AKA "Boetie Boer" is a convicted serial killer from South Africa. Wilken
is regarded as a highly unusual serial killer, having killed individuals
from two distinct victim types, female prostitutes and young boys (he
also killed his adolescent daughter). Wilken killed from 1990 until he
was arrested in January 1997. He was active in Port Elizabeth, on the
east coast of South Africa.
Wilkens was charged with 10 counts of murder and 5
counts of sodomy on February 3, 1997. He was convicted of 7 counts of
murder and 2 counts of sodomy on February 20, 1998. Wilkens received 7
life sentences and was further advised by Mr Justice Chris Jansen that
he would have received the Death Penalty had it still been available to
PORT ELIZABETH -- Stewart ''Boetie
Boer'' Wilken fits the classic profile of a serial killer and will
murder again when the opportunity arises whether he is in prison or
This was said in evidence in the high
court yesterday by forensic psychologist Dr Micki Pistorius, who is
regarded as the country's foremost expert on serial killers.
Dr Pistorius, who is attached to the
SA Police Service in Pretoria, told Mr Justice Chris Jansen that the
rehabilitation prospects of serial killers are ''nil''.
Called by the defence, Dr Pistorius,
who had seen Mr Wilken's statement in which he confesses to ten murders
and five counts of sodomy, said one of the several phases that serial
killers go through during their ''development'' as multiple killers was
''raw sexual aggression'' during which the killer allowed himself to be
guided by his fantasies.
Triggered by stress-related factors,
these fantasies normally lead to murder.
Serial killers, she said, usually were
''lone wolves'' as children. A lack of inter-personal relations with
their parents resulted in the non-development of a conscience.
They demand immediate satisfaction to
their every whim. They cannot suppress their fantasies and eventually
embark on ''trial-runs'' to find out whether they would be capable of
''He has no control of himself under
these circumstances. He believes that his victim deserves to die, and he
cannot stop killing,'' she said.
She said some serial killers seek help
from psychologists, but even in these cases the killer does not really
want to give up the pleasure he derives from killing.
''They become addicted to the feeling
of power and control which killing gives them,'' Dr Pistorius said.
Serial killers who fitted Mr Wilken's
profile can also not become sexually aroused unless they cause pain and
Mr Wilken, she said, had been severely
abused as a young child, and had learned to be sadistic from an early
age as his habit of biting his victims revealed.
Mr Wilken described in his statement
how he had cut off and ate the nipples of one of his victims.
Dr Pistorius said the stress factors
which triggered his need to kill could also be activated in prison; ''anything
petty can set him off''.
By Martin Ströhm
A Chance Discovery
Stewart Wilken presents an interesting case because
he killed two distinct types of victims. Serial killers almost
invariably target victims who share certain characteristics, which may
be anything from their physical appearance to their vocation to
something as mundane as wearing high heels. They do this because it
provides them with an emotional release. Ted Bundy killed young,
attractive women. Jeffrey Dahmer killed homosexual men. Andrei Chikatilo
killed children of both sexes. Stewart Wilken killed adult female
prostitutes and early adolescent boys. Like all serial killers, there
was a deep psychological motive underlying his choice of victims.
Port Elizabeth is a large town on the east coast of
a country known for gold, apartheid and Nelson Mandela. It is also the
country with the second highest number of serial killers, after the
United States (Pistorius, 2000),
although this is a lesser-known fact. By the beginning of 1997, at least
eight people had already been killed by the same man over a seven-year
period in Port Elizabeth, or PE, as
it is generally referred to by South Africans. However, no one had
connected all the cases.
But Stewart Wilken finally made a mistake.
On January 22, 1997, a 12-year-old boy named Henry
Bakers disappeared. His mother, Ellen Bakers, was not concerned, as the
boy frequently stayed over at his grandmother's house in nearby
Missionvale, which is walking distance from their home in
Algoa Park. However, when he did not arrive home
by Thursday evening, she became uneasy. On Friday morning, she went to
her mother's house, only to hear that Henry had left for home on
He had been missing for two days.
The Child Protection Unit was contacted and Sgt.
Ursula Barnard began to investigate the case. She discovered Henry had
been at his mother's house on Wednesday afternoon, after which he played
with a friend at a nearby park. The friend told her that he had to go
and buy milk for his parents and later saw Henry with a man called
Stewart Wilken in Dyke Way. He asked Henry where he was going
and the man said that it was none of his business. Wilken was known to
both Henry and Ellen Bakers, and had even lived at her mother's for a
while after he had had some marital problems.
Sgt. Barnard set out to find Stewart Wilken, which
was problematic because he did not have a fixed address. She was
informed by a colleague that Wilken's daughter, Wuane, had disappeared
in 1995, and that there were also two charges of sodomy being
investigated against him. Like Henry Bakers, Wuane was last seen in
Wilken's company. The sodomy charges were filed by his parents-in-law in
connection with the two sons of his second wife, Victoria.
Sgt. Barnard arrested Wilken on January 28, 1997, and
questioned him. He appeared genuinely concerned about the missing boy
and eager to help. He told Sgt. Barnard that he had indeed been with
Henry for a while on that Wednesday, but he knew nothing about his
disappearance. In fact, Wilken alleged that he had spent the night at a
lady friend's house. He was released.
The alibi turned out to be false, and Wilken was
rearrested on January 31, 1997. The Child Protection Unit approached Sgt.
Derrick Norsworthy of the Murder and Robbery Unit. He had been trained
by Dr. Micki Pistorius, South Africa's
first psychological profiler, in the investigation of serial murder,
which included advanced interviewing and interrogation techniques.
Sgt. Norsworthy had Wilken brought to his office,
where the latter introduced himself as "Boetie Boer" ("Brother Farmer"),
the name by which he was generally known. Sgt. Norsworthy sat Wilken
down in a chair facing a photograph of the sergeant's daughter, who was
almost the same age as Wuane had been. He left Wilken alone for a while.
Upon his return, he found Wilken staring at the photograph.
Sgt. Norsworthy drew Wilken's attention to the framed
certificates on his wall, signifying that he had successfully completed
training as an investigator of serial homicide. Wilken's eyes found the
photograph once more. Sgt. Norsworthy told Wilken that he knew he had
killed the two children. He also knew that Wilken had revisited the
bodies to fantasize and commit necrophilia. Wilken was silent, then his
eyes drew on slits and he stretched out his hands. "I am sick," he said.
Then, he admitted that he had killed both his daughter, Wuane, and Henry
Bakers. In fact, he had returned to the decomposing body of the boy that
very morning to have sex with it.
Wuane was Wilken's daughter from his first marriage.
She was last seen on September 29, 1995, by her half-sister, who was
Wilken's first wife's daughter from a previous relationship. Wilken, who
had been married to his second wife for almost five years by now, was
visiting with Wuane's mother. Later that afternoon, the half-sister saw
Wilken with Wuane, sitting on a sidewalk about 150 feet from their home.
Wuane was never seen alive again.
Wilken stated that he had been concerned about
Wuane's welfare. Her stepfather was molesting her and there was not
enough food in the house. Wuane's half-sister admitted that there were
times when they did not have food and that their new stepfather did not
like them. Wilken claimed Wuane told him she wanted to run away.
Wilken took her to
Happy Valley. There is a garden here, filled
with fairy-tale figures such as dwarves. Wilken played there as a child
and said they were some of his happiest memories. When he left his
second wife's home, he went to stay in the bushes near
Here Wilken inspected Wuane's vagina and found that
she was "no longer a virgin." He wanted to save her from the kind of
life that he had had, and strangled her, thereby "sending her soul to
God" (Die Burger, 1998, p. 1). He removed her clothes and kept
her body, talking to it and sleeping next to it at night. When the body
had decomposed, he covered the skeleton with a tarpaulin. He placed her
clothes next to him, as if they were still being worn.
Regarding Henry Bakers, Wilken said he met the boy in
Park. Henry allegedly asked Wilken about
sex. Wilken took the boy to an open field on the outskirts of
Park. He told the boy to take off his
clothes and proceeded to perform fellatio on him. Then he told Henry to
lie on his back and he sodomized the boy. Henry cried and protested, and
Wilken began to strangle him. As the boy died, Wilken ejaculated.
Wilken also alleged that Henry was being physically
abused by his parents. As he had done with Wuane, he wanted to send
Henry's soul to God. Henry's parents said that they had scolded the boy
when naughty and at times had hit him on his buttocks, but that they had
never kicked him, as Wilken alleged.
Wilken showed police where he had left the bodies. He
took them to the place, behind the Garden Court Holiday Inn, where he
had kept Wuane's body, and later her skeleton, for almost six months.
