Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ripper Rapists

Partners in Murder — du Toit

Lawrence Bittaker
Lawrence Bittaker

Historically, sexual predators almost invariably acted alone. There were exceptions, but those were rare. In recent times, however, these exceptions have grown in number. There have been serial killer partnerships, such as Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris, Clay Lawson and Russel Odom. Killer couples, like Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. In South Africa we've had mass murder partners Adam West and Trevor Theys (Sizzlers), and gang crimes — both in an organized setup or simply multiple participants — have proliferated, ranging from armed robbery to rape to murder and frequently including them all.

Roy Norris
Roy Norris

According to John Douglas, in Obsession, there is always a dominant leader and a submissive follower in these partnerships. It is readily apparent that Frans du Toit was the dominant one in this case, not only during the commission of the crimes but later during the trial as well.

Frans Adriaan du Toit was 26 years old at the time of Alison's attack. The son of a police officer, he was raised with Christian values. Nevertheless, while he was in standard six (grade eight), he set fire to a dormitory, because, he claimed, he was listening to heavy metal and was influenced by hidden messages. He was expelled, but his parents moved to another town the next year anyway. It was here, in the town of Adelaide, 93 miles northeast of Port Elizabeth, where he met a girl whom he claimed was a witch. She said that she conducted rituals during which demons manifested. At some point du Troit claimed that he had become "possessed". Du Toit was lazy at school, failing standard seven (grade nine) twice.

John Douglas
John Douglas

His parents sent him to the army, where he passed a total of three months of his time in the detention barracks. His parents helped him to obtain a job at a mine in Welkom in the Free State. Here he married a woman and fathered a daughter. He later left them, because his wife "didn't satisfy him sexually," according to Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of June 20, 1995. He moved to Port Elizabeth, where his parents again helped him with employment, this time as a driver for a chain of stationery shops. After he was fired, following the discovery that he had stolen money, and received a suspended sentence of three years, he opened a shebeen (selling alcohol illegally). Like so many sexual predators, his life was a succession of failures. Meanwhile, in 1993 he married his second wife, with whom he had a son.

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