Arrest in gay ‘serial murder’ case

2013-04-18 14:33

Police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of Dr Carl Mischke, who is believed to be the latest victim of a nationwide gang targeting gay men, murdering and robbing them after hooking up with them on online dating sites.

Police sources have told City Press that the suspect is 29 years old and was arrested in Kempton Park. He was apparently found in possession of items stolen from Mischke’s home.

It is believed that a second suspect is also being sought in connection with the murder.

Mischke appears to have died on Sunday night. A lecturer at the University of Johannesburg and a prominent labour law expert, he was found in a pool of blood at his home in Jessie Avenue, Norwood, by his domestic worker on Monday morning.

He was found bound, naked and covered by a duvet after having been stabbed in the face and head. His head was covered by a pillow. In almost all of the murders, the victims’ faces were covered.

Most of the previous gay murders being investigated were a result of strangulation, but there are numerous similarities in the Mischke case. The murderers stole Mischke’s laptop, camera and cellphone, apparently to disguise how they made contact and met up with him.

Family members and friends close to the murders believe that various young men are being deployed by a central mastermind to make contact with affluent gay men. In many of the cases stolen bank and credit cards have been used after the crimes.

In a separate case, the three suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Barney van Heerden – also in Norwood, close to Mischke’s home – appeared in court this morning.

There had been fears that the case would be thrown out due to an incomplete docket, but the magistrate was satisfied that the police work on the case was complete.

A trial date has been set for September 30.

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