Haunted by a convicted Nazi killer in their midst, Germans re-examine wartime murders

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Heinrich Boere's first victim was a pharmacist. Two more victims would follow on a single day, one gunned down at point-blank range in his doorway, the other on the road.

And although the killing spree happened in 1944, a footnote to the far greater carnage raging across World War II Europe, it still haunts Germany and Holland, leaving a sense of justice denied by dueling court systems despite the continent's long march to unity and harmonized institutions.

Boere was part of a Waffen SS death squad mostly of Dutch volunteers tasked with killing fellow countrymen in reprisal for attacks by the anti-Nazi resistance. Boere, who lives in Germany, is among more than 1,000 cases worldwide which the Nazi-tracking Simon Wiesenthal Center says are still open as of April 1, 2007.

Though he was sentenced to death in the Netherlands in 1949 — later commuted to life imprisonment — Boere has managed to escape jail so far. One German court has refused to extradite him because he might have German nationality as well as Dutch. Another won't make him serve his Dutch sentence in a German prison because he was absent from his trial, having fled to Germany.

Now, The Associated Press has learned, a German investigator has quietly reopened the case in a last-ditch attempt to bring charges against the 86-year-old Boere and see that he faces justice.

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