Serial killers come from all walks of life
Wilken infamously raped and murdered at least 10 victims in Port Elizabeth in the 1990s. His crimes puzzle criminologists to this day, as his choice of victims fits several personality profiles, genders and age brackets, which is unusual for serial killers.
Known by the moniker “Boetie Boer”, Wilken was also charged with a strange brand of necrophilia, as his horrific sex crimes were motivated by a notion of delivering his victims to God, including his own daughter.
He was arrested in 1997. He is serving a life sentence in St Albans Prison, where he is tormented by hallucinations and delusions of persecution.
DAISY DE MELKER - South Africa’s original femme fatale
This femme fatale’s idea of family planning was to poison her two husbands as well as her only son.
Her murders were chiefly inspired by financial motivations - her victims’ life insurance pay-outs. The Germiston murders in the 1920s caused great controversy, as De Melker became only the second woman to be executed in South Africa. Her name lives on in folklore, as sightings of her ghost outnumber those of Elvis Presley’s.
ELIFASI MSOMI - obsessed by the tokoloshe
This KwaZulu-Natal killer became known for the widespread superstitious beliefs under which he operated.
Claiming to have been driven by the tokoloshe, Msomi performed elaborate sadomasochistic rituals before his killings.
He would also preserve blood from his victims, many of whom were children, to use during sacrificial ceremonies.
He notoriously managed to escape from pre-trial police custody twice. Msomi was hanged for his crimes in the end, but had become so famous for allegedly being a conduit for the tokoloshe, that nine Zulu chiefs wanted to be present at the execution, so they could return and appease their tribes’ fears that the tokoloshe would come and free Msomi before his hanging.
NORMAN AFZAL SIMONS - the “station strangler”
Simons lured several young boys away from train stations in Mitchells Plain in order to sodomise and kill his victims.
His particular method earned him the nickname “the station strangler”.
Being a Grade 5 schoolteacher with outstanding linguistic talent, Simons had the skills needed to approach his child victims in an inconspicuous manner.
Due to a lack of evidence, he was only convicted of one murder and is serving 35 years in prison; however, at least seven other child victims fitting his murder profile emerged in the run-up to his trial. His victims were all of Cape Malay background.
GERT VAN ROOYEN - avoided trial for paedophilia by committing suicide
Van Rooyen and his girlfriend Joey Haarhoff are linked to the death of at least six young girls in the late 1980s, all of whose bodies remain missing to this day.
His victims are believed to have been raped and brutalised before their deaths.
Faced with the likelihood of capture, the paedophile pair committed suicide in 1990 before they could face justice for their crimes.
The circumstances of the killings have attracted outlandish explanations from satanic rituals to export of human bones to the Middle East.