Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Couple killed on milk farm

Graeme Hosken

April 11 2009 at 02:31PM

A Pretoria couple were bludgeoned and stabbed to death in a vicious Good Friday morning attack which has left a farming community reeling.

The beaten body of Boschkop dairy farmer, Johannes van den Bosch, 63, was found by his son in an outhouse while the body of his wife, Jacobi, 60, was found in the couple's home early on Friday morning.

It is believed that Van den Bosch was overpowered as he walked into the milking stables and beaten repeatedly over the head sometime during the early hours of the morning.

According to police the blows were so severe that the left side of Van den Bosch's skull was crushed.

The killers then took his house keys, unlocked the kitchen door and entered the couple's double-storey house where they hid at the base of the stairs.

They attacked Van den Bosch's wife and stabbed her seven times in the back and side as she walked downstairs before they fled with two cellphones which had been left on a table; the only items they took.

It is believed that the killers left behind a substantial amount of money, firearms and other valuables, including expensive jewellery.

It is not known if Van den Bosch was coming downstairs to investigate a noise possibly made by her killers or whether she was on her way to make her husband's breakfast.

As police cordoned off the scene and specialised crime scene investigators searched the blood-spattered buildings, distraught relatives were comforted by neighbours and friends.

While DNA and other forensic experts searched the scene for clues, using state-of-the-art technology, others could be seen searching the smallholding and the surrounding area for clues with aid of sniffer dogs trained in the detection of body fluids.

Crime scene photographers took off in a helicopter to take aerial photographs for detectives from the Bronkhorstspruit tri-crime task team who are piecing the attack together to help them track down the killers.

Other investigators said the brutality behind the attack was marked.

"All I can say is that what happened in that house is horrible. It is really bad. No one deserves to die like that," said a police inspector.

He added that they were going all out to track down the killers.

"We will definitely find those responsible. That is a promise."

Police spokesman Johannes Jaftha said the attack had been extremely brutal.

"It is very bloody crime scene. A lot of force was used in the attack," he said.

Jaftha confirmed the killers had escaped with only two cellphones.

"There was no sign of forced entry and the house was not ransacked.

"At this stage we cannot say what the motive for the murder was. We are not sure if the motive is an armed robbery, or if there is another reason behind the killings," Jaftha said.

He said although no weapons had been found, crime scene investigators had found several clues and were following up on a number of pieces of information and were hoping to make arrests soon.

The Van den Bosch's son, Wim, who along with the couple's labourers found his parents' bodies, was too distraught to comment at length.

"We do not know what to say. It is too painful to speak," he said.

Rayton Community Policing Forum chairman, Abel van Aarde, said crime in the was once again on the increase.

"We had several big successes late last year which brought crime down, but it is clear new gangs are in the area and are killing our people.

"This has got to stop. We cannot carry on like this," he said, adding that if police could not bring crime in the area under control the community would step in to protect themselves.

This article was originally published on page 4 of Pretoria News on April 11, 2009


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