Alan Elsdon recently wrote a book called Broken and Betrayed – Uncovered: The Truth about all Three Murders. Inge Lotz, Jessica Wheeler and Victoria Stadler.
The murders of Jessica Wheeler and Victoria Stadler are commonly referred to as the “Knysna Murders”. In 2008 a local DJ called Heinrich Van Rooyen was found guilty of the murders and received a life sentence. There are many people that believe that Van Rooyen is innocent. We ourselves do not know much about these murders and at this time we have no opinion on Van Rooyen’s guilt or innocence. For more information about why Van Rooyen may be innocent the reader is encouraged to visit the blog of Dianne Lang – https://diannelang.blogspot.com/.
At this time we will only take issue with Elsdon’s “investigation” of the murder of Inge Lotz.
In his book, Elsdon is making some very serious allegations.
Let’s look at Elsdon’s story, in a nutshell.
Inge was the bearer of many dark secrets, which she threatened to expose as part of a sanctification process that she had to go through to join the His People church. These secrets were of past intimate romances she had with Marius, Braam and Jean, and also that they were part of a secret club whose members were involved in homosexual activities. To protect their future careers and because they were members – some of them even senior members – of the His People church and did not want to be shamed or bring the church into shame, they wanted to silence Inge. But she also had a dark family secret which would prompt her mother and an uncle to, not only murder her, but to even assault her viciously after murdering her.
So somehow these parties came together and devised a plot to kill Inge. Marius would lure Inge to a “House” by making an appointment to meet her there at 4 pm on the day of her murder. Her mother and uncle (“Mr X”) would wait at the house and they would then kill Inge and transport her body back to her flat. The three friends Fred, Braam and Jean would then provide Marius an alibi.
But even before this fateful day, the “Mr X” (presumably Inge’s uncle in Kuruman) searched the Internet on how to commit the perfect murder. He decided on a foolproof plan to arrive at his destination unseen – he would hire a chartered plane to fly to Cape Town to go kill Inge.
After doing some minor shopping at a Spar in Stellenbosch just after three on the fateful day, Inge left for her appointment with Marius, at the “House”. She took the Steers burger combo, the Shape magazine and the Bioplus drink that she bought at Spar, with her. As well as the video that she had rented. When she arrived at the “House” her mother and uncle brutally murdered her with a knife. They then took all her clothes off and dressed her in pyjamas. About 3 hours later, as the sun started to set, Mr X, driving Inge’s car, followed a luxury vehicle, which carried Inge’s body, towards Inge’s apartment at Shiraz, Kleine Welgevonden. They took the empty Steers packaging back to the apartment, but left the Bioplus container at the “House”. Her body was carried up to her apartment and placed down on the couch where she would later be found. They then sprinkled blood from a container around and on the couch and body .They poured foreign blood on the tiles under Inge’s head. All to make it look like she was murdered right there.
They got a similar type pair of jeans that Inge had worn that day, and threw it on a chair in Inge’s bedroom. They put the empty Steers packaging in the garbage bin and placed the DVD in the DVD player, and pressed play. They then opened the magazine and carefully placed a drop of blood on the right-side page, in the top-right corner. All to make it look like Inge was killed right there on the couch in her apartment. But they were not yet done with Inge. They took a nearby-standing photo stand and repeatedly bashed her on the head with it. They washed the photo stand in the bathroom but decided not to take it out of the apartment because it was too risky as someone might notice it to be missing later. They left the blood soaked towel behind on the bathroom floor. (In between all of this, there was the “probable rape” of Inge too.)
Mr X was then taken back to the Cape Town International airport where he departed again on the hired chartered plane.
Before the murder a senior police officer, Director Attie Trollip, was contacted by one or more of these conspirators, that he should stand ready to cover up the murder. It was the most challenging task that this Director would ever accept. He then asked a Captain in the force to assist him. They had to make sure that everybody believed that Inge was murdered in her flat – killed by surprise from behind.
