Killer stabs make-up artist 60 times

2008-09-17 00:00

Pretoria — After a make-up artist of Pretoria Gardens was stabbed 60 times with a knife and a pair of scissors, his murderer tried to wash the blood from the walls with a broom.

Then he left with José Paulo Costa’s bloodied clothes, the brush of the broom, R5 000, a watch and the flat keys.

Forty-seven-year-old Costa’s parents, Sousa (65) and Maria Costa (63), found his naked body a day later, curled up in a foetal position under a blanket in a corner of the flat.

His brother, Michael (33), said the family later found a pair of scissors spattered with blood and bloody gloves in a drawer in the kitchen that the police had missed.

In a dustbin under the kitchen sink were a bloodied broomstick, two clean cups and a sponge with which the cups had presumably been washed.

The police fetched the scissors yesterday afternoon. They had earlier found a short-bladed knife.

The family said that according to the police, José was stabbed with a knife and a pair of scissors. They counted 60 stab wounds.

“We suspect the murderer first had coffee with José before killing him,” Costa snr said. “It must have been someone he knew.”

Maria said the last time they saw José alive was on Saturday at their house.

He left that evening to meet someone at his flat.

“Later we realised that he had forgotten his cellphone. I called him on his landline, but the phone just rang and rang.”

Michael later went to the flats, but there was no sign of José.

Costa snr said that when his son did not show up for lunch on Sunday and still wasn’t answering his phone, they started to get worried.

On Monday at 10 am, the couple went to the flat, where the caretaker cut open the security gate with an angle-grinder.

The hole was just large enough for Maria to crawl through.

“The sliding door was open. I walked through the flat and there were no blankets on the bed.

“The bed was spattered with blood and there was blood on the floor and against the walls. I lifted a blanket that was lying in a corner and then I saw my child. I couldn’t believe it,” a distraught Maria said.

Costa snr got the caretaker to enlarge the hole in the security gate so that he could also crawl through.

“My child was lying naked in the corner in a foetal position. There was blood everywhere. I nearly went out of my mind when I saw it.”

Police spokeswomann Patricia Semelane said the murder is being investigated.

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