given the address to Torben. For reasons not yet known, Torben came to call at the apartment, where we have to assume either Jaguar or Jared or both let him in. Whether they planned to kill him before letting him in, or made the decision spontaneously, is totally up in the air. The whole thing is up in the air, which is why it's so damn compelling to follow this case if you have even the slightest interest in why people kill each other and chop them up to bits.

Imagine these three drunken idiots careening down Gothersgade at three a.m. Good Friday morning. "All the good pubs are closed," says one.

"I got a place we can go and keep drinking," says another.

"But where we gonna get the booze?" asks the third.

"I know where I can get some," offers Torben.

"Cool," says Jaguar (or Jared). "Go get it and meet us back at Adelgade 63, ground floor apartment on the left (or whichever)."

"Sure," says Torben.

But he can't find any booze because he was lying: he's a drunken ass and he never had any idea where to get more booze at such an hour. So he stumbles sheepishly up to the apartment, Jag and Jared immediately see that he has no booze, and one of them, say Jared, furiously stabs at him—intending only to scare him and get rid of him, since without the booze he's of no earthly use to anyone.

But something happens and the knife hits an artery. Torben is dead in moments. Jag and Jared have no idea what to do. They panic. They saw Torben up into garbage-bag size parts and sneak around the neighborhood in the dark of night finding dumpsters to stash him in. They return to the apartment and realize all that blood looks pretty damning, so one of them runs over to the local kiosk as soon as it opens for a couple of gallons of chlorine.

They clean the apartment as best they can, and realize their best wasn't good enough. They need to get the hell out of town, and fast. Since neither of them is a Danish national, "out of town" doesn't mean Odense or Aarhus: it means out of fucking town. As in Hamburg, or Berlin, or Prague. And after touching base with their homies, off they go.

By the time the police are on their trail, they're way the hell out of Dodge.

That's my own amateur theory, which has more holes in it than Blackburn, Lancashire. If anyone's even reading this stupid blog any more, please feel free to contribute your own amateur theories in the comments.

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