This would finally provide the identity of a skeleton found there
beneath a blue-green tarpaulin on May 22, 1996. At the time, forensic
experts had only been able to identify the skeleton as belonging to a
white girl, younger than 12.
Then, Wilken took them to Henry's body, hidden in
bushes near Algoa
Park. The boy's body was found infested
Back at his office, Sgt. Norsworthy again confronted
Wilken. He told Wilken that he knew there were more bodies.
Wilken replied that there were probably at least 10.
He proceeded to make a full confession to his lawyer,
describing the crimes in explicit detail, using particularly foul
language. This confession kept Sgt. Norsworthy and his colleagues busy
for months, trying to locate the murder dockets
(which is what case files are called in South Africa) pertaining to the
crimes Wilken had described.
Prostitutes and Young Boys
It appears Wilken's first confirmed victim was
murdered in February 1990. He was 15-year-old Monte Fiko. He was a
street child, of which, unfortunately, there are quite many in
South Africa. Wilken sodomized the boy
Secondary School in Sydanham and strangled
On October 3, 1990, after an argument with his first
wife, Wilken picked up a prostitute, Virginia Gysman, at
Russel Road. She was 25. He payed her and
took her to Dagbreek Primary School,
where they had sex. He then penetrated her anally. When she complained,
he strangled her with her clothing and ejaculated as she died. He left
her body in the schoolyard.
On January 10, 1991, Wilken was solicited by Mercia
Papenfus, age 37, at the Red Lion Hotel. They went to
St. George's Park. When
her payment before intercourse, Wilken flew into a rage and strangled
her. Then he sodomized her and left her body in the park.
On October 21, 1991, Wilken met a 14-year-old street
boy, who apparently agreed to have sex with him for money. Wilken took
the boy to St. George's
Park. The boy wanted his money, which
angered Wilken. The boy tried to flee, but Wilken overpowered him and
sodomized him. He ejaculated as he strangled his victim.
In 1993, somewhere between June and September, Wilken
met another young street child and solicited him. They went to Target
Kloof, where Wilken sodomized and strangled the boy. He hid the body in
On July 27, 1995, Wilken killed a prostitute again.
Her name was Georgina Boniswa Zweni, aged 42, whom he took to Prince
Alfred's Park. He sodomized and strangled her. He was still filled with
lust and proceeded to sexually assault her with a knife. The forensic
pathologist testified at Wilken's trial that the wound was star-shaped
and it appeared as if the assailant had "stuck in the knife, pulled it
out, stuck it in and pulled it out" repeatedly (Die Burger, 1998,
p. 5). In all, he counted at least 20 stab wounds, which included a
cluster of five next to her navel. He characterised it as "a wild knife
stabbing." Wilken also cut off her nipples and ate them at the scene.
Her clothing was thrown into a fish pond.
On September 29, 1995, Wilken murdered his 10-year-old
On May 25, 1996, he solicited a 22-year-old
prostitute, Katriena Claassen, at the
Albany Road interchange. They went down to
the beach. Wilken shoved a piece of plastic bag down her throat to keep
her from screaming, sodomized and strangled her.
Somewhere between May and August of 1996, he met
another street child, whom he took to
Frederick. After the boy
masturbated him, Wilken told the boy to undress and sodomised him. The
boy threatened to tell the police and Wilken strangled him. However, it
is clear that he would have killed the boy anyway. He hid the body.
On January 22, 1997, Wilken murdered Henry Bakers.
Wilken told Sgt. Norsworthy that he returned to the
bodies of the boys he had killed. He rubbed vinegar and butter on the
boys' feet to hide their scent from the police dogs. He rolled up pieces
of newspaper and inserted it into their anuses to keep the maggots out,
so that he could commit necrophilia. He denied having any sexual
interaction with Wuane, both before her death and afterwards.
The baby who would become Stewart Wilken was born on
November 11, 1966, in Boksburg. When he was about 6 months old, he and
his 2-year-old sister were left in a phone booth, where they were later
found by a domestic worker, who took them to the home of her employer.
This man, known only as "Doep," subjected the boy to terrible abuse. He
burned the boy with cigarettes on his genitals. The boy's food was given
to the dogs and he had to eat with the animals from their bowls. Doep
also engaged in acts of bestiality with his dogs, and the boy had to
lick his penis afterwards. At some point, the boy's sister disappeared
and he did not know what happened to her.
This went on for a year and a half.
