Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ripper Rapists

Identity Parade

In February, Alison moved to a new flat. Safety was priority number one, and she did much to improve her new home to instill her with a sense of security. She also replaced her car, since the old one would forever remind her of what had happened inside it on December 18.

Finally, as March approached, she went back to work. She had longed for this moment, to get back into her (old) life, but before too long she would realize that her work as an insurance broker would never be what it had been before.

Presently, however, she would have more important issues to deal with. The most pressing one was the approaching identity parade. Alison was quite fearful of the prospect of facing her would-be killers again. Still, she wanted to assist the investigation in every way she could. And she wanted them locked up. Her relationship with Det. Humpel had grown since their first meeting, and he frequently listened to her concerns and reassured her. (This says quite a lot about the man, since detectives in South Africa routinely have to carry caseloads easily approaching 60 to 80 dockets.) There were times when she felt sick.

And then it was March 3, and she was in a small waiting room with a couple of other women tied to her through two rapists they were all there to identify. They had to sit in silence, not allowed to have any contact. The seconds struggled by in anguish. And then suddenly her name was called. Alison had to go in first. Despite all the trepidation and worries, she had no difficulty recognizing them. "They look different, but it's number six and number 13." Det. Humpel later confirmed that she had identified du Toit and Kruger. Alison left the building drained.

She read the frequent newspaper articles about the case, gleaning nuggets of new information about her attackers on almost a daily basis. In one she read a quote from Kruger, saying that they "wanted a nice car and a nice woman. Our goal was to find the woman, take her car, kidnap her, rape her and then kill her." Reading these lines unsettled her. It meant that du Toit had known they would kill her all along, even as he had sat next to her spinning all sorts of other tales.

In the latter half of March, Alison went with some friends to neighboring Zimbabwe for a vacation. On the 20th, she wrote the following in her diary: "My stomach is painful all the time. ALL the time. The pain never goes away. I'm so tired of it. So tired of being someone who has to deal with this. I just want to be normal, like I was before. ... I feel different from everyone else and they treat me that way. Everyone is careful around me." She also wrestled with the inevitable trial. At times she just wanted to let it go. Some days later she wrote: "I wish I could actually break down, that I could cry. I really want to cry. I want to cry for the Ali that is lost for ever. ... I want to cry for my body. I want to cry for the carefree life that I had that I did not appreciate enough when it was there."

Back in South Africa, Alison decided it was time to go back into counseling. She also got a prescription for anti-depressants to help her cope with day-to-day activities. Her job was not providing her with satisfaction anymore and her performance had deteriorated rather significantly since the attack. She was fortunate in that her boss cared about her and was very understanding, but it made her subject to feelings of guilt. There were also nightmares, which left her drenched and frightened. Sometimes sleep just stayed away.

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