August 06 2007 at 10:45AM
By Miranda Andrew and Sharlene Packree
Lynn Fredericks was tired of a life of solitude and was planning on moving into a retirement home that would offer her both safety and security.
But on Saturday, Fredericks, 69, and her family's worst fears were realised when the widow was brutally murdered in her home on Marian Road, Hillcrest.
The widow was with an unnamed 85-year-old friend who was spending the night at the house, when they were confronted by an armed man who demanded cash and cellphones from the pensioners.
Fredericks tried to defend herself, but was shot once in the head and died at the scene.
Her friend was so traumatised by the incident that she suffered a heart attack and had to be rushed to hospital.
The attacker fled with nothing.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Daniela Veldhuizen said Fredericks spotted a young man jumping over her fence at about 4.45pm.
"Fredericks apparently spoke to him through a window and asked him what he wanted. The man said he wanted to speak to her domestic worker," Veldhuizen said on Sunday.
"She told him she did not have a domestic worker and the man left."
Minutes later, she opened the garage door to let her two dogs out.
Half an hour later she opened the garage door again to allow the dogs back into the house when she was confronted by the armed assailant.
"There was a scuffle and when she attempted to press the panic button, the man shot Fredericks in the head," said Veldhuizen.
"He then went into the kitchen, which was next to the garage, and searched Fredericks's friend."
The robber demanded a cellphone and the woman said she did not own one.
"The woman then went into cardiac arrest and the attacker ran off, taking nothing with him," explained Veldhuizen.
The woman was taken to a nearby hospital.
Fredericks's brother, Raymond de Swardt, told the Daily News that her husband had died eight months ago and that she had been planning to sell her home and move into a retirement village.
"She was going to sell the house as it is huge and she feared for her safety.
It's tragic what has happened as she was the most loving person you could find. The family is in shock," he said.
Swardt described his sister as "fiercely independent".
"She was a great person who loved giving to others. It's sad knowing she was killed for a cellphone," he said.
Fredericks's nephew, Phillip de Swardt said: "My aunt didn't have any children and absolutely loved her dogs. It's hard to believe what happened.
How do you get over something like this?"
Police are investigating a case of murder.
This article was originally published on page 2 of Daily News on August 06, 2007