A few days ago the Dutch forensics community – indeed, the wider forensics community – lost one of its founding fathers, Harry Onderwater.
Having worked for many years for the Dutch police in Amsterdam, Harry then moved to the Centrale Recherche Informatie Dienst (National Criminal Intelligence Service) where he became one of the first investigators in the newly emerging field of computer crime, building a reputation for excellence not just in the Netherlands but also further afield throughout Europe and the USA. Later in his career he became Corporate Security Manager at KPMG in the Netherlands where he also played a leading role in digital forensics.
It is difficult to describe Harry without resorting to cliché, but he truly was a larger than life character. Behind his imposing physical presence – which must surely have worked to his advantage in his many years on the force – lay a consummate professional and gentleman. Kind hearted, generous and possessing a wonderful sense of humour, Harry was always a joy to deal with. To the vast majority of those who met Harry through work, there is little doubt he will be remembered first and foremost as a friend rather than a colleague.
On a personal note, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Harry’s family and close friends. He has left us all too soon and will be deeply missed.
Bedankt, Harry, voor alles.