Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ripper Rapists

Partners in Murder — Kruger

Theuns Johannes Kruger was 19 years old when he participated in Alison's attack. His father had left his mother shortly after she got pregnant (and went on to be incarcerated himself). She married another dubious character, who just stayed long enough to provide Theuns with his name. She married yet again, and they moved to Tsitsikamma, a breathtaking stretch of forest next to the southeastern coast. Apparently, the new stepfather had moments of violence, frequently visited on the boy. While in prison, Kruger received a letter from his mother, inquiring whether he had been molested by his stepfather and he said he had been . Whether or not this is true remains uncertain, since it was the first time he mentioned it and the stepfather in question responded by stating that he would sue them for defamation.

Still, the boy did not have a happy childhood and seriously contemplated suicide on at least one occasion. At school the other children called him "Drie-tiet" ("Three Tit") because of a third nipple. It doesn't seem that he really found acceptance anywhere, and got involved in drugs and alcohol. After standard eight (grade ten) he left school and joined the army. Earlier in 1994 he claimed to have had an "intense sexual relationship" with a Satanic witch, according to testimony quoted in Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of August 1, 1995. Interesting coincidence that both men were seduced into Satanism by a witch.

Kruger's mother would later tell Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of August 10, 1995, that "he was a dear child. We had fun playing together as mother and child do." She went on to blame his troubles on his stepfather and the wrong kind of friends. Still, she had never heard from her son after he left school until she wrote to him in prison, nor do her other two daughters maintain contact with her.

Kruger met du Toit in the latter's shebeen, where he went to buy alcohol. This was in June 1994, about four months after the first rape. They became friends and Kruger frequently confided in the older man. A psychiatrist who evaluated Kruger at the Elizabeth Donkin Hospital in Port Elizabeth testified that Kruger suffered from a very low self image and seemed to be easily influenced. Du Toit told him more about Satanism and demons, and Kruger said that he would like to obtain the power of a demon.

I Have Lived in the Monster, by Robert Ressler
I Have Lived in the Monster,
by Robert Ressler

After the first words were spoken between du Toit and Kruger it was probably inevitable that they would form a partnership. Du Toit — the conscience-free manipulator. Kruger — the acceptance-seeking and impressionable misfit. In I Have Lived in the Monster, Robert Ressler argues that, in such partnerships, one is the leader (dominant and organized), while the other is the follower (inclined to be submissive and more disorganized). The fantasies of both men are appeased by the crimes they commit together.

Sometimes, it is rather the submissive partner who actually kills the victim. But du Toit needed to remain dominant at all times. He was the one who chose the victim, who performed the initial approach, who gave the orders. After he stabbed Alison, Kruger was undoubtedly excited by the blood, by the power over another person's life, and he wanted a part of that power. So he took his knife and cut her throat. But du Toit shoved him aside and "goes berserk", according to his own testimony in Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of June 20, 1995, cutting her throat again and again. Because he needs to be in control. He has to kill.