‘Sunday rapist’ could start killing – expert

2010-12-02 08:46

The serial rapist who attacks on Sundays in Gauteng and the North West keeps “souvenirs”, such as hair ribbons or panties, of his victims.

This is typical behaviour of serial rapists, says forensic criminologist Professor Anna van der Hoven. They keep the “souvenirs” to remember the incidents and gain satisfaction from them all over again.

Van der Hoven and other criminologists warned that if the Sunday rapist was not caught soon, he could begin murdering his victims.

“It is worrying that the incidents are becoming closer and closer together,” said Van der Hoven.

The incidents occurred in June 2009, February this year and then again in August, September (two rapes) and October.

Crossing the line Serial rapists often become more violent with each new victim.

“There is a very fine line between raping someone and killing someone. Many serial rapists in time cross that line,” said Van der Hoven.

According to the police, the serial rapist is being linked to six incidents, among them one in Pretoria West in September in which 14-year-old Lazanne Farmer died while trying to escape. Her friend was raped afterwards.

In all of the incidents, the man pointed a firearm at his victims, kidnapped them and blindfolded them. He forced them to undress, after which he raped them.

In some cases, the victim was not only blindfolded, but ordered to lie down in his bakkie (sometimes a single cab and sometimes a double-cab bakkie). He forced one of his victims to drink alcohol and another to smoke a cigarette.

According to police, it appears that he has a tendency to make sexual comments about his victims’ bodies.

“He asks them about their sexual history,” said investigative officer Peet du Toit. He also forces the girls to perform oral sex.

Master of disguise
The man wears different wigs, of which many are in 1980s hairstyles. The length of the hair in the wigs is not the same – some were shoulder-length and others in layers.

Van der Hoven said the Sunday rapist’s modus operandi was typical of a serial rapist.

“They have fantasies in their heads and tension builds up until they can live out their fantasies.”

She said he sounded like an “organised serial criminal” because he made the effort to disguise himself.

“It looks like he plans the kidnappings and rapes.”

Psychologist Dr Karin Havenga said matters were often complicated by the fact that many serial rapists had normal marriages and relationships.

“Their families don’t know at all about their fantasies and deeds.”

Dr Winando van Zyl, a forensic psychologist, said for a rapist, it was about having total power over somebody else. He said serial rapists often were of above-average intelligence and had an unstable family background where the mother was dominating or the father abusive. Van der Hoven said it was very difficult to rehabilitate serial rapists.

“The urges are too strong for them and they can’t stop. They take physical pleasure from the torture of another person.“

They are often without conscience and proud of their deeds. Their fantasies rule them and they don’t think of the consequences.”

According to her, it’s typical for a serial rapist to target a certain age group.

“Perhaps in the past, he was hurt or dumped by a young girl, but it can also be that girls of this age and appearance simply fulfil his fantasies.”

Emotional closure Lazanne’s sister, Henriëtte Farmer (29), said yesterday that until the rapist was caught, they would not get closure on Lazanne’s death.

“Only he can say what he did to her. If she really jumped from his bakkie or if he threw her from his bakkie.

“The fact that we don’t know what happened that night makes it worse.”

Police said they had received positive reaction following yesterday’s media reports about the rapist.

“I am already following up leads,” said Du Toit.

Anyone with more information about the suspect’s whereabouts can call Du Toit on 011 951 1394.

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