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Police nab man for brutal killings of three old age home residents

01 August 2018 - 16:52 By Jeff Wicks
A man has been arrested for a string of murders at old age homes in Pietermaritzburg.
A man has been arrested for a string of murders at old age homes in Pietermaritzburg.

Police have hailed the arrest of a 28-year-old man on Tuesday night as a breakthrough in a string of murders at old age homes in Pietermaritzburg in the past month.

On Tuesday morning the body of an 89-year-old woman whose throat had been slit with scissors was found in her apartment in Jacaranda Lodge.

On July 21‚ 89-year-old Roland Heathcote was stabbed to death in his apartment at the lodge and 10 days prior‚ 92-year-old Patricia O’Connor was strangled in her apartment at Kenwyn Retirement home which shares a boundary with Jacaranda.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said that the man would appear in court soon.

“Last night police made a breakthrough when they arrested a suspect believed to be involved in these attacks where elderly people were killed at Pietermaritzburg recently. Our police officers strengthened their patrols around these homes‚” he said.

A police source with knowledge of the investigation‚ who spoke to TimesLIVE on condition of anonymity‚ said that a fresh draft of security guards had been stationed at the home.

“It’s clear that these people are being targeted because they are old and frail and they are meant to be protected because they have guards and night matrons but given the string of crimes‚ whoever is behind this has found a soft spot.”

The source said that the murders by nature seemed opportunistic and the killer was likely unprepared.

“If you’re planning a murder you’re going to carry a weapon and in these cases they used what was available to them‚ specifically scissors.

“In the first murder the victim was found with the panic button in her hand and they managed to overpower her before she could press it‚” he said.