When the boy was 2 years old, the neighbours, Mr and
Mrs Wilken, adopted him out of compassion. He was undernourished and
infested with lice. (Mrs Wilken would later confirm the cruelty
perpetrated against the boy by Doep.) The Wilkens gave the boy the name
of Stewart Wilken, although he called himself "Boetie Boer." At some
point, they moved to Port
Stewart did not do well at school, neither
academically, nor socially. He failed the third grade three times. He
was mocked by his peers because he was adopted. According to Wilken, the
teacher had not intervened on his behalf, but instead had incited the
others further. The next day Stewart assaulted the teacher and was
severely beaten by the principal in front of the other children.
He often bit his stepmother as well as other children.
She punished him for these and other disobediences by locking him up in
his room, where he kicked over lights and other furniture. According to
Wilken, she had also locked him up in a cupboard. He was punished for
wetting his bed. There was an incident where a boy attacked him and when
he fought back, was sent home. Wilken recalls that his stepmother had
not taken his side, and he had decided that from then on, he would be
his own "mother, father, sister and auntie" (Pistorius, 2002, p. 156).
At the age of 8, he started smoking marijuana.
When he was 9, a deacon invited Stewart to his home
one day after Sunday school. There, the deacon sodomized the boy. During
this same year, either before or after this incident, Stewart's
Stewart's stepmother felt overwhelmed by the
difficult boy and sent him to a reformatory. Here he was locked up
without clothes as punishment, and the older boys sodomized him. He
often tried to run away, but had to return. After he completed Standard
9 (Grade 11), Stewart enlisted in the Army, but was discharged after
four months, when he attempted to commit suicide. He moved in with his
stepmother in Despatch, which is not far from Port Elizabeth.
Stewart met the woman who would become his first wife,
Lynne, in a nightclub. On December 25, 1985, they had a daughter, whom
they named Wuane. Lynne stated that after Wuane's birth, Wilken would
only have anal sex with her, often in very uncomfortable positions.
Wilken later alleged that Lynne turned to prostitution at this time.
The marriage was not a happy one. Wilken assaulted
his wife on numerous occasions and she had him arrested for smoking
marijuana. They got divorced, and Wilken vowed that he would never have
sex with a white woman again, for fear that it might be his long-lost
He met a coloured woman, Veronica, who already had
two sons. (There are four main racial groups in
South Africa: white, of European descent; black,
which comprises numerous different indigenous tribes; coloured, which
refers to people of mixed race; and Indian, descendants from
India.) Wilken and Veronica married
and had two daughters. This marriage also did not fare too well, and
Veronica's parents accused Wilken of sodomising the two boys. It was at
this time that he left the house and went to live in the bushes near
The Psychology of Stewart Wilken
The first six years is one of the most important
periods of human development. It is a critical period for psychosocial
development, in particular forming attachments to other human beings (Louw,
Van Ede & Louw, 1998). A critical period is a specific span of time
during which a child is biologically ready and susceptible to develop
specific skills, behaviours and/or capacities, provided that she or he
is exposed to the appropriate environmental conditions and stimulation (Berk,
2000). A critical period does not repeat itself; if a child should fail
to develop those characteristics which fall in a critical period, it may
forever be too late.
Attachment is a psychological term referring
to the emotional bond which develops between people, particularly
between the child and his or her primary caregiver, which is usually the
mother (Louw et al., 1998). This emotional connection is visible in the
child's positive feelings when near the mother, as well as going to her
in times of uncertainty and fear. Although researchers initially
believed that feeding was important in the formation of attachment,
studies indicated that warmth, comfort and social interaction were the
real significant factors (Berk, 2000).
John Bowlby (in Louw et al., 1998) studied the
development of attachment between child and mother, and distinguished
four stages in this process. During the third stage, from 6 months to 2
years, the normal child becomes firmly attached to her or his mother.
This is precisely the time when Stewart Wilken was abandoned by his
mother. Instead, he came to be with a cruel man who showed him no love.
How these four phases proceed is highly significant
for the child's development. A mother who is generally unresponsive and
unaffectionate toward her child will not mediate the formation of
healthy and secure attachment in her child. Children with healthy
attachment will be able to use their mother as a secure base from which
to venture out into the environment and explore, happy in the knowledge
that they can return to her in the face of anxiety. The child thus
develops the belief that the mother will be there in times of stress,
which creates an internal working model for all future intimate
relationships (Berk, 2000).
