Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ripper Rapists

Taken

South Africa, with Port Elizabeth locator
South Africa, with Port Elizabeth locator

December 18, 1994. The day was barely an hour old, and there was no reason to think that it would not be just another day like any other. And yet something terrible was about to happen in the city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Interestingly, later on this same day, the man police believed to be the Cleveland serial killer, David Selepe, would be shot dead while pointing out a crime scene near Johannesburg.

It was not going to be a good day.

Alison, a 27-year-old insurance broker, returned to her flat a little after 1:00 a.m. on this Sunday morning. She had spent most of the Saturday with friends, and had just dropped one of them off at her home.

Parking her car in the street outside her flat, she switched off the engine and turned off the lights. The door next to her opened, and before she could complete the turn of her head, a knife was pressing against the delicate skin of her throat.

"Move over or I'll kill you," the man holding the blade said.

The world felt unreal as she got onto the passenger seat. The man climbed in and started the engine. As he pulled away, she contemplated jumping from the vehicle, but the fear and the unexpectedness of the situation had left her incapacitated.

"Don't worry, I don't want to hurt you. I just want to use your car for an hour," the man told her.

As is common in such situations, Alison found it difficult to believe that she was really being abducted at knifepoint. How could this actually be happening?

"What's your name?" he asked as if this was a normal, everyday scene.

"Susan," she said, not wanting to give her real name. "And yours?"

"Clinton."

A while later she asked him to take the car and let her go. He replied that he wanted the company, and that he was looking for a "friend who stole my TV."

Despite feeling powerless and vulnerable, Alison told herself that the best way to survive was to remain calm and rational.

Eventually, they came to a nightclub, called Club Tonite. There were people, but Alison did not feel hopeful or even comforted by their presence. Instead, she felt that they were part of the world in which the man beside her walked. He was looking at the people, searching, and getting irritated. He swore and steered into an alley, at length emerging in the opposite lane of the street they had been in.

The search continued for some time, but at last the object was found. A man dressed in black emerged from the crowd and got into the car.

"Meet my friend Susan," the man said, and to Alison, "This is Theuns." ("Theuns" is an Afrikaans name, pronounced like "tear", as in crying, but ending with the "nce" of "dance" instead of an "r.")

They drove off. As they stopped somewhere at a traffic light, Alison looked at the occupants of another car. She wished she could give them some kind of signal, but they didn't take notice of this just-another-car. Here she was being abducted and anyone would only see two guys and a girl heading to some destination.

They were on Marine Drive, following the road past Humewood, Happy Valley and Summerstrand. They crossed the outcropping of land which is the Cape Recife Nature Reserve. And headed towards Skoenmakerskop.

Inside the car there was silence. Theuns smoked. Clinton watched the road. Alison wrestled with her fear.

The road was dark and there were no more cars.

At some point Clinton slowed down and pulled off, into a small clearing. The wheels bit into the sand and the car was stuck. Alison became panicked as the wheels churned fruitlessly, thinking that they would use her body to provide the tires with the necessary grip to free the car. But the vehicle found something and they struggled their way into the clearing.

The place was dirty with ash from old barbeque fires, broken bottles, discarded beer cans, and various other pieces of litter.

Clinton turned off the engine and there was utter silence.

Then Theuns got out and walked some distance away.

Suffocating in the black silence, Alison spoke, hiding the fear from her voicebox. "Now what?"

Clinton turned to her, looking somewhat dumbfounded.

"But I thought you would have realized we want sex."

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