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A Green Point guesthouse owner who dedicated her time to caring for the less fortunate died as a direct result of her commitment to helping homeless people, says her distraught daughter.
This emerged yesterday after the man accused of killing Jacqueline Crittenden shot himself in the head at a house in Tamboerskloof.
Crittenden, 58, died in hospital on Thursday after she was shot in the face, allegedly by 48-year-old Michael Geoffrey Else, who had done odd jobs at the guesthouse in exchange for shelter or food.
Crittenden was found unconscious in her hallway with a bullet wound in her head by her only daughter, Janet Chadwick.
Chadwick said it appeared her mother had been attacked in her bed and that she had been shot in the eye.
She said it looked as though her mother had got out of bed and tried to go to the bathroom to clean herself up and had attempted to mop up the blood with a towel before she had collapsed in a coma.
“When I found her, she was still breathing,” she said.
Chadwick said her mother and Else were not friends and that they had had a verbal altercation a few months back.
She said her mother would often make a cosy sleeping area on the deck at the house for Else, when he did not have a place to sleep.
Chadwick said she was surprised to hear from her mother, whom she spoke to every day, that Else had been at the house on Tuesday, as he had not been there for a long time.
“He had pitched up unexpectedly on Tuesday as he told my mom he wanted to finish off the outstanding things he’d left undone,” she said.
Chadwick said it was with the help of one of the many homeless people her mother had helped that police were able to close in on Else.
He was found at a house in Tamboerskloof yesterday.
Provincial police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander confirmed that at around 9am police were alerted to a shooting incident on the corner of Hillside and Tamboerskloof roads.
Police found Else had shot himself with a revolver.
Emergency personnel tried to resuscitate Else, who was taken to Groote Schuur Hospital and died at 2.30pm.
Police opened an inquest docket.
Filander said Else had been the only suspect in Crittenden’s murder.
Chadwick said she was grateful for the support and help of the police and that she was able to make peace with her mother’s death.
“My mom was incredibly helpful to all - people kept telling her she shouldn’t help every person that knocks on the door, but telling my mom not to help the homeless was like telling her shouldn’t have brown eyes,” Chadwick said.
Meanwhile, police reported another incident in Tamboerskloof around the time of Else’s shooting.
Around 9.35am, they found the body of a 42-year-old woman hanging from a railing on a staircase in her home. They also found the body of the woman’s eight-year-old daughter, lying on a bed. Police believe the girl may have been poisoned.
The circumstances surrounding their deaths were being investigated, police said.
- Cape Argus