Franziska's killer blames 'evil spirit'

2017-06-01 21:07
Howard Oliver in the High Court in Cape Town. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Howard Oliver in the High Court in Cape Town. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - “I didn’t mean for things to turn out that way - that a girl had to lose her life. It was not my intention, my intention had been to rob her of her cellphone. I don’t know what evil spirit took hold of me.”

That’s what Howard Oliver, 28, wrote in a letter of apology to the family and friends of Franziska Blöchliger, who he raped and murdered in Tokai Forest in 2016. The letter was read in the High Court in Cape Town on Thursday by Oliver’s legal representative, Advocate Henk Carstens, in mitigation of sentence, Netwerk24 reported.  

“I want to ask the victim’s family and next of kin, as well as the greater Westlake community to forgive me for what I did. I know it won’t bring back their daughter.”

Carstens said Oliver had written the letter two months after the murder, showing that he’d shown remorse from the start.

Oliver was found guilty of rape, murder and theft on Wednesday. He’d initially denied guilt, but on Tuesday confessed via Carstens.

Judge Kate Savage wanted to know what had led to “things getting out of hand” and him raping and killing Franziska.  

Carstens said Oliver had had financial problems and had asked his employer for a loan. His family also pressurised him to pay his daughter’s crèche fees.

“Is there any explanation as to what drove him to go into the forest and rape and kill a young woman?" Judge Savage wanted to know. “No,” said Carstens. He said his client himself had been shocked by his behaviour when he grabbed her.  

Oliver’s wife, Shannon-Lee, 23, said after the sentencing proceedings that she wasn’t ready to talk about Horward yet. She was supported at court by her mom and other family members.  Franziska’s family was not in court.

Oliver will appear in court for sentencing on June 7. 

Read more on:    franziska blöchliger  |  cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.