July 2014, Twenty Eight year old Lars Mittank arrived from his native Itzehoe in north Germany in the holiday beach resort of Varna on the ‘Bulgarian Riviera’, with a group of his friends. The small group were looking forward to a great fun packed holiday. By all accounts Lars lived the perfect life, young and good looking, he had a girlfriend a good job at the local power station and had friends galore at the football club they all supported.
The first couple of days of their holiday was packed with fun, the small group relaxed on the beach, lounged around the pool, played football in the hotel grounds and of course hit the clubs each evening. But that all changed when Lars and his friends ran into a large group of Bayern Munich fans while on a night out. Although Lars and his friends did not want any trouble a fight soon started, and Lars ended up with a ruptured eardrum, which resulted in a visit to the local hospital.
After this event it is said that Lars changed overnight, no longer the fun filled young man, instead he refused to leave his hotel room, pacing up and down, and even hiding in the elevator during the hours of darkness.
Then suddenly he returned to the airport and tried to get a flight home, the cameras shows him pacing up and down, when without warning or reason he bolted from the airport leaving his baggage behind and sprinted through a car park, over a number of fences and into a nearby forest, which is home to many wolves and bears. Yet, despite an extensive search by police and teams of specially trained tracking dogs, Lars could not be found.
Since that warm sunny day just what has become of Lars is a total mystery, his body has never been found. And although there are many who think that he simply disappeared in order to begin a new life elsewhere, so many questions remain unanswered, was he murdered, was he kidnapped, or did he die while trying to live off the land, there are those who believe something more sinister occurred.
LUIZ CARLOS DA ROCHA
July 3rd, After thirty years on the run, and despite spending millions on plastic surgery to avoid being apprehended, Luiz Carlos da Rocha, nicknamed ‘White Head,’ was finally captured by Brazilian police.
Rocha was the boss of a South American cocaine empire, when he was finally arrested it is reported that he had a personal fortune of over $100 million, all of which was made from dealing the drug that has ravaged parts of the continent. In order to apprehend him, over 150 agents carried out dozens of raids, during which they seized over $10 million worth of luxury cars, planes and property including a number of farms. Despite changing his name and undergoing plastic surgery to alter his facial features, the police operation was successful and Rocha will spend the next fifty years in prison for his crimes.
July 4, 1826, Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of America and the author of the Declaration of Independence, passed away. During his political career he had something of a bitter rivalry with the man who he had taken office from the 2nd President John Adams. So bitter was his feelings that Jefferson wrote, ‘He is vain, irritable, and a bad calculator of…the motives which govern men.
This is all the ill which can possibly be said of him.’ but the two men had more in common than they could possible have known, they both were to die on the same day in the same year, the 50th anniversary of the most important day in their lives; it has been said that Jefferson willed himself to outlive his rival, this he managed to do, outliving his compatriot by five hours, having requesting to be informed when Adams died, his last words were, ‘Thomas Jefferson still survives.’
July 18th, 1918, The man who went on to become South Africa’s first black president after surviving the deprivation of prison for twenty seven years was born, his name, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
The son of a Thembu tribal chieftain and because of this fact was somewhat shielded from the poverty inflicted on most of his fellow black South Africans by the country’s racial segregationalist policy known as apartheid, at the age of seven he became the first of his family to attend school, quickly moving through secondary education at Healdtown School, he went on to Fort Hare, then South Africa’s only seat of higher education for blacks, it was during this period of his life that he received his first taste of political unrest, leading to him receiving a suspension for taking part in a number of protest boycott.
It was in 1942 that he became a member of the African National Congress, the political party that would fight to end the apartheid regime in his country.
It was participation in the struggle against apartheid and the all-white, apartheid-supporting National Party that led to his arrest in 1964, on a charge of leading a series of non-violent protests, convicted he was sentence to five years, that five year stretch became a life sentence after he was found guilty of sabotage. In his defence during his trial he made the following speech, ‘I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.
I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’ After his release from prison in 1990, he was elected President of South Africa some four years later, the first election in which all races participated.
Mandela was the greatest single figure to emerge from the late twentieth-century movement towards a multiracial society, legislation against race discrimination enforced greater toleration in societies and although some racial prejudices persist, a climate of ‘political correctness’, has now spread throughout the western world. When he retired from political life in 1999 his benevolence, honesty, and charisma made him an almost iconic figure throughout the world, and an international figure of great moral stature.