‘I had to make myself bombproof’ – Dad of woman killed in Camps Bay murder

2018-02-22 16:16
PHOTO: Getty Images

PHOTO: Getty Images

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He’s a broken man, Howdy Kabrins says.

But though the trial of his daughter’s murderer is taking a psychological, physical and financial toll, he doesn’t want to be anywhere else but in the Western Cape High Court.

The details of Gabriela Kabrins Alban’s murder were described in court the past few days in the most gruesome detail by Diego Novella, the accused.

“A curling iron was found between her legs and by her labia,” Kabrins says. “A ball of food was shoved into her mouth and some of her teeth were broken. He defecated on her and threw chips and chocolates around her body.

“He took a note and it was placed on her properly.”

The Spanish word “cerote” was written on the note, meaning “nothing” or “sh*t”, depending on context.

“Was that a final f**k you, goodbye?

“Was that a reflection of what his real intentions were?” Gabriela’s father shakes his grey head, emotion threatening to overwhelm him.

“I’m kind of bombproof,” he continues. “I had to make myself bombproof.”

Gabriela Kabrins Alban (39), an American citizen, was murdered on 29 July 2015 in the Camps Bay Retreat Boutique Hotel. At the time of her death Gabriela and Diego were a couple. They’d travelled to South Africa in the hopes of getting her treatment for her Lyme disease.

Novella testified that he’d taken non-prescription drugs before Gabriela’s death and that he’d hallucinated, believing he was strangling a demonic creature – in reality Gabriela. It was also on this creature he’d defecated and he has no memory of writing the note with the word “cerote”.

The torture he’s been through haunts Kabrins’ eyes. Novella’s attempt at apologising to Gabriela’s family has brought him no comfort.

After his testimony, Novella’s attorney, William Booth, had asked him if there was anything he’d like to say to the victim’s family.

“Then I heard the question. It caught me off guard and I wasn’t prepared,” Kabrins says. “He said, ‘Mr Kabrins, I know how much Gaby loved you.’

“In hindsight, I wish I’d just walked out.

“He went on to say, ‘I lost a mother, I lost a brother, I lost a father.’ So he goes on to talk about ‘me, me, me’. He said something to the effect of being an only child he can imagine.

“So I pounded [the table with his hand]. I said, ‘You have no idea.’ I had to hold myself back because I couldn’t go after him.”

Despite the difficult time the family – Kabrins and his wife, Linda, his ex-wife, Doris Weitz, and her husband, Alexander Williams – is going through, he hopes his daughter’s death had an impact. It’s important to him that people should be aware of domestic violence in our society.

“It’s like I am in the middle of this storm and I constantly have to ask myself, ‘What can I do to make a difference?’ I’m her father. Who better to advocate for her than me?”

He wishes to express his gratitude for the friendship and support he’s received from people in Cape Town. “The people have been incredible. It’s been the hugs from everyone that has gotten us through.”

Additional source: News24.com

Read more on:    camps bay  |  murder  |  case

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