Murder suspect heads back to Ireland to face double murder charge after hiding in SA for nine years

Ruth Lawrence (black and white pants) is escorted through the airport with police.

Police escort Ruth Lawrence (in black and white pants) through the airporte. Picture: SAPS

Published May 25, 2023


A woman, wanted in connection with a double murder in Ireland in 2014, has been sent back to face charges.

This week, international fugitive Ruth Lawrence, was placed on a flight and extradited back to Ireland after evading arrest for the past nine years.

“Ruth Lawrence and her ex-fiancé Neville van der Westhuizen were both sought for the double murder. Van der Westhuizen, who is currently serving a jail sentence for another murder which he committed in KwaZulu-Natal, has also been arrested on the extradition request for the double murder in Ireland. His extradition process is currently under way in the Durban Magistrate’s Court,” Major General Mathapelo Peters said.

She said Lawrence, 42, was tracked down in a joint operation between the Irish National Police (Garda Siochana), the SAPS, Interpol and the Hawks.

Lawrence was escorted from Bloemfontein to Pretoria where she was handed over to Irish police.

The “Irish Mirror” reported that she was expected to stand trial for the murders of friends, Eoin O’Conner and Anthony Keegan. Their bodies were found buried in a shallow grave. They had gunshot wounds to the head.

O’Conner and Keegan’s bodies were found by a butcher who had been fishing when he recognised the smell of rotting flesh, the “Irish Mirror” reported.

Lawrence was nabbed in a raid by the Hawks in October last year. She had been living in Bloemfontein.