Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Interested2 » Mon May 14, 2012 3:15 pm

Truth I certainly do have a very strong view that the balcony door was a possible escape route. Why wouldn't I think so after all the reasons you've supplied?

Question everything Mr Truth, everything.

Keys keys keys.... What can you tell us about those keys...?
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Truth » Mon May 14, 2012 4:19 pm

Like I said, the flat is your crime scene, I do not have much of an interest in it - think I mentioned that I did not check the keys yet...

I'll be away for a while, doing some really interesting stuff. Don't miss me too much.....
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby pottoman » Mon May 14, 2012 4:59 pm

Truth wrote:
I'll be away for a while, doing some really interesting stuff. Don't miss me too much.....


It'll be tough but we'll get over it.
Meanwhile, a little story to entertain the troops in your absence.

For over seven years Professor Lotz has been trying to find the bastard who murdered his only child.
In the beginning he put his faith in the South African Police Service to do that job for him.

But he got screwed.

Vital evidence was destroyed at the scene whilst the rest has become either contaminated or irretrievably lost over time.

On top of that, most of the original investigating team have been summarily trashed in a best-selling paperback and further dehumanized in a malicious prosecution case that now finds them waiting in line at the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Any hope, therefore, of South Africa’s finest ever lifting another finger to find the man responsible for the killing of Inge Lotz has long gone. Long, long gone.

Inge’s father found out the hard way that he lived in a country where the murder of a child is viewed as little more than an affront to the State.
When Society’s rules get broken the system takes charge and dispenses justice as it sees fit, disregarding the victim and frequently ignoring the victim's family; often victimizing them in the process.
Victim’s rights simply do not exist in today’s South Africa – although you might just find them buried in the Constitution somewhere if you look hard enough – most probably under a large and malodorous heap that describes in tiresome detail the rights of the accused.

So in the end Prof. Lotz decided to post a massive reward and hire some specialist help – and who can blame him.

To those who have really studied the murder, it is perfectly clear at this late stage that the only viable hope of ever solving the case will be through traditional, old-fashioned investigation.

About three weeks after Piet Byleveld began his work, on April 18th to be precise; Prof Lotz was given the name of the man who had killed his daughter.
Or so the poor gentleman was led to believe at the time.

Problem being that it wasn’t the veteran detective who gave him this earth shattering information, but someone else entirely, someone who was about to hand over his findings to the SAPS. No harm in that if the findings were conclusive – which of course they weren’t, that much was obvious – they’d failed to identify two crucial pay-as-you-go cellphones – let alone analyze the data.

So was this all simply a case of someone jumping the gun, a heartless fishing expedition or something more sinister altogether ?

Maybe we’ll never know but nothing much seems to have become of that dossier, perhaps they went back to the drawing board.

Funny thing is that about a week later there began a mighty flurry of activity on this forum.

Nah… its probably just coincidence.

On the other hand….

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes

(Beware of geeks bearing gifs)
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Truth » Tue May 15, 2012 2:14 am

My Dear Pottoman,

Just to clarify a few things for you.

Prof. Lotz was not given the name of his daughter's killer. Just a line of thinking that we hoped Byleveld could persue. Certainly, in what we have given him it is pretty clear that there are things we could not investigate, since we do not have the legal authority. It was also clearly stated that we are not interested in any rewards.

We were thinking about giving it to SAPS but realized later that we cannot excpect much from them at this stage.

For this reason, the next step was to try and test our ideas on a forum where we thought there might be people who could give us an indication of the merits of our thinking and maybe some help. Anybody can go and read what I have written and decide for him/herelf. Instead we were sworn at and called all sorts of names, for a reason we still fail to understand. We are still looking at it, but what sense is there in testing our ideas on a forum where there is someone who is dead set to show what fools we are and would obviously not tolerate anybody else around.

We are aware of the phones (there may even be more), as well as the least cost routing numbers, but we do not have the records for it or the authority to obtain it. It is also a line of thinking that is different to ours, but I certainly have never said it is wrong. The more things get investigated, the better the chance of finding something. Whoever did it must have made some mistake. I have to make the assumption (!) that in spite of having access to the phones no conclusive evidence have been found yet, as I am not aware of any arrests ?