Inge’s good friend Wimpie would now help Mrs Lotz by lying that Inge told him that she sang happy birthday to her dog that morning while she was on the phone with her mother – which could only have happened if Mrs Lotz was at home as she claimed she was. According to Elsdon, Mrs Lotz could not have been at home because her cellphone records show that she was in the Durbanville Hills area, more than 10 km away from her home in Welgemoed.
Fred, Braam and Jean implemented a plan, devised by Mr X, to provide Marius with a watertight alibi. Jean would buy a cupboard in Stellenbosch and ask Fred to pick it up and to drop it off at his flat that evening where Braam would be waiting, so that they could all say that Marius helped to deliver the cupboard. Yet, while being part of the scheme to provide Marius with an alibi, that night just after Mrs Lotz was informed of Inge’s murder, Fred somehow figured out the plot between Mrs Lotz and Marius, that they killed Inge. This led to a serious verbal altercation between Fred and Marius in the street in front of the Lotz house. Nevertheless, Fred stayed with the Lotzes for nearly a week after Inge’s murder, perjured himself repeatedly that Marius was at their flat when he arrived there after work, and subjected himself and his family to a grueling nine month trial – facing a life-sentence – leaving his family R 10 million poorer, without spilling the beans.
At some stage hereafter, the Lotzes hired us (Mollett brothers) to protect this secret. The Lotzes were not suspects at any time but we had to protect their secret nevertheless. We got our hands on the To-do list and changed “4:00” to “06:00” and “Huis:” to “Huise” and published the two changed lists in an article and in ‘Bloody Lies Too’ respectively. We also made the circle around the 06:00 bold in one of these attempts. All to cover the murder up for the Lotzes.
However unbelievable and bizarre this story sounds, and is, the fact remains that Elsdon has not proven anything in it.
Serious allegations need serious evidence. Or rather allegations on something as substantial as murder requires substantial evidence – especially if your allegations are aimed at the grieving parents of the victim. We intend to show that Alan Elsdon does not have the evidence to support any of these allegations – that it is all conjecture that does not meet the standard of substantial evidence – nor does he present a mosaic of circumstantial evidence which, when considered as a whole, leads to the inference, that his version is the only possible version, at the exclusion of all others.
Mirriam Webster defines conjecture as:
a: inference formed without proof or sufficient evidence
b: a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork
Substantial evidence is defined as:
Substantial evidence is a legal concept that an individual piece of evidence is so sufficient that a reasonable person of sound mind could convict or acquit based on that one piece of evidence alone. Substantial evidence is arguably better known as the “smoking gun” in criminal matters. The concept of substantial evidence is apparent in both civil and criminal law, and can work for or against a particular claim. For the courts to consider a piece of evidence as substantial, the evidence must pass the “substantial evidence test”.
In our first article – ‘Mr. X and the Perfect Murder’ – we will show how Elsdon fabricated a completely fictional story out of thin air. After reading this article you should ask yourself: If Elsdon is capable of such blatant dishonesty – is there anything in his book that is an honest effort and that can be trusted as the truth?
In the second article – ‘The To-Do List’ – we will show how Elsdon fabricated what he considers conclusive evidence out of thin air – and because this list does not actually show what he wants it to show, how he made completely false and absurd accusations against us (the Molletts), i.e. that we tampered with this list. These accusations, when viewed against facts and chronology, are completely illogical and irrational and they can easily be disproven by witnesses and forensic examinations (latter which we have invited Elsdon to do). After reading this article you should ask yourself: If Elsdon is capable of making such false accusations just to make the list fit his story, how much of the accusations against other people he also despised, like for example Attie Trolllip and Bruce Bartholomew, are actually legitimate?
In the third article – ‘Where was Inge murdered’ – we will show Elsdon’s complete disregard for the rules of evidence, how he doesn’t hesitate to state conjecture as fact – without any supporting evidence. And how he has not considered and evaluated all possible explanations – rather how he always picks the one that serves his story the best.
