Cornelius Burger

Hello, my Freaky Darlings!

Today’s serial killer is a blast from the past. During 1936 and 1937 Cornelius Burger, a man in his mid-thirties, killed five prostitutes and dumped their bodies on the road between Johannesburg and Potchefstroom. He took their handbags as souvenirs and kept them in a cupboard at his home so he could relive his crimes.

Strangely enough, Cornelius was married, but he and his wife lived separate lives (no surprise there). They didn’t share a bedroom, in fact, they barely spoke to each other. Somewhere along the line, he contracted a venereal disease, but by the time he found out, it was too late for treatment (that’s what happens when you fuck around). A very angry Cornelius swore revenge on prostitutes, whom he blamed for his little problem (now why can’t serial killers take responsibility for their own STDs?)

After the fourth murder the cop in charge of the case, Lieutenant Ulf Boberg, decided it was time to take some serious action. He got a team of detectives together and decided that they would look after the Johannesburg prostitutes instead of arresting them. A couple of detectives were assigned to each prostitute. They would watch her all night and record the registration numbers of all the Johns. The prostitutes had to get the Johns to drop them off at the same place once they conducted their business. Only once all the girls had checked in for the night and all of them were safely home, were the cops allowed to knock off for the night. They did this for a few months.

Then one night, just after midnight, Ulf Boberg waited for his detectives to check in, but one of them didn’t pitch when he was supposed to. Ulf was about to send out a search party when the detective finally showed up with the news that his prostitute, Mavis Davids, had not come back. The detective gave Ulf the registration number of the last car to pick her up. They decided to find Mavis before picking up and confronting the suspected killer. Detectives searched the Potchefstroom and Heidelburg roads. Mavis was found bleeding, but alive, on the Potchefstroom road. Apparently, she’d tried to escape when he stopped the car, but he grabbed her and tried to strangle her.

Ulf and his band of detectives arrived at Cornelius’ place before he did and lay in wait for him. They pounced the moment he arrived, in the early hours of the morning. He did not resist and led them to his horde of handbags. Mavis’ was still in his car. Upon medical examination, it was determined that Cornelius was batshit crazy thanks to his venereal disease and was not capable of standing trial. He died soon afterwards in an institution.


If you’re fascinated by serial killers, you may enjoy my serial killer thriller – Requiem in E Sharp.

Joan De la Haye_Requiem


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