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EXCERPT | Inge Lotz murder: The testimony that was ignored by police

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Fruit of a Poisoned Tree: The Inge Lotz Murder and a Miscarriage of Justice by Antony Altbeker.
Fruit of a Poisoned Tree: The Inge Lotz Murder and a Miscarriage of Justice by Antony Altbeker.

BOOK: Fruit of a Poisoned Tree: The Inge Lotz Murder and a Miscarriage of Justice by Antony Altbeker.

In 2005, Fred van der Vyver, a young actuary and the son of a wealthy Eastern Cape farming family, was charged with murdering his girlfriend, student Inge Lotz, allegedly bludgeoning her to death with a hammer. The forensic evidence seemed to prove his guilt and he was charged with murder. And yet, in one of South Africa’s most sensational murder trials, he was acquitted. The police were accused of fabricating evidence and lying to the judge. Leading policing analyst Antony Altbeker attended the trial and lays out the whole story in Fruit of a Poisoned Tree: The Inge Lotz Murder and a Miscarriage of Justice (Jonathan Ball), first published in 2010 and now updated to include developments since the trial ended. In this excerpt, he discusses a strange confession related to the murder.

No one other than Fred van der Vyver has ever been prosecuted for Inge Lotz’s murder. A friend who knows members of the police forensic laboratory once told me that the forensic investigators were not surprised at this because they believed Fred got away with murder, and they had told her that the police will catch him when he does it again one day.

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