Peter was born in Cluj-Napoca, in Transylvania, in 1954. He was considered by some to be the Bruce Springsteen of Romania. Compact was formed in Cluj-Napoca in 1977. Teo Peter had a brother, Dorian, and a son, Teo Peter Jr.
Peter was killed in a traffic accident at 4:30am on December 4, 2004 when 31-year-old U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Christopher Van Goethem serving as a Marine Security Guard at the U.S. embassy in Bucharest, while driving his Ford Expedition, collided with a taxi carrying Peter. Van Goethem did not obey a traffic signal to stop, which resulted in the collision. Peter was buried on December 7 in Mănăştur Cemetery, in his native Cluj-Napoca.
Van Goethem's blood alcohol content was estimated at 0.09% from a breathalyzer test, but he refused to give a blood sample for further testing and left for Germany before charges could be filed in Romania. The Romanian government requested the American government lift his diplomatic immunity, which it has refused to do. The Marine was later cleared by a court martial of both manslaughter and adultery while convicted for obstruction of justice and making false statements.
In August 2011, Wikileaks revealed in a "cable leak" that the US ambassador was promised repeatedly "that the former detachment commander would receive a fair trial and, regardless of outcome, would not serve a single day in prison in Romania."
Peter's death and Van Goethem's court martial were very controversial and led to protests from Romanians in the United States.
In 2005, the U.S. Embassy announced the establishment of a memorial commemorating the life and work of Teo Peter. The memorial is an annual professional visit program awarded to a distinguished Romanian cultural figure whose work addresses young people or helps to advance the careers of new artists and performers.
- A Thorn in Bush’s Side | Newsweek International | Newsweek.com
- USEU : Article
- Diaspora Romaneasca - Diverse
- Press Release
- Press Releases-PRESS RELEASE
- "VanGoethem cleared of major charges in Romanian’s death". Stars and Stripes. February 1, 2006.
- Wikileaks cable leak - 05BUCHAREST742, SCENESETTER FOR DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE ZOELLICK'S MARCH 30 VISIT TO BUCHAREST
- A Thorn in Bush's Side | Newsweek International | Newsweek.com
- Press Release | United States Embassy to Bucharest, Romania