So nothing sinister here. The only thing I find sinister is why someone needs to have a number of names on a forum and see it fit to attack anybody who even tries to have his / her own ideas. Judging by the hitrate on the site, we certainly gave you some desperately desired/needed publicity - glad to be of service!

Have to fly.

With that I wish you a fond farewell and a nice quiet time around here!

Truth
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Frodo » Wed May 16, 2012 1:55 am

Pottoman

Why are you trying to silence people on this forum?

Silence is golden?
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby karma » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:49 pm

Hi All,

I'm new to this forum - have been very interested to read all the comments and work done by the people who are trying to solve the Inge Lotz case - please continue to do so as anything that contributes to solving this case is worth the while.

I have always been incredibly saddened by this horrible crime that was committed back in 2005. My interest in it stems mainly from that I was in the same class as Inge, Fred and the rest during our studies in Stellenbosch and so I saw them on a daily basis in class (the actuarial classes are quite specialised and are relatively small compared to other courses at Stellenbosch).

From this group of friends I only really knew Fred (we were in the same male koshuis in Stellenbosch and naturally everyone gets to know everyone else) but we were only acquaintances. The rest of the group of friends that are mentioned in this trial (Inge, Marius, Wimpie, Jean) are people that I only observed in my classes, but did not know at a personal level. Due to the small size of the actuarial class it is common to get to 'know' or recognise people even if you don't know them (or at least it is something I do - at university classes I tended to be a quiet observer and always tried to figure out who people are in a room full of people I don't know from the start). Without speaking to them, it didn't take me that long to put names to faces in the class as they were all good students and some of them were pretty much 'top of the class' candidates.

I guess why I took an interest in them were due to a couple of points:
- I normally sat towards the back of the class, they sat near the front and so it was natural for me to observe people in front of me (less likely to observe people sitting to your side and behind you).
- From the start it was obvious to see that this was a group of friends who all studied the same course. Most other groups of friends in the class would be limited to 2 or 3 people that know each other. So this in itself stood out from the rest of the class.

Inge was a smart and pretty student - it was obvious that she would have had admirers and I can fully understand why some of her friends might have liked her or even been in love with her. I guess it's quite a natural thing for any young male student to develop strong feelings and have crushes on pretty girls - especially for bright male students (as most are in the actuarial class) who might not have had as many female friend/girlfriends as some others. I say all this to make a point that it would have been pretty normal for someone to have a crush on her or be 'superficially' in love with her during their time at Stellenbosch - so this in itself should not be treated with too much suspicion (i.e. being in love with Inge doesn't necessarily mean you have a strong motive to kill her). Of course love could develop into obsession, and this would be more serious.

One person I do know a bit better than the Inge/Fred group is Stefanus De Wet Van Der Spuy (or De Wet as I know him) - you may recall he is the colleague at Old Mutual who vouched for a part of Fred's whereabouts in that he spoke with him around 17:10 on the day of the murder. As an interesting fact, De Wet was also in the same koshuis as me and Fred, but he finished his actuarial studies just before we started ours. I knew De Wet before I went to Stellenbosch and so knew him at a personal level. If it is any help to anyone's continuing investigations, I can say the following - one part of the case which I've never had a doubt about when I read the Antony Altbeker book is that Fred was in the Old Mutual office at around 17:10 that afternoon. I say this because this is what De Wet testified and I have absolutely no reason to doubt his testimony. He is a great, balanced guy with a good sense of humour and there is no way that I would doubt his testimony. There is just no reason in the world that I could think of as to why he would not tell the truth. So that piece of testimony is one that I would gladly accept as 100% true and according to me any theory of the event of that day should have this incorporated - Fred was at Old Mutual at 17:10.

Like many of you I found the book fascinating as I didn't really know a great deal about the case, certainly nothing more than what was reported in the media. I found it so incredibly frustrating that so many errors were made during the investigation. I found it even more frustrating that there were not more evidence or facts that could be established in the court case which could have helped in solving the murder. In hindsight it seems so obvious what the police could have done in order to have given themselves a much better chance of catching the killer(s). Then again, for whatever reason, we might not be aware of all the evidence that was gathered.

