Wednesday, May 14 2014 @ 08:11 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Apparently Javier Martin might have been planning to kill this captain first, before he changed his sights to Jean Pierre Bouhard and his catamaran the "Levante." He writes "I had pure luck, as Javier Martin was invited for dinner on my Catamarán on January 28th, 3 days before Jean-Pierre- was killed, as my Catamarán was his first choice and luckily were 7 persons on board- so he did not risk to pull his gun and kill me and my girlfrien, as he might haf planned...." Probably a true and accurate assessment. Javier Martin had already killed Don North, but his sailboat the "Windancer" was too small to be used to profitably ferry backpackers from the San Blas islands of Panama to Cartagena, Colombia. Javier Martin wanted a much larger boat - such as Jean Pierre Bouhard's catamaran the "Levante" - to be able to cram in 20 or more backpackers at a shot.
The comment continues: "Today: Ludwig, the Captain of Stahlratte still thinks that Javier Martin is innocent, and the "MAFIA" trickt the murders, so he might accept bookings of his old friend. I cannot think that any other Backpackerboat would cooperate."
Well, that changes everything. I was working under the assumption Ludwig Hoffman and his "Stahlratte" (Steel Rat) boat was an unwitting accomplice. Meaning, I gave him the benefit of the doubt when writing the first article. But apparently, according to this one sailboat captain, Ludwig Hoffman still believes Javier Martin to be innocent and he's willing to continue to take the referrals Javier Martin sends to him, from inside of his cell in Panama's notorious La Joya prison.
I have tried several times to communicate directly with Ludwig Hoffman via telephone, to confirm this. I just dialed all of the telephone numbers I have for him, and all of them went to voice mail. I have not been able to speak with him directly, yet. I'm sure sooner or later he'll surface.
In the meantime, anyone out there who's thinking about booking a trip on a sailboat from the San Blas islands in Panama to Colombia should be aware who they're dealing with. The Panamanian government is notoriously lax and absent, when it comes to oversight, regulations, the enforcement of the few regulations that actually do exist, and safety inspections of the boats themselves. I am forced to call into question the judgement of Ludwig Hoffman, the captain of the "Stahlratte" (Steel Rat), because if he's capable of making the fundamental mistake of believing Javier Martin to be innocent, then he's also probably capable of making a whole list of equally poor decisions when it comes to safety and sailing. Based on that alone, at this point I would recommend that travelers might want to steer clear and simply choose another boat. And then of course, if he's helping Javier Martin - the serial killer who shot two expat sailboat captains in the head and threw their bodies into the ocean - then screw that dude. Take your backpacking business somewhere else...
I was there when the Panamanian DIJ detectives, prosecutors, investigators from the Public Ministry, forensics specialists, and FBI agents recovered and examined the piles of evidence found in Javier Martin's tent on Isla Chichemé in the San Blas islands. Basically, it was all of the valuables Javier Martin stripped from the "Windancer" after he shot Don North in the head and threw his body into the ocean. I sat on the dock as the sun went down, and watched the DIJ investigators as they used Luminol to search for the existence of human blood evidence inside of the cabin of Don North's "Windancer." In fact they found a lot of blood spatter evidence, and were able to take a DNA sample and match it to Ezra North, Don North's nephew. Martin used Don North's credit cards at an ATM machine in Colon, stealing money from a dead man. He checked into a hostel in the Darien using Don North's passport, under the name of "Don North" as he was preparing to flee Panama overland, towards Colombia to avoid capture. There is a witness who saw Javier Martin piloting Jean Pierre Bouhard's catamaran the "Levante" - on the very day Martin shot and killed Bouhard, wrapped his body with anchor chains, and threw it into the ocean. A few days after he was murdered, Bouhard's body floated to the surface near Portobelo and was found by scuba divers.
In short, if Ludwig Hoffman thinks Javier Martin is innocent - he's practically an accomplice. Either that, or he's incredibly stupid (or exceptionally gullible) and willing to ignore the facts, truth, and evidence. No matter what, don't get on his boat. Or at the very least, question his judgement.
Why in the name of God would anyone willingly support or defend the serial killer Javier Martin? I just don't get it...
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