CBS Local — A former FBI agent is trying to solve a World War II mystery that has remained unanswered for over 70 years: who betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis?
According to a report from The Guardian, retired agent Vince Pankoke is leading a team of 19 forensic experts who are using new investigative technology to attempt to discover how Frank was found hiding in a warehouse in 1944.
“We are not trying to point fingers or prosecute. I am just trying to solve the last case of my career. There is no statute of limitation on the truth,” Pankoke said.
The investigators are reportedly looking to compile a master list of Nazi collaborators, informants, and historical documents in the hope of uncovering a new lead in the case.
“We are going to load every piece of data we can find from the time period,” Pankoke added. “There is so much information that is out there that has never been looked at.”
Anne Frank was killed in a concentration camp at the age of 15. Her famous diary, which she kept while in hiding, was preserved by a family friend and later published by her father in 1947. The diary has been translated into over 60 languages with over 30 million copies sold worldwide.
The former agent and his team are relying on the famous teen’s admirers to help their cause. Pankoke’s investigation is being paid for through a crowd-sourced fundraiser that may need as much as $5 million to complete the research.
The director of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam says he is anxious to see if new science can identity a suspect that may have informed the Gestapo of Frank and her family’s hiding place.
“We are pleased that Cold Case Diary is also carrying out research into the arrest and following new leads, and we are interested to see the results,” museum director Ronald Leopold said.
The team is aiming to finish their investigation by Aug. 4, 2019, the 75th anniversary of the arrest of Anne Frank.