You would think that the following would be helpful:
- whereabouts and alibi's for all of Inge's close friends, and then also for Fred's close friends when he became the main suspect.
- whereabouts and alibi's for all people that had some involvement on the day of murder: the builders, tilers, Christo Pretorius, Andre Beelders, etc.
- cellphone records for as many of them as possible.

This would at least be a start and could possibly eliminate, or at least seriously focus the police's attention to a few key people. Of course, this case has proven to be such a hard one to solve, whether it is due to police errors/fabrication (technically we can't say that is a 100% as it could be that all the police work was honest, yet not very well executed), whether the killer was incredibly thorough in cleaning up, or whether it was purely coincidental that the killer didn't manage to leave anything behind or be seen before or after committing the crime.

The nature of the killing was something that really struck me - it sounded horrific - and no young person should ever have suffered such an act. My gut instinct agrees with the psychologist which said that the killer could most likely be someone close to Inge. A very distracting part of this case then is the part of Carolus and the possibility that Inge was killed by someone she didn't know at all and who might have been high on drugs. It might sound strange, but it is something I really hope is not true - as a parent I would not want to know that my child was killed by some random stranger on drugs - I think this would not give the same closure as to finding out that it was someone nearer to her who will now be convicted and their lives taken away from them.

Yet the frustrating part is that until more concrete evidence points to someone, we can not dismiss that someone like Carolus might have been the murderer.

This case continues to thrive and I have welcomed the news of the R1m reward and the involvement of specialist help in the form of Mr Byleveld. This can only be a positive step in keeping everyone's hopes up to find the guilty party. I also thought, similar to some of you, that it would be a good idea if there was some way in which anyone could contribute to a fund which is to be used for solving the case. I can't even start to imagine what the Lotz's must have gone through and is still going through each day - it must be an incredible burden. I also don't want to imagine what Fred must have gone through and the disruption it has caused to his life (that is of course if he is 100% innocent).

I have purposefully not divulged my own opinions or observations that I made of the Inge/Fred group of friends during my years with them in class as I don't want to mention something that might put someone in a bad light and then muddy that person's name if they are innocent. What I could mirror are things already mentioned in the book:
- it was obvious that Wimpie was a close friend of Inge
- it was obvious that Inge was popular among her friends
- it is very likely that Marius / Jean were at some point in love with Inge, and of course we know Fred was as well.

If anyone want my more detailed personal opinions of what I thought of some of the individuals then they are welcome to contact me via message if they feel it could help in any way. Of course my character opinions are all based on my own gut feelings and are only that - an opinion, based on observations rather than any personal direct contact.

Please continue with the very informative discussions on this thread and ignore people who try to upset the rest. By getting more facts in place it could slowly start to reveal some kind of picture. I look forward to reading more of your discussions.

All the best.
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Pat » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:59 am

Hello, Karma.

It's good to have a new voice and a fresh outlook in the discussion. Thank you for joining.

I can speak to little except the crime scene and fingerprint evidence, but I have been in that line of work for over thirty years and feel qualified to comment in those regards. From my perspective, there should have been plenty of conclusive evidence in Inge's apartment to identify the killer -- if the police had done a competent job of processing the scene. In the first place, only eleven latent prints were developed. I believe a thorough processing of the apartment and everything in it should have yielded hundreds of latent fingerprints. I remember one homicide scene I worked a couple of decades ago in which I spent two solid days developing latent prints and identified the killer's fingerprints numerous times, including one on a bottle of water from inside the refrigerator. In the case of Inge's murder, I do not think the police went to the extent of fingerprinting items from the refrigerator, the dirty dishes from the sink, or the garbage in the trash cans. That is significant because I was told that Fred had eaten supper with Inge the night before. They had a large lasagna, but only ate about half of it. The rest went back into the refrigerator. Inge would not have eaten the other half herself for breakfast and we know she did not eat it for lunch, yet from what I hear, it was all gone. That would imply that the killer ate with Inge prior to killing her, or else was so callous that he at after the deed. Either way, the refrigerator, the dirty dishes, and the trash should have been examined thoroughly for fingerprints and DNA evidence. Any prints on those items other than Inge's and Fred's would have been strong evidence.

