The King Who Never Was is a Netflix documentary series that focuses on Vittorio Emanuele, the last heir to the throne of Italy from the House of Savoy. While Vittorio Emanuele comes from a prominent royal lineage, his life has been marred by various scandals. These include his controversial self-proclamation as king, his espousal of antisemitic beliefs, and his alleged involvement in sex trafficking and the murder case of a 19-year-old named Dirk Hamer. The series delves deep into the disturbing incident surrounding Dirk Hamer’s murder, which left his family traumatized and motivated Dirk’s sister, Birgit, to seek justice. However, Birgit soon found herself engaged in a daunting battle against the powerful force of Vittorio Emanuele, who, backed by his wealth and alliances, managed to evade judicial consequences for his actions.
Was Birgit Hamer Successful In Bringing Justice For Her Brother’s Death?
Birgit Hamer, a former German model and actress, was a young and beautiful woman in her prime. She won the Miss Germany title in 1976 and had aspirations of becoming an actress. Before her life took a tragic turn, she had also done filming for a French movie. In the summer of 1978, Birgit was invited by two of her friends, who were part of a glamorous group of young adults from Italy. Accompanying Birgit was her younger brother, Dirk, who was just 19 years old at the time. The group embarked on a boat trip to the island of Cavallo, but their youthful exuberance which had created some noise, disturbed the peace of Vittorio Emanuele, who happened to be residing on the island. The group had also borrowed a dinghy attached to Emanuele’s boat to transport themselves to a restaurant and back. Emanuele grew frustrated with their presence on the island and impulsively made a rash decision. Later that night, when he couldn’t find his dinghy, Emanuele caused a commotion and pulled out his rifle, aiming it at one of the young men, Nicky Pende.
However, before Emanuele could gun him down, Nicky managed to evade the bullet and jump into the water, pulling Vittorio along with him. Unfortunately, Emanuele had already fired two gunshots, one of which struck Dirk Hamer in the stomach, shattering the nearby window of a boat. Upon waking up and discovering her brother’s severe bleeding, Birgit rushed him to the hospital. Despite the doctors’ relentless efforts and 19 difficult surgeries, Dirk ultimately succumbed to his fatal wound, leaving the Hamer family utterly devastated. Distraught by the tragic loss of her brother, Birgit Hamer was overcome with anger. During her brother’s funeral, she expressed her fury by removing a ring from her finger and throwing it into his grave. In that solemn moment, she made a vow to herself and her brother’s soul that she would fight tirelessly for justice.
Birgit had always possessed a courageous spirit and the determination to emerge stronger from difficulties. Despite the trauma she endured, she developed a strong defense mechanism to cope with her pain and sought distractions to occupy her mind. However, her goal of seeking justice remained at the forefront of her thoughts. Her ultimate desire was to see the untitled prince held accountable and imprisoned forever. Yet she soon discovered that she had become entangled in a power battle. Although Vittorio was initially incarcerated, he was later released, leaving Birgit frustrated and disheartened.
In an effort to support herself and gather funds to hire a lawyer for her lawsuit against the prince, Birgit traveled to Paris to continue her career as a model. However, in the midst of her pursuit of justice, her family had to endure harsh criticism and judgment from others. Birgit’s father, Ryke Geerd Hamer, was a doctor who specialized in oncology and developed controversial alternative medicines in Germany. These treatments created complications rather than providing effective solutions for cancer patients. During this time, Vittorio’s wife, Marina, made claims that the Hamer family had engaged in a transactional agreement with the Savoy family. On the other hand, Birgit’s mother argued that they had indeed requested financial assistance from Vittorio Emanuele, but it was before their son’s tragic passing and intended for his medical treatment. However, Birgit strongly opposed the idea of seeking and accepting money from the royal family, viewing it as making a pact with the devil. She held firm to her principles and refused to negotiate with the perpetrator of her brother’s murder.
Birgit faced numerous obstacles in her pursuit of justice, with many lawyers deeming her case “impossible” due to their fear of dealing with the royal family. As an ordinary woman, she struggled to find legal representation and witnessed corruption among some lawyers, including one who demanded she sleep with him. These experiences shattered her spirit.
However, in 1991, Birgit finally met a female lawyer who agreed to take on her case. For thirty years, Birgit tirelessly filed lawsuits against Prince Vittorio Emanuele, and eventually, she succeeded in bringing him to court in handcuffs at the Assize Court of Paris. Seeing him in restraints momentarily gave Birgit a sense of victory. But her hopes were dashed when Vittorio’s lawyer, Isalobella, presented a new narrative involving another firearm belonging to a young man from the group.
To make matters worse, crucial evidence supporting Vittorio’s guilt disappeared. The handwritten confession letter from Vittorio, admitting his involvement in Dirk’s death, vanished, and the doctor who initially treated Dirk stated that the gunshot wound did not implicate Vittorio. All the evidence that could have potentially put Vittorio behind bars had vanished, leaving no chance for Birgit to prove his guilt in the murder case. Ultimately, Vittorio Emanuele was acquitted of all incriminating charges related to Dirk’s murder, receiving parole only for the illegal possession of firearms. He became a free man once again, shattering all of Birgit’s hopes. During this time, Birgit had already become a mother to her first daughter, but her husband abandoned them after their second daughter was born. Despite facing a series of tragedies, Birgit remained resilient, raising her two daughters on her own.
However, there was still a glimmer of hope in Birgit’s journey for justice. A video recording emerged, purportedly containing Vittorio’s confession about shooting Dirk. While Vittorio denied making such statements, Birgit and others found the recording believable. She tried to reopen the case with the video as evidence, but the court refused to do so, declaring that the case would not be reopened. Despite Birgit’s relentless efforts, Vittorio Emanuele managed to evade accountability for his heinous crime, highlighting the extent of his power and influence over the authorities. As a member of a royal family, he held significant power, while Birgit’s brother became a tragic victim of this abuse of power. Birgit dedicated a substantial portion of her life to seeking justice, although ultimately, she was unable to achieve it. However, she found solace in the fact that, through the documentary, the truth about the last heir of the Savoy Family would be revealed to the world.