August 16 2006 at 05:03AM
Police are on the trail of the men who beat an elderly couple to death with a wooden elephant standing at their home's front door.
Peter Jacobs, 93, and his wife Annemarie, 77, were bludgeoned to death in their home in Robin Acres, Randburg, by men who broke in at about 4am on Sunday.
Superintendent Chris Wilken, police spokesperson for Johannesburg, said it was believed that the couple had been asleep in the main bedroom when the intruders entered the house after breaking a lounge window.
Upon investigation, it is suspected that Jacobs fired a shot when the intruders grabbed him and bludgeoned him with a wooden elephant carving that had been standing next to the front door.
They beat him to death before killing his wife in the same manner in the passage.
The couple's daughter-in-law, Trudie Jacobs, told The Star that she and her family had discovered the bodies on Sunday when they arrived for lunch.
"We pulled up at the gate and saw the front door was open. The gate was locked and we saw some videos lying around in the garden. So we called and hooted, but nobody answered," Trudie said.
Her son jumped over the gate, got a glimpse of the mayhem, and returned to call his father, psychiatrist Dr Herman Jacobs.
"What we found was absolutely terrible. It's unbelievably sad," Trudie said.
Wilken said the police responded immediately and cordoned off the house.
Peter Jacobs had been a draftsman for the old South African Railways in his younger days, while Annemarie taught German and geography at St Mary's in Waverley.
Both were avid gardeners and had a beautiful garden. Three weeks before their gruesome murder, the family had taken a picture of Jacobs with giant carrots he had cultivated in his vegetable patch.
The Johannesburg Serious and Violent Crime Unit is investigating.
This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on August 16, 2006