Parking Garage Nr. 01
On a Saturday evening on March 24, 2012 the body of an 11-year old girl was found in a parking garage in the small town of Emden, Germany.
Parking Garage Nr. 02
The police assumed a violent felony.
Parking Garage Nr. 03
Media reported that it was the mother herself who found the body when she searched the garage together with a parking attendant.
Parking Garage Nr. 04
On March 25 the task force Parkhaus was set up. The police confirmed a violent felony.
Parking Garage Nr. 05
On Monday morning March 26 the parking garage was searched extensively again. Also the material from the surveillance cameras was analyzed.
Parking Garage Nr. 06
In the afternoon the police confirmed the murder had a sexual motive. The suspect was described as a young man wearing dark clothes.
Video Capture Nr. 01
The next day on March 27 video captures from the garage were released. A 10 000 Euros reward was offered by the city of Emden.
A possible escape Nr. 01
In the evening of the same day a 17-year old boy was arrested.
He was detained in his father’s home only 500 meters away from the site of the crime.
Video Capture Nr. 02
He was identified by a witness before the video captures were released because of his unusual behavior as the police said.
Police Station, Emden Nr. 01
An 18-year old boy posted on facebook: »Insurrection! Everyone to the cops! We will storm them! Let’s beat the pig to death!«
Police Station, Emden Nr. 02
About 50 people joined him in front of the police station. They demanded to take justice in their own hands while the arrested boy was questioned by the police.
Police Station, Emden Nr. 03
At 4 am in the morning the group dissolved.
Video Capture Nr. 03
On Wednesday March 28 the 17-year old was assessed by the police as a suspect. He did not make a confession yet. In the evening an arrest warrant was issued.
A possible escape Nr. 02
On a press conference on Thursday March 29 the police informed that the suspect had no alibi for the time of the offence. Germany’s largest tabloid proclaimed on their frontpage: »Police is convinced: The killer is a student (17)!«
Jail, Vechta
On Friday March 30 at 10.46 am the 17-year old boy was released because a perpetration could be excluded as the police said.
Parking Garage Nr. 07
He returned only once to Emden to leave the city for an indefinite time.


On March 24, 2012 the body of a young girl who was raped and murdered, was found in a parking garage in Emden, Germany, a town with about 50,000 inhabitants, many of whom knew the victim. Following information from a witness a 17-year-old student was arrested, because he had behaved suspiciously. Via Facebook and various Internet forums a public anger arose and, among other things, threatening crowds appeared at the suspect’s parents’ house and at the police station where he was being held. The boy turned out to be innocent in the end and, using DNA material as evidence, the real culprit was found and arrested.

From The exhibition text:

Photographers Tinka and Frank Dietz, who have worked together for years, used this event as a case study for The Rise of Populism in Europe. They have investigated the developments surrounding the case and view it as a ‘defining populist moment‘. They have tried to take all the populist aspects that, in their opinion, belong to this case in order to give them a visual translation. For example, they scrutinized the social media upheaval, which led to a gathering of a group of people who wanted to take the law into their own hands and lynch the suspect. The defiance against public establishments such as law enforcement authorities and conspiracy theories about these institutes are also part of their visualizations. Just like the persistent prejudiced ideas about minorities and the powerful role of the media in this: the indicated suspect was black and his identity was immediately disclosed in order to make speculations.


led display

shown at:
The Rise of Populism, Zijdebalen Theater, Utrecht 2013

ARTE TV 2014

The Rise of Populism, Melkweg Gallery, Amsterdam 2014