Teo Peter

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Teo Peter in 1995

Teofil Nelu Peter (11 April 1954 – 4 December 2004) was a Romanian rock musician and bass player for Compact.

Peter was born in Cluj-Napoca,[1] in Romania, in 1954. Compact was formed in Cluj-Napoca in 1977. Teo Peter had a brother, Dorin,[2] and a son, Teo Peter Jr.


Peter was killed in a traffic collision at 04:30 on 4 December 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,[3] 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 7 December in Mănăştur Cemetery, in his native Cluj-Napoca.[4]

Although Van Goethem had admitted to drinking about three and a half beers over the course of the evening, tests of his blood returned negative for both alcohol and drugs,[5] and he fled to Germany[6] before charges could be filed in Romania. The Romanian government requested the American government lift his diplomatic immunity,[7] 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.[5]

Peter's death and Van Goethem's court martial were very controversial and led to protests from Romanians[8] in the United States.

In 2005, the U.S. Embassy announced the establishment of a memorial commemorating the life and work of Teo Peter.[9] 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Compact. cat-music.ro
  2. ^ A Thorn in Bush’s Side. Newsweek International
  3. ^ USEU : Article
  4. ^ Diaspora Romaneasca – Diverse. Diasporaro.com (16 December 2004). Retrieved on 2016-10-18.
  5. ^ a b "VanGoethem cleared of major charges in Romanian's death". Stars and Stripes. 1 February 2006.
  6. ^ STATEMENT FOR THE PRESS ON THE ACCIDENT THAT TOOK THE LIFE OF TEO PETER. United States Embassy to Bucharest, Romania (4 December 2004)
  7. ^ Press Releases-PRESS RELEASE[dead link]
  8. ^ Katie Paul (1 April 2008) A Thorn in Bush's Side. Newsweek International. Retrieved on 18 October 2016.
  9. ^ U.S. EMBASSY NAMES MR. MIHAI BABUSKA AS FIRST “TEO PETER MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL VISITOR”. United States Embassy to Bucharest, Romania (16 June 2005)