'Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier’ takeaway

Still from Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier (Image via Youtube/ Netflix Deutschland, Österreich und Schweiz)
Still from Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier (Image via Youtube/ Netflix Deutschland, Österreich und Schweiz)

For true crime fans, Netflix has come up with a holiday treat. Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier was released on the platform on 26 November 2021. It is a German docuseries about the real life disappearance of Birgit Meiers and the 31-year-long investigation that ensued thereafter.

The four-part limited series can be watched in a day and keeps viewers gripped. One could just Google the mystery, but that wouldn't be nearly as enthralling as the Netflix docuseries' narrative. While the series is in German, English audio and subtitles are available for non-German speakers.


'Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier' synopsis

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Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier features Birgit's family members, friends, and law enforcement personnel who take the viewers through the tenacious investigation of her disappearance. Her brother, Wolfgang Sielaff, the former head of the Criminal Investigation Department in Hamburg, Germany, is the reason the case could be resolved.

On 14 August 1989, 41-year-old Birgit went missing from Lüneburg, Germany and it was hard for her family to digest that she would take such action on purpose. Police initially believed it to be a case of suicide and later identified her husband Harald, who was about to divorce her, as the prime suspect. Wolfgang, however, believed that she was the victim of a brutal crime.

In 1993, Kurt-Werner Wichmann was discovered as a suspect in the case, and upon searching his house, the Lüneburg police found some appalling evidence. He was, however, never questioned as he committed suicide in police custody.

Frustrated with the police's blunders, Wolfgang led his own investigation into the case and eventually unearthed Birgit's remains inside Wichmann's garage in 2017. She was killed after being shot in the head and there was no way of knowing how long she had to suffer before her death.


Is delayed justice still justice?

As the old adage goes, "Justice delayed is justice denied." After 31 years, Birgit's family found closure, but whether they got justice remains up in the air. The final episode of Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier also revealed that Wichmann possibly had 400 victims other than Birgit.

While Wolfgang's status and profession allowed him to dig deeper into his sister's disappearance, most other families would probably never find closure.

There was a deplorable rise in serial killers in the USA during the 1970s that led to the establishment of the FBI's behavioral science unit. The FBI's prompt action and investigation into this absurd category of killers allowed them to catch most of them and prevent more crimes.

Kurt-Werner Wichmann also seems like a psychopathic serial killer from the description provided in the docuseries. The German police's lack of experience and insight into this realm probably led to such a delayed resolution of the case.

The docuseries also highlights police blunders and nonchalance with regards to a single woman's disappearance. The attitude isn't entirely foreign in the present either. Her brother being a law enforcer brought closure to Birgit's case, but the majority of families who witness such crimes do not have the same privilege.

As Wolfgang said at the end of the series, such families are also victims of the perpetrator. They have to live with the loss and are haunted by the memories of the crime forever. So Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier hints at the need for effective police duty to bring justice to more such families.

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