In a year, their grief had been like a too heavy blanket over her. A sadness she couldn’t share with anyone, and which was connected with feelings of shame and guilt. Anyway, she went with a trembling heart and shaking legs to the day of remembrance, as the Red Cross had arranged.
“Each table had to tell who they were. As the trip came to mit, I stood up and said ‘here, so the murderer’s wife’. I had accustomed myself so much to it, I might as well be able to use it.”
for a period of 30 years, but the memories have burned themselves stuck inside the 71-year-old Jette Andersen.
the Memories about the time her husband was on the front page of all the country’s newspapers, was hung out of the police in the three scandinavian countries, as him who was the cause of that 158 people had lost their lives on board of the ‘Scandinavian Star’.
‘Pyromanen’ he was called in the newspapers ‘ spisesedler. With big bold letters.
Erik Mørk Andersen, as her husband was called, could not defend themselves. He was himself perished in the fire. Was victim number 159. So Jette Andersen was left alone. Even with two children. As ‘pyromancer’s widow’. The killer’s wife.
But where the other survivors be able to comfort each other, had Jette Andersen no one to go to. At least no one who would comfort. The friends fled like rats from a sinking ship.
“I lived for closed curtains all the time. People stood and pointed into the apartment,” she remembers.
But people did not to point fingers. Other residents put the notes up in the laundry room. Wrote that the murderer’s wife had to be away. Threw the clippings from the newspapers in her mailbox.
“I was completely down in the kulkælderen, could not find out anything,” she says and continues:
“It was as if every time people didn’t know how to deal with me, they could just say ‘yes, but you are also the murderer’s wife’. And so patted I in.”
she is alive today, thank the she his middle son. It was him that held her up. But what he and his little brother did not know, was that Jette Andersen not only had the grief to process. Also the uncertainty.
‘Can it be him?’ she thought again and again.
“because he had done something once. And there he went into and lay down to sleep afterwards,” she says about the arson, as her husband was previously convicted of.
“It was running around in my head me. And many times scolded myself out, thinking ‘where are you mean to him’. Other times I thought ‘I wish I had been with on the trip, so I also could be dead. It is not a life’.”
By the Red Cross-the day of remembrance, a older gentleman up. Defended her, included her in the common sorrow. They had all lost, he said. It touched her deeply.
But the doubt gnawing regularly in her for many years. And only in 2014 could Jette Andersen release it for real.
“That he was acquitted by the police,” says Jette Andersen, who is also involved in Monday night’s episode of the documentary ‘Scandinavian Star’, which just refers to the police’s stubborn focus on Erik Mørk Andersen as the culprit. Which are therefore held at in 24 years.
To be the ‘killer wife’ have not been free of Jette Andersen. Just like all the other survivors, it has drawn appreciable tracks through the years.
“I live a very lonely, is a alone man. I can’t manage to be together with many people,” says Jette Andersen, who never has found a new man, and which in 2004 chose to move from the apartment the couple had shared.
“I could not bear to stay there anymore,” she says about the memories that were stuck in the apartment walls.
“It was only after I moved here, that I dared to stand up. For now was a clean slate. But I must honestly admit that I was nervous when I gave my first interview. What to say to the people out here for it? I thought.”
“But they were so friendly. ‘It may well be that your husband was accused of something, but out here you just Jette. And if there will be something, we’ll protect you’. It was just before that I was in tears of joy.”
With the documentary about the ‘Scandinavian Star’ is Jette Andersen again visible. But this time release the she of past feelings of shame and guilt, although she is still struggling to get cleansed her husband’s name and seek compensation on his behalf. Something that seems to have a long wait.
Recently she got in 2017, the refusal from the supreme court.
Despite the adversity, the is Jette Andersen grateful that she was not the ‘killer wife’. She lives and is of good courage. But:
“the Grief was really difficult to handle, and you are not really entirely come of it, even though it is almost 30 years ago. He is actually going on still inside of me. I have never said proper goodbye,” she says quietly over the phone.
the Documentary about the ‘Scandinavian Star’ will be sent every Monday on the DR1, and can be seen on the dr.tv