It is perhaps necessary to give some background on Alan Elsdon, to put this issue in perspective. On 20 June 2014 after the publication of Bloody Lies, Alan Elsdon contacted Thomas by email. He found our work “impressive and gutsy”. The subsequent communications were amicable and there was (at least from our side) the impression that we all strive for the same goal, and that is the Truth, even though there may be different approaches and opinions. After setting up a meeting in Stellenbosch, Elsdon on short notice “could not make it” and communication broke down somewhat. In March 2015 Thomas was invited to talk at the launch of Bloody Lies at the Woordfees by our publisher, Penguin. The talk was hosted in a marquee tent and the crowd was in excess of 200 people. Mrs Lotz also attended the talk. The discussion, specifically about our book and work, was led by Emeritus Professor Deon Knobel. We were told by the orginisers that we cannot exceed one hour as the programme schedule was very rigid. We had to be out of the tent after an hour. There was a lot to cover, and time for questions (and especially for answers) was very limited. Perfectly timed, the last hand to go up was that of a man who stood up and started talking about his “investigation” of who knows how long and that Inge was killed because of a “dark family secret”, this while Mrs Lotz was sitting right in front of him. Having not met him face-to-face at that stage, Thomas realised from his timid voice that this was Alan Elsdon, but there was simply no time to respond. Elsdon quickly disappeared as the people left the tent. Questions relating to our work or book, or Thomas’ presentation – even difficult or critical questions – would certainly have been allowed, but it was immediately apparent that this was a calculated attempt to abuse somebody else’s platform and function, to make a personal statement. It was not Eldson’s function. If he had asked a question, that would have been something different. This, however, was clearly an opportunistic and sneaky attempt to get attention on the back of somebody else’s following.
Thomas, admittedly, wrote a “rude” email to Elsdon, who forwarded it to the Argus, because that is the type of man he is.
As if nothing ever happened, more recently, Elsdon contacted Thomas a few times. Once to ask for the contact details of another conspiracy writer, which Thomas kindly provided. Then a couple of months ago under the guise of “we want the same thing, the truth” he “kindly” asked Thomas for permission to quote from our books, for the purpose of his upcoming book. Thomas granted it but under the condition that unless he can prove it, he should not use it to discredit us or to write anything that could potentially be hurtful to the family of Inge.
Then his “book” came out, and after all these “kind” emails, he went full out to try and discredit us, among other alleging that we tampered with evidence by changing the To-do list, and went for any stick that he could get his hands on; from us using “false names” in the early stages of our investigation (for reasons we explained fully in Bloody Lies years ago already), focus on criticisms we may have had, etc. – with the main inference that we are working for the Lotzes to “cover up their involvement in Inge’s murder”.
What he says about us in his book is not the issue here. It is actually just simple proof that he simply cannot (and do not want to) get the scientific approach that we are taking. He cannot defend his work. But it is the sneaky way in which he operates.
About two months ago, in his obsessional effort to discredit us, he sent his book with an email to Thomas’ course head at UCT, highlighting among other the unfounded (as we will show) story of how we apparently tampered with the To-do list. A clear attempt to put Thomas in a bad light at his department and to sabotage his Masters (in Biomedical Forensic Science) studies. As we will see later, before he published his book, he never had any proof of this alleged tampering. Even now that the book is out, and we have asked him relentlessly for proof, he still cannot produce the evidence – but he nevertheless continues to walk around with this silly story.
At the end of that week (when he had sent the book to UCT), Thomas gave a talk in Paarl on four cases (Lotz, Pistorius, Van Breda and Dewani). This would be the third talk after Stellenbosch and Milnerton in the prior months. For his own reasons, Thomas decided to make entrance free for this last talk of the year in a smaller town where he got a venue at a very low rate – but the advert stated that those who wanted to attend must still book by sending an email to an address that was provided on the advert.
When Thomas walked into the venue he saw a man who looked like Elsdon, fiddling nervously on his phone, looking down the whole time, avoiding possible eye contact, but as Thomas arrived a bit late because of an unforeseen rerouting because of work on the N1 between Jip de Jager and Durban Road that morning, and was busy setting up, he did not bother with Elsdon and got the talk going as soon as he could – although suspecting why Elsdon was there. Without going into too much detail now, at some stage Thomas asked Elsdon why he did not book for the talk – and that he must leave, that he is not welcome there. Elsdon was not happy to leave but just before he eventually did, he plucked his book out of a plastic bag and waved it evangelically in the air in front of a very disinterested crowd.
