Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Selepe

Enter the Profiler

Micki Pistorius , South Africa 's first psychological profiler, visited the crime scenes on September 28. At the first site, Sgt. Timothy Mngomozulu, the investigating officer, told her that the woman found there on July 16 had a number of messages written on her body. According to the October 31, 1996, article in Beeld, on the inside of her right thigh, the killer had written in black ink: She a beach and I am not fighting with you please. On her left thigh he had written: We must stay here for as long as you don't understand. The 18-year-old schoolgirl would only be identified on November 10.

Micki Pistorius began working on the profile of the killer. Apart from their race, youth and apparent attention to their appearance - the latter suggested that they were neither prostitutes nor impoverished - other similarities included that all the women had been lured into an industrial area, had probably been raped, and had been strangled with a piece of their clothing - usually a belt, pantyhose or bra. Some were found completely naked; others semi-nude.

The killer was most likely a black man in his middle twenties to early thirties. He was probably charming, well-dressed, and self-employed, with access to money and an expensive car. Based on the women's appearance, it was unlikely that they would go with someone whose personality, appearance and accessories didn't portray a man of some means. He was probably married. Investigators predicted that he had a history of fraud and/or theft. He was also probably an arrogant, intelligent man who read the newspapers and was cognizant of other media reports about the murders.

Hermina Papenfus' body had been dumped in a specific spot. It was discovered on July 31 and removed. On September 3, Ntombi Makhasi's body was found in the same place. On September 19, a third body was found at the same location. Not only was the killer not concerned about leaving bodies in the same general area, but he was "replenishing" this one spot, as if to say "this place is mine." When Micki Pistorius realized this, she suggested that the police keep this area under surveillance, but by this time (in October), the killer had read about the task force and increased police involvement, and had consequently abandoned his original graveyard.

The killer obviously had anger and hatred towards women, as evidenced by the nature of the crimes. The messages written on one of the victims, however, indicated that he felt an increased need to express his anger, calling the woman a "beach" (SIC) The profiler deduced that he had been wronged by a woman and that this had been the precipitating factor in the murders (the victim with the messages was believed to have been the first in the series). The messages also suggested that the murderer experienced difficulty expressing himself. He could not tell the woman his feelings while she was alive, so he wrote it on her body after she was dead. Micki Pistorius felt that this difficulty might be due to a speech defect, but this idea continued to bother her, because it contradicted his charming and suave demeanor. Perhaps his difficulty resided on a deeper level, she thought, and he struggled to convey his true feelings.


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