Stewart Wilken did not have this. He had a caregiver
who abused him, hurt him and humiliated him. He could not develop the
trust that there would be someone he could count on. Research has
repeatedly found that emotional deprivation during the early years of
life has a permanent effect on the child's personality (Louw et al.,
This is also the stage during which the foundation of
socialization is laid (Louw et al., 1998). Socialization refers
to the acquisition of the values, rules and moral standards of a
particular culture (Reber, 1985). In the early years of life, this task
falls mainly on the parents' shoulders. They have to teach the child
which types of behavior are acceptable and which are not.
involves basic manners, such as keeping quiet while others are speaking
and toilet training. As the child gets older, the content of
socialization becomes more complex. Two important ways in which parents
act as socialization agents are: (1) directly, by teaching their
children how something is done; and (2) indirectly, by acting as models
(Louw et al., 1998). Parents who behave in a loving and caring manner
will generally evoke similar behaviour in their children.
It is obvious that Stewart Wilken did not receive
proper socialization at the hands of Doep. He was not taught to respect
other people, that others should not be harmed. At the core of
socialization lies the realization that we live in a world filled with
people who should be treated with respect. How could Stewart Wilken
learn this from a man who abused him and treated him like a dog? Instead,
the boy learned that your own feelings and needs are paramount,
regardless of the consequences on the lives of others.
Although the physical abuse decreased significantly
when he was adopted, it does not appear as if his emotional world
improved to the same degree.
An aspect which is apparent in almost every serial
killer's childhood is the absence of a proper father figure (Ressler &
Shachtman, 1993). Stewart Wilken's biological father abandoned him. His
next father figure, Doep, abused him. Apparently, Mr. Wilken was good to
him and Stewart had affection for him, but his stepfather died when
Stewart was 9, just the time when the father becomes very important in a
boy's life. As a result, Stewart was left with no role model. He could
not identify with a male figure to learn how he should be a man.
Instead, he was sodomised by a deacon from the church. Again he was
confronted with the message: Men are abusive and take what they want
As children get older, friendships become
increasingly important. Not only is friendship pleasant to the children
involved, but it provides a situation in which many socially oriented
behaviours are learned and practised. Children gain a deeper
understanding of other people, and become aware of different viewpoints.
It moves them away from an egocentric point of view and helps with the
development of empathy and helping behaviour (Berk, 2000). Their social
skills improve and they become better at dealing with people. Friendship
can also be invaluable in coping with stressful situations.
Stewart Wilken did not have close friendships as a
child. Part of the reason may lie in the attachment style he developed.
Children with secure attachments are much more proficient in developing
friendships later in life than children with insecure attachments (Baron
& Byrne, 1997). Stewart was mocked and ridiculed by his peers.
In such a situation, the child tends to become
isolated and withdraws into his own world. He develops feelings only
To compound the situation further, his stepmother
sent him to a reformatory. Again he was rejected by his mother. Again he
was abused by others. Again he was sodomized by older, more powerful
The crimes of serial killers are fuelled by their
fantasies (Douglas & Olshaker, 1997, 1998b). Their fantasies are central
to their beings. Unfortunately, we know nothing of Stewart Wilken's
fantasies. Still, it would be logical to assume that he fantasized about
revenge, about him being the one with the power. Fantasies find
especially fertile soil in the tortured and the isolated.
Victimology, Part 1: The Boys
One way in which children master the negative
experiences is to fantasize about it with the child now in the powerful
role (Berk, 2000). Thus, if the child feels ineffectual in his life,
ignored or rejected by others, or emotionally abused, he may create a
fantasy where he is the powerful one, the one who rejects and
abuses. This may evolve into what Miller (1987) calls the "repetition
compulsion." Recognizing his own prior powerlessness and helplessness in
the weaker boy, as an adult Wilken could identify with the powerful
person and become the abuser. Instead of being the powerless boy being
sodomized, he could become the powerful man doing the sodomizing. This
was a psychological mechanism which alleviated his own painful memories.
Wilken described in his confession that he often
recalled the deacon sodomizing him as he walked with the boys he picked
However, Stewart Wilken never quite fits into a
theory. It seems as if he also wanted to save other children from the
same life he had lived, from his pain. We will probably never know
whether he truly meant this. If he did feel that way, however, it can be
interpreted in two ways: (1) he may genuinely have wanted to 'send their
souls to God', to a better place; or (2) he may have seen himself in
these children and consequently wanted to send himself, symbolically
through them, to a better place.