Again, we do not have problems with critical voices or difficult questions. At that very talk Thomas allowed a very abrasive and rude ex-rugby player to interject at will. For us, it is is part and parcel of the scientific method to be able to explain and/or defend your work in public. We do not check or regulate who is coming to the talks. Anybody is welcome. But not a vindictive man who is intent on abusing others’ platforms and following for his own agenda. Elsdon can arrange his own talks. Thomas paid for the venue and snacks out of his own pocket and it was not Elsdon’s place to come and promote his fictional book there – the mere fact that he sneaked his book in with a plastic bag is clear proof of his premeditated plan.
So, as he walked out he threatened Thomas, “You will be sorry about this!” Because Elsdon has no following or platform, he then asked Dianne Lang to post his “revenge letter”. Again abusing somebody else’s platform. In this ramble he now took a shot the attendance of the talk. Comparing the 200 plus of Woordfees (where there is huge promotion of the programme, and where there are hundreds of feet) to an event that Thomas arranged in his spare time, with no budget. He dishes the “free refreshments”, on which he probably nibbled more than anybody else. But because the talk and refreshments were free, and there were “only 32 people” (full hall through), it was now “reduced to …” according to Elsdon “at his guess” it was my last talk.
We have in the meantime prepared a whole bunch of documents, which we sent to him, which demonstrably show him to be incorrect (and blatantly dishonest) on various issues, and we will discuss some of them on this website. Not on one single one did he or could he come back with evidence-based answers. His usually “decent” veneer cracked off at the speed of light – his emails becoming aggressive and while we really do not mind the repetitive insults, the tone is just worrying. It is completely disjointed and irrational. We decided that if we cannot have a decent conversation about these documents, that we will not contact him otherwise or get engaged in ping-pong insults.
Elsdon then retorted to sending Thomas obscene and racist WhatsApp messages. Again, the messages itself is water off a duck’s back – but it must be seen in the following context: Based on his allegation that we tampered with the To-do list, we offered to give sworn statements that we did not. Thomas invited Elsdon to meet him at a police station of Elsdon’s choice, so that this matter can be discussed with the police, and Thomas provided his telephone number to Elsdon to give to the police (or the IO of the so-called “new investigation”). What is disturbing though is that instead of giving the IO (or whoever in the police) Thomas’s number, Elsdon rather uses it to pester Thomas on WhatsApp. Asked why he is not giving the number to the police, he said, “You have to be patient […] you are not under the top ten. You are there somewhere […] You have enough on your plate.”
Below is the level to which Eldson has stooped. While there may have been ping-pong insults some weeks ago, this came after no provocation.
If this doesn’t sound racist enough, check the three ape emojis …
In short, Alan Elsdon, as we will show on these pages, makes a complete mockery of investigative work. He has no idea what concepts such as “evidence” or “burden of proof” or “hearsay” mean. He will make up “facts” as he needs them. He does not know what the difference between fiction and non-fiction is. He does not check facts before he publishes. He is not willing to defend his work. He cannot defend his work. He is unwilling and unable to provide evidence asked for. As we will show, he cannot even read cell phone records, but would then proceed to make claims on the incorrect interpretation. He cannot read or use Google Earth, for example, to determine distances. He will rather suck distances out of his thumb, and use the incorrect distance to make claims. And so we can go on.
Whatever his motives may be, no sane person can be so incompetent and wrong even if they tried, and therefore his “investigative work” can only be seen as a fictional and thus fabricated attempt to divert attention from demonstrable facts and to get attention onto himself.
It must tell you something if a book has not seen any daylight in any mainstream media in 5 months after release. Apart from one article in coastal newspaper, no other media has touched this book. And it is not as if Elsdon did not try. Rapport refused it flatly. So did the Argus. No radio, no magazines, no TV, no nothing, more than five months down the line.
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