Two sets of parents, both desperate for answers about how their sons died. Their narrowing field of options have led them to one man, former Metropolitan Police Commander Ray Adams. Can he hep them?
Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in a racist attack in south London, April 22 1993. Boris F was a Berlin hacker who disappeared October 17 1998. His body was found on October 22 in a park adjoining the Britz Sud U-bahn station. Both sets of parents found themselves asking Adams for help. The circumstances are quite different, and so are the responses Adams writes. Yet there are some underlying similarities between the two letters he wrote to them, eight years apart. Why that should be isn’t clear.
Perhaps it’s his training as a policeman that produces the similarities. In each case he tells the parents little. His message was: ‘The police have the matter in hand. I’m not going to tell you anything. Leave it to the experts. It’s not appropriate to be asking questions.’
Writing the first letter, to Doreen and Neville Lawrence’s solicitor, J R Jones, Adams stressed that what they were asking was exceptional and that anything that was shared would be directly, not through their lawyer. It is an understanding letter, chiding them gently that really they should leave it to the professionals. They would handle it best.
Boris’s mother wrote to Adams in July 2001, nearly three years after the death of her son, in frustration with the progress of the Berlin homicide investigation, which would conclude that her son killed himself. She asked him to explain what references in Boris’s notes to Adams and NDS referred to.
Adams would probably have been conscious of his Lawrence letter at the time of Boris F’s death, because he had been cross-examined at length about it just three months before, on June 4 then against on July 16. He tells Boris’s mother that her suspicions about NDS are unfounded and she should not pursue them. He has spoken to Berlin police but he cannot give her his statement because he doesn’t have it. She should leave it to the police. If she looks anywhere, she should look at Boris’s friend. He does not mention that one of those friends, Oliver Kömmerling, works for him.
The 1993 letter to Stephen Lawrence’s parents was the last official act Adams took before taking sick leave and resigning from the Metropolitan Police. The background of Adams’ subsequent questioning is covered here:http://toldbyanidiot.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/panorama-ray-adams-and-lots-more/
“Dear Mr Jones
RE MURDER OF STEPHEN LAWRENCE
In response to your recent letters and in particular that of 29 April 1993.
As you are aware Chief Superintendent Philpott is the officer responsible for policing activity within Plumstead Division. The murder of Stephen Lawrence is being conducted on his behalf by DS Weeden. The appointment of a senior detective from the AMIP team is normal practise in these circumstances.
In the overwhelming majority of murder investigations liaison with the family of the victim is direct. It is most unusual for the appointment of solicitors to represent the family interest as there is no conflict of interest or purpose. Police are of course fully aware of the private and public concern and distress over the murder of Stephen. To address these concerns DS Weeden appointed liaison officers from within his team to deal with enquiries and concern from both Mr & Mrs Lawrence.
You are no doubt aware of the conference at Eltham Police Station on 28 April 1993 when Deputy Assistant Commissioner Osland, the officer commanding 3 Area, met with members of the Commission for Racial Equality, Bexley and Greenwich Councils. At the meeting concern was expressed that the murder investigation team were being inundated with enquiries from the many parties interested in the progress of the enquiry. It was said that the level of inquiry was distracting the team from the task in hand. Appreciating the genuineness of most enquiries Chief Superintendent Philpott asked that all such inquiries be channelled to either Chief Inspector Whapham, Plumstead Police Station, or himself.
On reading your particular correspondence it occurs to me that whilst many of your questions ask about the sort of information that is generally provided to families of victims some is not. In particular the information requested at 1. of your letter dated 26 April 1993 is not material that is normally released.
I was concerned to read your comments in your letter of 29 April 1993 concerning the liaison arrangements with Mr & Mrs Lawrence. I have discussed this with Mr Weeden, the arrangements and briefing of the officers is being examined. We shall also be talking to both Mr & Mrs Lawrence to satisfy them of our earnest wish to do everything to keep them properly informed.
I think you will agree with me that we must all do everything in our power to ensure that those responsible for the murder of Stephen are brought to justice I ask that you resist the temptation to enquire direct with the Senior Investigating Officer or his team. Chief Superintendent Philpott is available as well as I to assist you and other interested parties.
I trust my comments assist you in your delicate task.
Adams’ letter to Boris’s mother sent on July 20 2001
I believe that someone is advising you and distracting you by talking about NDS and my meetings..
