Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ripper Rapists

The Trial

The Supreme Court trial of the "ripper rapists," as Frans du Toit and Theuns Kruger had become known, began on June 12, 1995, before Mr. Justice Chris Jansen, who would go on to preside over another shocking trial, that of Stewart Wilken, almost three years later.

The morning started with Henry Lerm, who had been their attorney up to now, stating that he could no longer represent them. He cited "ethical reasons," according to Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of June 13, 1995. What the exact nature of these ethical reasons was and remains unknown.

The first witness was the 20-year-old student whom du Toit had raped on his own. Judge Jansen found du Toit guilty of the four charges — two counts of rape and one each of indecent assault and abduction — that same day, but sentencing would occur in conjunction with the other charges.

Although Alison attended court each day, she was not allowed inside until after her testimony. As a result, she spent the first couple of days in the waiting room.

On June 13, the pregnant woman testified. And then it was Alison's turn. The prosecutor, Grant Buchner, guided her through the attack as well as the damage that it had caused her physically and emotionally. A member of public was quoted in Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of June 16, 1995, as saying that "it was as if someone who should've been dead was testifying about her murder."

Tiaan, who had since completed a course as paramedic and had decided to become a doctor of people rather than animals, came next. And finally, Dr. Angelov was called to the stand. He described Alison's wounds and the intricate surgery he had to perform. At one point he stated that "usually they don't make it to me ... To be honest, it's a miracle that I'm standing here and not the pathologist," according to Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of June 15, 1995. He admitted that he could not explain the fact that Alison had survived. "It was simply a miracle."

There was another woman who testified. She described how she had only barely managed to avoid being Alison. At 12:30 p.m. on December 16, 1994, she was looking for parking outside a friend's flat. She noticed two men watching her, and she felt uncomfortable. But she parked anyway. As she looked up after removing the faceplate of her car radio, their images were reflected in the rearview mirror. And then the one she later recognized as du Toit was next to her door, one hand on the handle and the other beneath his shirt. He looked away for a moment, and she snatched the opportunity, slamming the lock down. Du Toit called to the other man, Kruger, and they walked off. When details of Alison's attack became known, she contacted Det. Humpel, and later pointed out both men at the identification parade.

Judge Jansen found Frans du Toit and Theuns Kruger guilty on all charges. These were abduction, indecent assault and rape in relation to the attack on the pregnant woman, and abduction, indecent assault, rape, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances in relation to the attack on Alison. Sentencing would be deferred until litigating and mitigating testimony were heard.

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