John lennon’s last diary ends on 8. December 1980. The entry from this day concerns an appointment with star photographer annie leibovitz. On that day, a famous picture is created of the naked lennon lying and embracing his clothed wife yoko ono.
In the evening of the same day lennon is dead, shot in front of his apartment building. The entry can now be read at the berlin police station, where the diary has been kept since the summer.
It belongs to a rough find of stolen property, which was stolen from yoko ono (84), the widow of lennon – at the latest in 2006. More than 100 objects now reappear in berlin. Some special pieces were proudly presented by police and prosecutors on tuesday.
Among them are two more diaries from the years 1975 and 1979. Besides, two nickel glasses so typical for lennon. One with the prescription of a new york optician from 12. May 1978. The name of the recipient is still clearly legible on the brown slip of paper.
Stolen and recovered were also a music book, among other things with the songs "woman" and "just like starting over", the original tape of a recording of a beatles concert from the 30. August 1965, contract documents, a music award from 1980, a cigarette case with ten gitane cigarettes and a school booklet from the city of liverpool from 1952. In addition, there are various postcards, notes, bills and everyday objects.
In july, the insolvency administrator of an auction house had informed the police about 86 items that were in the premises and were assigned to john lennon. The criminal police investigated, informed the public prosecutor’s office and questioned witnesses. First they wanted to make sure the items were genuine, said michael von hagen, deputy director of the berlin public prosecutor’s office. Even the strength of the lenses indicated on the prescription has been compared with lennon’s values. "And we had to know: are they possibly things that were given away by the widow?."
So the investigators contacted yoko ono’s lawyer and flew to new york in the fall with some of the items and many photos. In the german consulate general they met ono. The prosecutor susann wettley said: "she was very emotional and you could clearly see that she was attached to these objects and naturally wanted to get them back."
In berlin, experts of the LKA department 444, the commissariat for stolen art, concentrated on investigations against the suspected fence, from whom the items went to the auction house at the beginning of 2014.
On monday morning, the investigators then searched a house, a store and a pizzeria of the suspect. To their great surprise they found a folder with further material of lennon in the spare wheel box of a car of the suspect. The suspected fence, a 58-year-old german of turkish origin, is now in custody under investigation.
The alleged thief is a turk who worked as a chauffeur for yoko ono in new york from 1995 to 2006 and now lives in turkey. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail in new york in 2007 for secretly taking photos in ono’s apartment in the dakota building.
Berlin investigators suspect he stole items from rough apartment one by one. The thefts were probably not noticed right away. According to prosecutors, lennon also possessed, among other things, many pairs of glasses and a whole collection of watches that were still in the rooms where many of yoko ono’s staff frequented.
In the next few years, the objects went first to turkey and then, in 2013 or 2014, to berlin. However, the sale did not work out in the following years. According to an appraisal by the auction house, the value should be 3.1 million euros. How much money was actually lost in an illegal sale, however, is unclear, according to prosecutors and police.
Already at the end of 2013, one of the two suspects is said to have sold a stolen watch by lennon through the auction house for 600,000 euros, as carsten pfohl of the state criminal investigation office said. The watch with a personal dedication had ono given her husband for his last birthday two months before his death. Whether the buyer will have to reissue the watch is still being determined.
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