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If words could kill: The Rohdes’ chilling WhatsApp warfare

The messages of love, hate and recrimination that ended abruptly the day Susan Rohde died

12 November 2017 - 00:01 By ARON HYMAN and DAVE CHAMBERS

Contempt, love, paranoia, regret, profanity and money: they're all there in screeds of revealing WhatsApp messages that Jason and Susan Rohde exchanged in the months before he is alleged to have killed her.
About 3000 messages between the then 47-year-old parents of three teenage girls were handed in as evidence this week at Rohde's murder trial in the High Court in Cape Town.
They paint a picture of a woman overwhelmed by suspicion after her husband's affair with a colleague, and of a husband alternately appeasing and resenting his wife's constant need for reassurance.
The 79 pages of messages end abruptly at 7.43pm on Saturday July 23 2016, after a row between the couple in which Susan told Rohde: "F**k you." The last words Rohde texted to his wife were: "Get ur f**king call block off."
Early next morning, the property company boss asked hotel staff at the Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch to help him open the bathroom door in the couple's room.
Susan was dead inside, and a month later Rohde was arrested. The state says he strangled her, but Rohde claims she committed suicide by hanging herself using the cord of a hair iron.
WATCH | State forensic pathologist says Susan's death was staged suicide..

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