South African activists turn detective to solve eight gay murders

OUT Well-Being investigating ‘serial killer’ murders in Gauteng Province after police fail to solve mystery

South African activists turn detective to solve eight gay murders
06 June 2012

Gay campaigners in South Africa have turned into sleuths to help solve the mystery of a series of murders of gay men in Gauteng Province.

The string of killings began with the killing of Manolis Veloudos in April 2010. Seven more gay men were killed under similar circumstances, culminating with the murder of Rulov Seneval in February 2012.

The fact that all eight murders share certain similarities, including the apparent ease of entry into the victims’ homes, that they were all strangled and were all gay men suggests that this may be the work of a serial killer, according to LGBT campaigners.

OUT Well-Being, an non-profit organization which provides direct health services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities issued a press release warning gay men to be vigilant when making contact with other men.

Due to the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) lack of progress with the case, OUT has begun to take an active role in the investigation.

Dawie Nel, director of OUT told Gay Star News: ‘We have set up teams consisting of members of our organization and families and friends of the victims to maintain pressure on the SAPS to follow through this investigation and get results.

‘One of the victims’ cell phones was found in the possession of a spiritual healer who’d made calls on it the day after one of the murders. We believe this and other leads have not been followed up by the police.’

OUT have also engaged the services of a private investigation team to look into the evidence which links phone numbers from the victims to the killer, and user accounts for dating and social networking sites like Gaydar that OUT suspect were used by the killer to make contact with the victims.

They hope that the investigative team’s analysis of this evidence when presented to the SAPS in a comprehensive dossier will persuade them to act.

The full list of murders they are investigating is:

  • Manolis Veloudos in April 2010
  • Jim Cathels in Berea in December 2010
  • Oscar O’Hara (33) in May 2011
  • A 47-year-old unnamed landlord in Northcliff in August 2011
  • Siphiwe Selby Nhlapo (36) in Soweto in September 2011
  • Barney van Heerden (39) in Orange Grove, also in September 2011
  • HIV and AIDS activist and television presenter Jason Wessenaar (39) in his Pretoria West home in December 2011
  • Rulov Seneval in February 2012



No thumbnail available

11 fascinating facts we learned about sex at the Institute of Sexology

A free exhibition in London looks at the study of sex and sexuality over the last 150 years – from Sigmund Freud and Alfred Kinsey to sex machines and questionable therapies
No thumbnail available

'Stop the hate' demand activists on Trans Remembrance Day

Campaigners around the world call for global action to end the 'horrifying' rise in transgender murders
No thumbnail available

Majority of Brits now support gay marriage

ICM poll for the Guardian shows strong lead for gay marriage including support from most age ranges, all social classes and voters for all three major parties
No thumbnail available

Poland makes history by electing its first openly gay mayor

Gay rights campaigner Robert Biedron has pledged to ditch the limos and ride a bike
No thumbnail available

Idaho’s Governor tries to ban same-sex marriage: says children benefit by being raised by heterosexuals

Governor Butch Otter says that children are best raised by opposite-sex couples, and that’s why same-sex marriage should again be made illegal in the state
No thumbnail available

US Attorney General Eric Holder, a staunch LGBTI ally, to step down

Lambda Legal hails Holder's leadership in the fight for federal recognition of same-sex marriage
‘Equality is Our Business’ says Human Rights Campaign in Nebraska and Arkansas

‘Equality is Our Business’ says Human Rights Campaign in Nebraska and Arkansas

HRC Nebraska and HRC Arkansas have announced details of their ‘Equality is Our Business’ programs
No thumbnail available

New gay history wiki wants your memories

British history enthusiasts have launched a new wikimedia web site, LGBT History Project, and want other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to contribute to it.
No thumbnail available

Microsoft to tackle anti-gay trolls online

Gaming giant unveils a 'Reputation' system for Xbox One, which will segregate homophobic, sexist, abusive gamers
No thumbnail available

US college football player comes out

'It was really personal for me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly'