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Grave Murder: Examining One of the Most Brutal Psychologically Motivated Murders in SA History

Grave MurderZebra Press presents Grave Murder: The Story Behind the Brutal Welkom Killing by Jana van der Merwe:

In April 2011, the sleepy goldmining town of Welkom was deeply shocked when the dismembered, decapitated body of Michael van Eck was discovered buried in a shallow grave on the outskirts of the local cemetery. Was this a muti murder, the work of a deranged madman or part of a satanic ritual?

For the investigators and psychologists involved, the mystery only deepened when a seemingly unlikely arrest was made: a soft-spoken girl next door and her intelligent, well-mannered fiancé.

Joining forces with some of the country’s most specialised experts in the occult and psychopathy, Lieutenant Ogies Nel of the Welkom Detectives Unit and her colleagues in the South African Police Service unravelled one of the most brutal psychologically motivated murders ever committed in South Africa’s crime history.

Grave Murder is the chilling account of a heinous crime that is alarmingly similar to those committed by serial killer Ed Gein, who had a preference for flaying his victims’ skin. It is one of only 10 known cases of skinning to have been documented.

About the author

Jana van der Merwe began her writing career in 2007 as a junior reporter on the community newspaper Vrystaat in Bethlehem. Shortly after that, she headed up the Volksblad satellite office there, which is where her interest in crime and court reporting began. Having transferred to Bloemfontein in 2011 to join the larger Volksblad team, she was awarded the Volksblad Journalist of the Year award for two consecutive years. She is currently the high court reporter for the daily newspaper Beeld in the South Gauteng High Court, while also regularly delivering crime stories for Rapport. She has reported on over 100 violent crimes. This is her first book.

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