Exclusive – Gay murder victim’s eerie online clues

2013-04-28 06:00

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A grim trail of clues left on the internet by murdered law professor Carl Mischke appears to point to his alleged killer, just months before his death.

Last week, City Press reported on the Mischke case, which police had linked to a string of gay murders in Johannesburg. It is likely it is not one of the “serial gay killings”, although there are suspicions that it may have been a copycat murder, set up to look like the others.

One of the victims, Barney van Heerden, was also found naked and bound in Norwood, just streets from Mischke’s home.

But while the other men were strangled to death by electrical cord, Mischke was stabbed in the face and head.

The profiles of the suspects in the Mischke case do not match those of the suspects in the other cases.

At the end of last year, Mischke posted a chilling set of images on photo-sharing site Flickr about a paramedic from Brakpan, who he named as Craig Robert Thomas, and also wrote about him on Blogspot.

Colleagues at the University of Johannesburg say Mischke spoke of his fears about the “messed up” young man he was in love with. But they never took him too seriously. Although a rational man, they say he was given to “paranoid episodes” and was being treated for bipolarity.

On Monday this week, Thomas appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court along with three other suspects.

Thomas and Jacos Terreblanche appeared on murder charges, said police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.

They have not been linked to any other murders, Dlamini said.

Gary Azaro and Timothy Cooke were charged with theft after they allegedly dismantled Mischke’s stolen car.

On Flickr, Mischke created a photo set called LostLights. He writes: “The very very strange time in November and December 2012 when I had to deal with the insanity and imbalance brought into my life by addict, paramedic and child Craig Robert Thomas.”

At the time of the murder, however, police say Thomas was living on Mischke’s property. From Mischke’s blog, it seems the relationship was on and off.

Mischke says on Flickr he had “recently had my feet swept out from under me – and discovered new worlds, dark and less dark.” One of the photos on Flickr is of an ominous hand reaching out from the mist.

On Twitter, Mischke describes himself as “complex but good-intentioned. Not single anymore (or am I?).”

His account is locked, but Thomas’s isn’t.

Thomas describes himself as a paramedic who turned his life around after addiction.

He and Mischke were following one another on Twitter.

Mischke posted on Google Plus until the day before his death. “Right now: being posed challenges by people. I wish they wouldn’t,” he wrote. One of his graphic artworks reads: “Don’t run, you’ll just die tired.”

He posted on Blogspot up until the day of his murder, on April 14. His blog was called “the small blue gate of departures” and contained “the fictionalised accounts of meeting, then falling in love, with a young guy in Johannesburg... The affair left me more confused than ever before – I tried, throughout, to do the right thing, the moral thing ... but this did not seem to be enough. As I start writing this, I have no idea how it ends.”

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