When it comes to true-crime offerings, it would be safe to say that Showmax is ruling the roost. To date, the streaming platform has given us “Rosemary’s Hitlist”, “Imibuzo”, “Stella Murders”, “Girl Taken”, “Devilsdorp” and “The Last Blue Ride: The Hannah Cornelius Story”.
Viewers wrestled with feelings of shock, anger and disgust while watching the series. And the reaction isn’t one to be taken lightly either, especially since so many of them – in fact, society, overall – have become desensitised to crime in South Africa.
Headlines about murder don’t seem to hit as hard as they used to.
But with the series revisiting the crimes that left communities lost for answers and closure, it makes viewers more emotionally invested in the story, the background and, more importantly, the reason.
Why would someone kill? What goes through their mind? How can a family and loved ones even begin moving forward when their heart has been shattered into a million pieces?
The investigations also take the viewer into the recesses of a dark and evil mind as they go about life with zero remorse. If they are remorseful, it is generally about getting caught.
Showmax recently dropped the trailer for “Boetie Boer: Inside the mind of a monster”.
The true-crime docuseries, which has been described as the most disturbing Showmax release to date, revisits the ’90s when the ANC was unbanned and Nelson Mandela took the first steps to his long walk to freedom as he was released from prison after 27 years.
At the time, Stewart “Boetie Boer” Wilken kicked off his killing spree in Port Elizabeth (now Gqeberha).
Brett Adkins, a journalist who covered the story, says in the trailer: “When he was arrested, it sounded like something out of a movie. Suddenly, we had a serial killer.”
Directed by Jasyn Howes, it follows his blood trail, linked to several murders, some of which involved necrophilia and cannibalism.
Most of his victims were either sex workers or homeless children.
The series also delves into Wilken’s childhood, where he unburdens himself to Dr Gérard Labuschagne, the former section head of the Investigative Psychology Section of the SAPS.
Howes also sits down with the family of one of Wilken’s victims, Georgina Zweni, and Wilken’s surviving children, Sonika and Sergius.
While unsettling, the five-part documentary series offers insight into the mind and actions of a serial killer.
∎ “Boetie Boer: Inside the mind of a monster” will be made available on Showmax from October 18, with new episodes dropping on Wednesdays.