Story of Van Breda axe murders headed for small screen

2017-12-05 11:56
The De Zalze Murders book cover. (File)

The De Zalze Murders book cover. (File)

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Cape Town – The story of the 2015 Stellenbosch axe attack, which resulted in the arrest and trial of Henri van Breda for the murder of his parents and brother, may be headed for the small screen.

This, after a US production company bought the rights to the book, The De Zalze Murders, by Rapport journalist Julian Jansen.

The company plans to rope Jansen in as an executive producer in the making of a TV series or documentary based on the horrific murders which took place two years ago.

ALSO READ: Unlikely Van Breda concocted story – expert

Jansen was one of the first journalists on the scene and has been covering the case for Rapport.

The book, he said in a statement, "tells the story behind the newspaper headlines", offering insights that have not yet been publicly heard and highlighting the human side of the tragedy.

"The Van Bredas of Stellenbosch were apparently the perfect family – rich, successful and popular. In the luxurious De Zalze estate they have a dream life. And then everything changes in an instant," he said.

'Difficult, loner child'

After Henri's arrest for the murders, family and friends "started talking one by one".

Jansen interviewed family, friends and "key figures with insight".

"They paint a picture of parents who had been perplexed with their difficult 'loner' child," said Jansen, adding that Henri's drug addiction apparently led to "great discord" in the house and he was apparently angry at his parents who favoured his brother, Rudi, over him.

ALSO READ: 'I want to get on with my life', judge says after another postponement in Van Breda trial

"Could it be that the Van Bredas' own child lifted the axe? The [book] tries to answer this question."

Van Breda pleaded not guilty to axing his parents, Teresa and Martin, and brother, Rudi, to death, seriously injuring his sister, Marli, and defeating the ends of justice.

His defence team last week closed its case in the Western Cape High Court, bringing to an end 63 days of testimony.

Closing arguments will take place on February 12.

Read more on:    henri van breda  |  cape town  |  crime  |  van breda murders

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