Jeremiah Duggan's father opens 60th birthday card from son - 12 years after his death
PUBLISHED: 16:40 22 May 2015 | UPDATED: 16:40 22 May 2015
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The father of a Golders Green student who died in Germany in 2003 after becoming involved with a far-right cult has finally opened a birthday card sent from his son just before his death.
Jeremiah Duggan had written a card for his father’s 60th birthday, which has remained unopened for 12 years.
The last time Hugo Duggan spoke to his son was during a telephone call at his 60th birthday party on March 22, 2003.
Tragically he was not to know that five days later Jeremiah would die on an autobahn in Wiesbaden, Germany.
German authorities said at the time that Jeremiah had killed himself but his family has always insisted Jeremiah was in “mortal danger” and trying to escape from far-right organisation LaRouche at the time of his death.
"‘Dear Dad, wishing you the happiest of birthdays. Hope this card will make you feel at home. Lots of love, Jeremiah’... Well there. That was worth waiting for."
He had phoned his mother about 40minutes before he died, telling her he was in “deep, deep trouble” and his family believe he was in a state of “psychological terror”.
His father chose not to open that final birthday card in the horrific aftermath of his son’s death, as the family took up a decade-long fight for justice.
But yesterday, following a new UK inquest, coroner Andrew Walker said Jeremiah’s death was not suicide and that his involvement with the LaRouche youth movement may have “had a bearing on his death”.
After the important finding his father said the time was finally right to read the card at a conference on far-right cults held by the family today.
As he opened the red envelope, Mr Duggan exclaimed with delight: “It’s a lighthouse. My father and grandfather and great-grandfather were lighthouse keepers.”
With teary eyes he read the words inside: “Dear Dad, wishing you the happiest of birthdays. Hope this card will make you feel at home. Lots of love, Jeremiah”
His father added: “Well there. That was worth waiting for.”
Mr Duggan said that while disappointed with some aspects of the coroner’s narrative verdict, which Jeremiah’s mother Erica Duggan described as “wishy-washy”, he was glad that, for the first time, LaRouche has been officially mentioned in relation to Jeremiah’s death.
The family are today hosting a conference, Cults, Racism, Doublespeak And The Search For Justice, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields to raise awareness of the threat cults and far-right organisations pose to young people.