On August 14, 1989, everything seemed perfectly ordinary for Birgit Meier and her loved ones, that is, until she went missing without a trace left behind. There were a few things notably amiss on the 41-year-old’s property when investigations began the following day, yet nothing concrete ever came to light. Thus, as explored on ‘Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier,’ like it usually happens in any such matter, the suspicion started being directed towards her separated husband, Harald Meier. So now, if you wish to know more about him, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Harald Meier?
Harald Meier was just a typesetter for a small newspaper when he met trainee photographer Birgit and felt a deep connection. Their conversations were warm and friendly, which led to the start of a relationship and the conceivement of their daughter, Yasmine. Taking their unexpected situation and the social standards into consideration, they ended up tying the knot more out of compulsion than love. After all, at 22, an ambitious Harald wanted to do much more with his life, meaning that he inadvertently neglected his kind wife (two years his younger) and their daughter.
Harald co-founded Datacolor, a media solutions company, in 1978 to become an incredibly successful businessman. His professional life was going great by all accounts, but even though Birgit worked in the firm to be financially independent as well, it wasn’t the kind of marriage he had ever desired. Hence, by the mid-1980s, Harald had left his wife and moved into a separate apartment. Birgit had turned to alcohol to cope as per the limited series, which led to a couple of disturbing incidents – especially after she learned that he had found a girlfriend – yet he understood their complex situation and let things go.
About eight months before Birgit’s disappearance, Harold’s printing press burned down from an alleged cleaning accident, resulting in a financial loss of nearly 9 million DM, most of which was seemingly covered by insurance. Around that same time, according to the Netflix original, an alcoholic Birgit told people that she had documents that could take down her husband for good. Plus, on the day she went missing, she and Harald had met to discuss their upcoming divorce proceedings, where he was set to pay her a settlement. All this was deemed as a motive, but the millionaire always maintained his innocence.
Where is Harald Meier Now?
Harald Meier’s settlement amount towards Birgit was relatively small compared to his overall wealth, and there has never been any proof of insurance fraud against him. Moreover, despite everything that was said and done, not only had they managed to be civil, but he also cared about her well-being. That much was evident from the transcripts of his police interrogation, his public appearances and private efforts to aid her search, and his continued communication with her family. Yet, Harald lived under a dark cloud of utter suspicion for almost three decades, which sometimes follows his path even today.
Considering everything he has been through, it’s not surprising that Harald Meier prefers to lead his life away from the spotlight these days. The German entrepreneur still seems to be in a comfortable position due to his hard work over the years, but the one thing that continues to eat at him is (needless) guilt. Apart from the trauma of public speculation, some days are especially hard for Harald because he thinks he could have prevented the tragic occurrence. “If I could undo everything, I wouldn’t have left my wife. Because the price of leaving her was ultimately her death,” he said in the Netflix original, as if he could be responsible for someone else’s actions when that’s not true.
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