South Africa, known for gold, diamonds, apartheid and Nelson Mandela; is popular in the gay community for many reasons. First, it’s the only country in Africa where GLBT are protected by the law and allowed to marry, with all the well-known tax and other benefits that comes with it. It’s also given us some fabulous porn stars such as Kurt Rogers and Jason Kingsley (yes, the link is SFW). On the other hand, it has become infamous for its high frequency of violence against lesbians and now, the violent murder of gay men. South Africa is actually the country with the second highest number of serial killers (after the United States) according to South African profiler M. Pistorius. The information available on these crimes suggest that they are the work of a serial killer and even more worrying is that the police do not seem any closer to catching him after three years and the killing spree shows no signs of abating.
The murders began with Manoulis Veloudis in April 2010, whose case suffered mismanagement at the hands of the police as they lost the surveillance video footage showing the killer and victim. A suspect was arrested but later released since his DNA did not match the sample found at the crime scene. So far three suspects have been arrested and all released.
Since then there have been seven more cases and the ninth victim, Prof Carl Mischke, was discovered on April 15th, 2013 in his Northwood home where his body was found hidden under a duvet by his housekeeper. All victims were found bound and murdered in similar circumstances in their homes – all in Gauteng, a province of South Africa in which Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, lies. All victims apparently invited the killer(s) inside and it seems meetings between victim and killer may have been arranged via gay networking sites. So far, the police cannot be certain the killings were all committed by one person/group but has admitted that at least 4 of the murders were committed by the same person Although some items were taken from the victims’ homes, it does not appear the primary motive in any of the murders was robbery. The police have been accused by gay rights activists of being slow to investigate and follow leads because of the victims were gay.
I keep thinking of the unnecessary suffering these men had to go through before dying. Online gayting truly isn’t safe anywhere. I hope that wherever they are, they are at peace.
The full list of victims:
- Manolis Veloudos in April 2010
- Jim Cathels in Berea in December 2010
- Oscar O’Hara (33) in May 2011
- A 47-year-old unnamed landlord in Northcliff in August 2011
- Siphiwe Selby Nhlapo (36) in Soweto in September 2011
- Barney van Heerden (39) in Orange Grove, also in September 2011
- HIV and AIDS activist and television presenter Jason Wessenaar (39) in his Pretoria West home in December 2011
- Rulov Seneval in February 2012
- Carl Mischke (47) in his home in Norwood in April 2013
Edit: A 29 year old male was arrested on 18th April, 2013 in connection with the murders. He was in possession of Carl Mischke’s clothes.