We could talk endlessly about my meetings with Boris. Nothing would be produced that would in any way assist with the investigation into his death. We have an expression in English that this is a ‘Red herring’. That is something that is a false trail being created by someone to hide the truth.
My meetings with Boris were innocent. My meetings genuinely were to see if he would consider working for us when he had finished at University.
I mostly met Boris alone. On one occasion I took an engineer with me. The engineer has left the team and I am no longer in contact.
I never met any of the friends of Boris and he never mentioned any names to me.
I cannot understand why my meetings with Boris are so important. They were innocent and ended some months before Boris died.
I went to the Berlin Police very soon after the death of Boris was announced. I met with the investigator in Berlin. My statement was translated into German and was never recorded in English. I do not have a copy. I have no objections to you receiving a copy of my statement from the Police. At the time of making the statement I gave the Police the best guess as to the dates of my meetings with Boris. As more time has since passed I cannot recall the dates.
I believe that the friends of Boris know about his death. I was told by the Private Investigator that one of them visited Boris on the morning that he disappeared and was later found dead in the park. That friend apparently walked with Boris to a cash point and Boris took out money for his grandmother. He then walked to the Underground Railway and disappeared. The investigator told me that Boris still had the money for his grandmother in his pocket. If this is true then I think this strange and I would have thought that Boris would have given the money to his mother. Equally it could be that when he took the money from the cashpoint that he did not intend killing himself. That is why I think the friend that was with him is very important. It is also why I do not trust the friends of Boris and that could include e
For some reasons the copy of the email that was on Ray Adams’ hard drive ends there, mid-word.
It’s the last of a series of letters he writes to Boris’s mother through an intermediary, and his tone is understanding but troubled. He has previously pointed inquiries to the police. He said NDS had hoped to hire Boris after his university degree, though he did not mention that this would be as a hacker/informant. He said a packet of microchips that NDS had sent to Boris from Israel were for his university project, and entirely innocuous.
Adams finished the letter and emailed it. The time stamps on the email show that it was only then that he wrote to the NDS exec who had posted the chips to Boris:
From: Adams, Ray
Sent: Tue, July 24, 2001 5:34 PM
To: Shen-Orr, Chaim
Can you remember the type of chips that you sent to Boris Floricic in Germany and what he needed them for. If you can remember can you remember how many were sent.
This is how another security professional, though one apparently with no prior police experience, reacted.
From: Andreas Rudloff [mailto:arudloff@KirchGruppe.DE]
Sent: 22 October 1998 20:36
To: Ray Adams (E-Mail)
Subject: A Problem
I have heard of a “strange problem”:
There seems to be a young hacker in Berlin, who has developped “hacksoftware” for digital TV systems. It seems to be this type of software with which you can enable original smartcards by yourself.
It was claimed that he was not distributing this software, but that he was talking with friends on this topic.Last weekend he has left his home together with two guys and does not return to his home and his parents until now. Now the police is looking for him.
As I have heard this young hackers also knows something about the “Hornet-Card” and “Bulgaria” and “Russian Mafia”.
There exists a theory claiming that his hack was, of course, against the interests of the distributors of pirate cards. If this would be the case they have different solutions to solve the problem ..
Currently I am not sure wether all this is true or is more like “panic of parents and friends”; there are may be other reasons for a young boy to get missed in a big city like Berlin, but …
In the next days I will try to contact the police agency working on this case in order to see wether we can give them some informations and to see wether this is a serious case out of their view.
My first question is wether you have heard something on this case by random. My second question is wether you see in general a chance to (try to) get some informations based on your contacts if this case really becomes serious.
From: Andreas Rudloff [mailto:arudloff@KirchGruppe.DE]
Sent: 04 November 1998 22:50
To: ‘Adams, Ray’
Subject: visit to B…
at Friday I have an appointment in the Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Criminal Agency) in Wiesbaden for talking on piracy and Boris. I tell them the story as far as I know it with reference to a “professional european colleague”. If they are really interested in this case, should I propose a meeting with you (better formulated: If they ask for a meeting, should I answer: “good chances”)? Is there something additionally I should tell them?
. . . .
Note: This Blog material is written to be read and understood in the context of the book Murdoch’s Pirates. It is exploratory material and thus no firm inferences are capable of being drawn, nor should they be drawn, from this.