Aside from fingerprints, there is the issue of DNA. I wonder if the police were as lax at collecting DNA swabs as they were at collecting fingerprints. For example, in the violent use of a knife, it would not be unusual for the killer to have had his hand slide down the blade and cut himself. In such a case, in a mixture of his blood and Inge's, Inge's DNA profile would have overshadowed his. But he would have dripped blood drops around the apartment as he made his way to the bathroom to clean up, and possibly as he left. Did the police collect swabs of all single blood drops from the floor throughout the apartment? I heard that they did not.

Also there was a wound that implied the possibility of a bite below Inge's neck. Was the skin around that wound swabbed for DNA? If it was a bite, there is a strong possibility the killer's saliva would have yielded a strong enough DNA profile, even in a mixture, to make an identification.

There are a few thoughts of mine regarding what might have been done, but which I believe the police ignored altogether. Of course, it is way too late to retrieve any of the possible evidence to which I refer, and I have no suggestions how to clean up the mess at this late date. That is Detective Byleveld's province, and having read the book on him, I would believe that if anyone can put the puzzle together, it is him.

Please keep up the discussion and I hope you receive some private message replies to your contribution.

Best regards,
Pat
The views presented in this post are those of the author only. They do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or any of its components.
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Frodo » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:35 am

Dear Pat
I agree that Mr Byleveld is the right person to put this puzzle together. I have one question. Why did Inge's cellphone register at Country Fair Farm, approximately 16 kms away from Stellenbosch, during the time she was having pancakes with Wimpie?
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby karma » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:05 am

Pat,

I totally agree with your points - there must have been a lot more evidence of fingerprints and possible DNA in the flat and it is a shame that more wasn't recovered. It could have wrapped up the case and avoided everything that has transpired since.

With regards to the lasagne - I recall her letter to Fred mentioned that she wasn't proud of her cooking, so it might have been this lasagne that didn't go down that well, and it could be that she threw it out the next morning? Irrespective of this, all the dishes and cutlery should have been checked.

Frodo - is that a fact that has been established, where did this come from, and is it publicly available?
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Frodo » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:39 am

Karma, yes, it is a fact.
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby karma » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:04 am

Frodo,

Do you have more details around the location of Country Fair Farm. When you drive out of Stellenbosch, in which direction do you go? Strand, Wellington, N1, etc?
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Interested2 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:03 pm

Frodo

Do you have more details on whether this was a phone call, text message or other, e.g. data usage?
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby sonofjohn » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:04 am

Actually there were no dirty dishes in the apartment - only a plate and mug in the drying rack.
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Neville » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:03 pm

Hi truth,
My wife's cell phone shows on screen what site or tower she is connected to at any given time and I have watched as it changes site continually from sites 1km away to sites 20km away, I have no idea how these things work but my guess is that as one site gets too loaded the phone is directed to another site, so my point is this, is it just a normal cell phone thing that it has been connected to a site 16km away at any certain time, nothing out of the norm.
Second thought is why do you think it has to be someone she knows just because of the look of the scene. One of the worst scenes I attended during my career the offender had no connection at all to the victim but went totally off his head. When I fingerprinted him at the Station he was the most placid nice person you could meet but he was the killer. He was not even a druggy. Blind rage can be set off by anything when you are dealing with nutcases and druggies.
My thoughts
Neville
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Re: Evidence Fabrication in South Africa

Postby Truth » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:02 am

Hi Neville,

You are most likely correct. Even though it was claimed by one of the cellular providers (who were wrong on quite a few other things) that her phone could not have been with her and that it was not possible for the signal to be picked up in Stellenbosch, tests we did have shown that you actually have a small window with line of sight from County Fair to a tower that is a few hundred meters away from the murder scene. The direct distance would also be considerably less than 16km. Add to this favourable cloud conditions etc. and it becomes very likely that the signal could have registered at County Fair. I have not seen it personally, but it is said that the provider gave an affidavit that there was no tower at County Fair at that stage... something that is hard to understand if it appears on the technical records.

It is unfortunate that data connection records are not normally kept by the providers for a long time - The record that slipped through in this case most likely is one of many that could have helped to clarify things.

You could be right about the murderer as well. The way it was executed is in line with generally accepted ideas about murders, but certainly no proof. One can however speculate about why someone who do not know her and do not want to steal anything, would want to murder her in such a violent way. But then again, life is a strange place to be ......

T
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