Alarm is growing in the Free State as the murder of social worker Jessie Michael adds to the worrying pattern of violent crimes against women, raising suspicions of a serial killer preying on women in the province.
Was Jessie Michael the latest victim of a serial killer targeting Free State?
The Free State community is reeling from the recent discovery of Michael’s body near Kalkfontein Dam, just a week after 16-year-old Machaka Radebe was found murdered.
Both incidents involved gruesome circumstances, escalating fears among locals.
Michael, a dedicated social worker, was last seen attending a Gender-Based Violence case, on Tuesday, 5 December 2023. Her body was discovered near Kalkfontein Dam, six days later, sending shockwaves through the community and her department.
In a chillingly similar pattern, Radebe’s body was found with stab wounds, after her brother received a ransom call from an unknown male using Radebe’s phone.
The case had initially been reported as kidnapping the day she went missing on Saturday, 2 December 2023. Her lifeless body was discovered two days later.
Adding to the alarm are the ongoing missing persons cases of Lesego Mamello Motaung and Lerato Masiu. Motaung disappeared on her way to work in Uitsig, on 30 October 2023, while Masiu was last seen with men posing as police officers, who removed her from her home claiming she was implicated in an ongoing investigation, on 16 November 2023.
The Department of Social Development in the Free State has expressed its outrage and deep concern over the increasing violence against women.
“We are further incensed that these vicious and barbaric acts of criminality took place as the country was observing the 16 days of No violence against women and children,” the Free State department of social development noted.
At this time, no explicit indication has come from police suggesting the cases listed in this article are, in any way, related.
This is a developing story.