Perhaps both are true.
Victimology, Part 2: The Prostitutes
Where did his hatred of prostitutes come from? We
don't really know. Wilken accused his first wife of prostituting herself
after Wuane was born. He also believed that prostitutes were committing
a sin by charging money for something that God had given freely to women
and men (Pistorius, 2002). Perhaps it was displaced anger at his
biological mother for deserting him, at his adoptive mother for not
being the mother he wanted. Perhaps it was displaced anger at his wives.
Of course, prostitutes have always been a favourite
among serial killers. Indeed, Jack the Ripper, the first widely known
serial killer, preyed on prostitutes. Why? Prostitutes are easy prey:
They are easily accessible, will talk to anyone who is a potential
client and go with that person without knowing who he is. Particularly
those who walk the streets, as opposed to the higher class escorts, are
not always missed and are only noticed after their bodies are found (Ressler
& Shachtman, 1998). But there is also a motivational issue: Prostitutes
are explicitly connected to sex and openly flaunt their sex, which may
somehow tie into the killer's fantasies, perhaps because these "worthless
whores" need to be punished (Pistorius, 2000).
Whatever his reasons, Wilken truly hates prostitutes
and does not think that they deserve to live. He has never demonstrated
any remorse about the women he killed (Pistorius, 2002).
Those readers who are familiar with John Douglas'
books (1997, 1998a, 1998b) will also be familiar with the difference
between modus operandi (MO) and signature. Briefly, MO refers to those
aspects of an offender's behavior which are necessary to successfully
complete the crime, e.g. wearing gloves so as to avoid being identified.
Signature refers to those aspects of his behaviour which are only
necessary to fulfil his emotional needs, e.g. taking off his gloves just
before strangling his victim because he needs to feel her skin.
Stewart Wilken liked to face his victims while
sodomizing them so that he could watch their faces as he strangled them.
He referred to their last
moments as the 'jellybean effect' (Pistorius,
2000, 2002). Their eyes would bulge, their lips swell and their tongues
protrude from their mouths. It was at this moment when he would ejaculate.
There are three base motives of the serial killer:
domination, manipulation and control (Douglas & Olshaker, 1997). Wilken
felt inadequate and inferior, but when he was killing, his victims were
completely under his control. Particularly at the
moment of the "jellybean effect," he was vividly aware
that he had power over their life or death. This sense of power is
intoxicating, and he felt omnipotent (Pistorius, 2000). This was the
moment he felt alive and divorced of his usual
inadequate existence. By being in control of another person, he felt as
if he had control over his own life. Wilken often became enraged when
his victims demanded their payment or complained that he was hurting
them, and he would kill them almost immediately. He felt that they were
trying to take his control and would not have it.
Prof. Tuviah Zabow, who evaluated Wilken's ability to
stand trial and distinguish between right and wrong, described him as a
sadist. Certainly, anal rape is classified as sadistic (Douglas &
Olshaker, 1998b). His preference for the "jellybean effect" is even more
so. But Wilken again does not fit neatly inside the box. Sexual sadists
like to torture their victims in elaborate fashion, usually over
protracted periods, and they relish any cries of pain (Michaud &
Hazelwood, 2000). Wilken seemed to be motivated to kill as soon as his
victims complained of pain. Perhaps because he remembered his own pain?
Be that as it may, his sadistic pleasure in watching
his victims, including the boys, die, stands in stark contrast to his
contention that he wanted to save them. However, it does not necessarily
deny its truth. Serial killers do not think the same way that "normal"
people do. While it seems contradictory from a "normal" perspective, it
need not be from Wilken's.
The murder of his daughter is possibly the most
interesting part. By all accounts, Wilken loved Wuane. Her half-sister
testified that Wilken and Wuane had a good relationship, that he visited
her frequently and brought her presents. She said that he loved her.
Both his wives stated that he was very kind at times, particularly
Why did he kill her? Perhaps he truly believed he was
saving her from being sexually abused as he had been.
He kept her body close to him even when she was
completely skeletalized. He spread her clothes out next to him and
talked to her. To this day, he denies having had any sexual contact with
her (which may or may not be true). This does not conform to the
behavior of a truly psychopathic killer.
Still, this post-offence behaviour begs the question:
Was it because he loved Wuane, or because he grieved for himself?
Stewart Wilken appeared in court on February 3, 1997,
charged with the murders of his daughter and Henry Bakers. Over the
months that followed, more charges were added as the police connected
the crimes detailed in his confession with existing murder dockets. The
final charge sheet listed 10 counts of murder and five of sodomy.
Both Dr. Micki Pistorius and Prof. Tuviah Zabow
testified that serial killers in general and Wilken in particular cannot
be rehabilitated. At least once during the trial, while Dr. Pistorius
was testifying, Wilken asked to be excused to go to the bathroom. On his
way he indicated to Sgt. Norsworthy that he was going to masturbate.
Wilken's defence did not contest seven of the murder
charges and two of the sodomy charges. Regarding the others, they felt
there was not sufficient evidence to prove Wilken's involvement beyond a
Mr Justice Chris Jansen concurred and found Wilken
guilty on seven counts of murder and two of sodomy on February 20, 1998.
(In South Africa,
criminal cases are presented before a judge who decides the guilt or
innocence of the defendant. The jury system is not employed.) The murder
charges related to Wuane, Henry Bakers and Monte Fiko, as well as all
four of the women.
On February 23, 1998, Stewart Wilken was sentenced to
seven terms of life imprisonment. Mr Justice Chris Jansen said that
Wilken had to be removed from the community. If the death penalty had
still been available in
he would have imposed it. He mentioned that, while almost everyone had
turned away from some of the video's shown, Wilken had displayed no
Wilken's wife, Veronica, attended the proceedings and
they were reconciled. After sentence was passed, they spoke for a couple
of minutes and parted with a passionate kiss.
Sgt. Norsworthy somehow managed to track down
Wilken's biological mother. She had been reunited with Wilken's sister
shortly after she had disappeared. She asked Sgt. Norsworthy to tell
Stewart that she had not abandoned him and that she loved him, despite
her shock at the truth of what her son had become. Wilken broke down
when he heard this. When they spoke on the phone, he called her "Mommy,"
a name he could not remember having used before.
Stewart Wilken is currently in St. Alban's Prison,
where he is tormented by hallucinations and delusions of persecution. He
believes that the ghosts of his victims are haunting him. Dr. Pistorius
(2000) feels that, in the absence of being able to portray the role of
the aggressor, he has reverted back to being the victim.
Serial killer's wife murdered
macabre twist of fate, the wife of a serial killer was bludgeoned to
death with a brick at the weekend.
Havenga, first wife of one of the country's most notorious killers -
Stewart "Boetie Boer" Wilken, and the mother of Wilken's 10-year-old
daughter, Wuané, went missing in Missionvale on Friday evening.
had apparently walked to a telephone booth to phone her third husband,
According to Havenga his wife was accompanied by one of her children
from a previous marriage.
heard that three men stormed them, grabbed her, forced her into a car
and raced away in a car.
child managed to escape," he said.
Superintendent Johan van Greunen said on Sunday the woman's body was
found next to the salt pans in Missionvale about 06:30 on Saturday.
Greunen said she had been hit over the head with a blunt instrument. No
arrests were made and the case was being investigated.
Havenga said his wife was hit numerous times with a brick against her
head and she was mutilated almost beyond recognition.
lived in Algoa Park and would have joined me in Kirkwood at the end of
the month," Havenga said.
said they had been married for five years and his wife received a state
Reign of terror
Wilken was responsible for a reign of terror in Port Elizabeth between
1990 and 1997. He was convicted of the murder of several prostitutes and
Inspector Derrick Nosworthy, who was the investigating officer in the
Wilken case, said Wilken was arrested in January 1997 on charges of
murdering his own daughter and a 12-year-old boy, Henry Baker.
"Wilken previously had a relationship with Baker's mother and witnesses
who knew him, saw him with Henry before the boy disappeared," Nosworthy
Wilken admitted that he had committed ten murders, and pointed out
evidence to the police.
Wilken appeared in court on nine counts of murder and two of sodomy.
Other charges concerned cannibalism and necrophilia.
Wilken was found guilty on seven counts of murder in the Port Elizabeth
Supreme Court on February 27 1998 and received seven life sentences,
which he is serving in a prison in Bloemfontein.
Havenga said his wife was "in a bad way" when he met her.
experience with Wilken had Lynn on her last legs and she became a
various tablets, but I eventually got her to the stage where she could
go without them," Havenga said.