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True Crime Times Two from Chris Karsten and Human and Rousseau

UnsolvedHeadline murdersAuthor Chris Karsten has a taste for the macabre – a fact nowhere more apparent than in his astonishing contributions to Human & Rousseau’s new True Crime series. Both Karsten’s Unsolved and Headline Murders: Slayings which shook South Africa contain stories that will chill readers to the bone – the more so for being all too true.

Was the controversial Dutch Reformed theologian Johan Heyns murdered by right-wingers or by his own people? Have the Scorpions made any progress in their search for paedophile Gert van Rooyen’s young victims? What did Robert Smit know that made it so important to have him silenced? Why have the perpetrators still not been brought to justice? In Unsolved, ten of South Africa’s most baffling mysteries come menacingly off the page, and the reader will again sense the real human tragedies behind these haunting events. With photographs

Headline Murders, meanwhile, is a collection of stories about ten of South Africa’s most notorious murder cases. The death of former First Lady Marike de Klerk spawned rumours of a political killing and dissension in the family; the story of Casper Greeff, respected dentist and dedicated husband found guilty of paying to have his lovely wife murdered, is one steeped in envy and intrigue; the Bain’s Kloof murder is an unsettling account of how poverty and abuse conspired to create human killing machines. These and seven other alarming real-life tales of murder that shocked South Africa are retold with gritty details that were unknown at the time when they made headlines.

Including photographs of the killers and (in the case of Headline Murders) their victims, the stories in these books lend a human face to those who, in a time of violent crime, might otherwise have become mere statistics. Two true crime books: on shelves now.

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