When Birgit Meier suddenly disappeared in August 1989, her family began a desperate search that didn’t end until 30 years later. The missing woman’s brother – none other than the head of the Hamburg State Criminal Investigation Office, Wolfgang Sielaff – makes it his life’s mission to solve his sister’s fate. The 4-part Netflix Original Series, DIG DEEPER – DAS VERSCHWINDEN VON BIRGIT MEIER tells the story, as true as it is inconceivable, of a crime that could only be solved through the tenacity of a man who stood up to the failure of state police work.
In 2003, Wolfgang Sielaff retires and assembles a team of former companions and retired investigators – psychologists, forensic experts, lawyers. The best in their respective fields. Together, over many years, they privately investigate and discover that Birgit’s disappearance is just the tip of the iceberg. In the team’s sights is Birgit Meier’s gardener – Kurt Werner Wichmann – who they discover, has a long and brfautal criminal record, and that the police had already found his secret, soundproof room full of weapons in 1993. They come to realise that Wichmann may be the most dangerous serial killer in post-war German history. At the time, cadaver-sniffing dogs struck all over the gardener’s property, and investigators found an entire car buried in the garden. But before police could question Wichmann about Birgit, he hanged himself in custody. All investigations were then discontinued, and the case was shelved, because according to German law, dead people cannot be investigated.
When Sielaff gained access to his sister’s files in 2003, he was shocked – all evidence had been destroyed. Sielaff repeatedly came across scandalous police failures. But the group’s private investigation finally brought to light a handcuff that survived the destruction of the evidence from Wichmann’s secret room. On it: a drop of blood that brings the team a big step closer to solving the case. For Wolfgang Sielaff, it’s clear he will not stop looking until he finds an answer to the most pressing question in his life: “Where is Birgit?”
In the documentary series; witnesses, relatives, former investigators, and victims who have never spoken out about the Birgit Meier case are being interviewed. In poetic images and with unseen archive footage until today, director Nicolas Steiner paints a sensitive picture of our society, in which the rights of relatives and victims still seem to count for less than those of the perpetrator and in which bureaucracy and police failure make finding the truth a matter for the private individual.
A Netflix Docuseries – A Looksfilm production
Author & Director