Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ripper Rapists

Mitigating/Aggravating Testimony

First of these was Dr. Gillian Smale, who had previously examined all three victims. She described the dynamics of Rape Trauma Syndrome in general and more specifically how it affected each woman. Because her testimony was of a highly personal nature, the proceedings were held in camera.

Then Frans du Toit took the stand. He described his disappointing past and his involvement in Satanism. As expected, he placed the blame for his actions on the demon, Incubus, he claimed, had resided within him. He said it was Incubus who had told him to rape all the women, and who had told him to kill Alison: "I [Incubus] want her dead," according to his testimony in Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of June 20, 1995.

What is very interesting about his testimony is how he continually downplayed Kruger's involvement, intimating that the younger man initially thought Alison was a friend and was later shocked after du Toit had strangled her. Du Toit also described how Kruger used the hunting knife he had cut Alison's throat with the next morning to prepare breakfast. The knife still had her blood on the blade and Kruger "was very impressed with it," as du Toit was quoted in Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of June 21, 1995. The shock didn't last too long then.

Du Toit continued to describe the rapes, the throttling, the stabbing and cutting as if he were recounting a trip to the post office. No indication of emotion. But he remembered to include how he didn't have the words to describe how sorry he was. In specific reference to Alison, he said, "I don't know how I'll ever be able to forgive myself," according to Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of June 20, 1995.

Kruger chose not to testify, but du Toit's wife tearfully told the court that she still loved her husband. She repeated the lies he had told her about every crime, but chose to believe that "he had these things in him which caused him to" commit the rapes, according to Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of June 21, 1995. Du Toit's mother also testified. Her son hung his head, finally showing some emotion. A number of people testified in relation to the demon defense, the details of which we'll get to in a later section.

On June 21, the pregnant woman gave birth to a healthy baby daughter. The little girl's umbilical cord was tied around her neck and for a while she had to fight to breathe, but like her mother, she found the strength to survive.

When the trial resumed a week later, a police chaplain described du Toit as "a different person," according to Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of August 1, 1995. He was quite optimistic about du Toit's chosen new career as prison evangelist. Psychologist Ian Meyer's description of Kruger past and present was not as encouraging, but he nevertheless ended by stating his belief that Kruger could be rehabilitated. He stated that Kruger "had empathy with his rape victims and remorse for what he had done," according to Die Burger (Oos-Kaap) of August 2, 1995. Of course, both priests and psychologists are trained to believe in humankind's ability to be redeemed or to redeem themselves, respectively; otherwise the jobs would be redundant.

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