Hello, my Freaky Darlings!
This week’s serial killer is Cedric Maake who was born in 1965 and is also known as the Wemmer Pan Killer. He committed at least 27 murders throughout 1996 and 1997. Unlike most serial killers, Cedric did not stick to one modus operandi. He had five different ways which he used on different sets of victims.
Cedric is known as the “Wemmer Pan Killer” because of the area of Johannesburg that he targeted most of his victims in, beginning in April 1996. At first, the Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit of the South African Police Service (SAPS) didn’t link his crimes together, they thought that they were the work of two separate serial killers due to the difference in patterns between the murders. During the investigation of Cedric’s murders two separate criminal profiles were created; one for the “Wemmer Pan” murderer and one for the “Hammer” murders.
The Wemmer Pan murders involved several patterns of victims. The first were men and women walking alone who Cedric bludgeoned to death with rocks. The second group of Wemmer Pan victims were couples in cars around the Wemmer Pan area whom he would assault, shooting the men and raping the women.
The second criminal profile the police created involved murders of tailors in the inner city area, killed in their shops with hammers. The cops linked the two sets of murders after Cedric signed a lay-by slip at one of the shops he targeted. This signature linked Cedric to both areas.
Cedric was arrested in December 1997 as a suspect of the “Wemmer Pan” murders and initially acknowledged responsibility for the crimes. He cooperated with the police on several occasions to lead them around the vicinity and point out the locations of his crimes. The information generated by this was later used with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and crime mapping technology to provide diagrams of the geographical extent of the serial murders. The Wemmer Pan serial killer trial was one of the earliest uses of GIS to aid in court prosecution by the SAPS. How cool is that? Geographic profiling later showed that the majority of Cedric’s murders were centred around his two residences, the place where he worked, and the residences of his brother and girlfriend.
Cedric was charged with 35 counts of murder, 28 attempted murders, 15 counts of rape, 46 counts of aggravated robbery, and other offences relating to the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition. In court, Cedric pleaded not guilty to all charges. One month after his arrest he also confessed to the “Hammer” murders.
On September 6, 2000, he was convicted of 27 murders, 26 attempted murders, 14 rapes, 41 aggravated robberies and many less serious offences. He was found guilty of 114 of 134 charges in all and was sentenced to 27 life sentences (one life sentence for each murder) plus 1159 years and 3 months imprisonment. In total, his sentence amounted to 1,340 years in prison. Eish! That’s a long time.
If you’re fascinated by serial killers, you may enjoy my serial killer thriller – Requiem in E Sharp.
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