Postcard from... Juist


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The Independent Online


Germany claims to be the warmest country in Europe at the moment.

Inland temperatures soared to a near record 39 C at the weekend prompting thousands to  head for the North Sea’s cooler East Frisian islands which were immortalised in the spy novel “Riddle of the Sands”.

But on the island of Juist, which is duly mentioned in Erskine Childers’ book, visitors were in for a nasty shock.

Juist is just 10 miles long, it has 1,700 residents and attracts 10,000 tourists each year. But it been in turmoil since late last week when a sunbather stumbled across a human hand protruding from the fine white sand of its principal beach.

It belonged to the corpse of  a 23-year-old woman from the mainland who was doing a holiday job at a bakery. Police say  she was attacked, abducted, raped, murdered and subsequently buried by her killer.

“Juist is devastated, we haven’t had any crime here for 30 years and now this at the height of the tourist season,” complained the island’s mayor.

Police encircled the harbour and questioned all 900 or so tourists preparing to leave on the ferry.  Hundreds more were interviewed.

Now the hunt has been narrowed down to one prime suspect. He is a 24-year-old barman from the mainland.

Police say a woman who visited the island’s disco earlier this month, told them that she was so intimidated by the suspect, that she was too frightened to walk home on her own. She didn’t report him at the time.