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One of the pillars on which Elsdon’s book rests, is an old To-Do list (“the list”) that was found in Inge’s Volkswagen Golf two days after the murder. This list supposedly provides conclusive evidence that Inge was lured by Marius Botha to a “House” where she was killed.
In this article, we will expose the great lengths that Elsdon went through to turn this innocent three-month-old list into something it is not – significant evidence of Marius’ involvement in a conspiracy to murder Inge.
The list was found in the side pocket of the right door (driver’s side) of Inge’s car by Niel van Heerden and Boet Claassens – both private investigators working for the firm George Fivaz and Associates. They were initially hired by Professor Lotz to investigate Inge’s murder.
To this day the original copy of this list is in the case file of Niel van Heerden. Below is a colour copy scanned from the original on June 3, 2015. As is evident, in Van Heerden’s file the little note have been stuck to an A4 sheet along with two other original till slips – one for a Cheese Combo bought from Steers a week before her murder, and one for groceries from Woolworths for the day before the murder.
Elsdon claims that:
- This list was Inge’s To-do list for the day of her murder;
- That we (Thomas and Calvin Mollett) changed Point 6 from “Huis:” (House:) to “Huise” (Houses) and Point 7 from “4:00 – Marius” to 06:00 – Marius”;
- The combination of “House” and “04:00 – Marius”, being consecutive items on the list, is conclusive evidence that Inge had a 4 pm appointment on the day of her murder to meet Marius at a house where her murderers were already waiting for her;
- “06:00 Marius” makes no sense – why would Inge meet with Marius at 6 in the morning?
Was the list for the 16th?
There are three main reasons why Elsdon thinks the list was for the 16th:
- Inge bought a Bioplus drink in a Spar about an hour before her death – and Bioplus is on the list;
- Inge did not own a pair of silver shoes – meaning that it could not be an old list, and that it was, therefore, something she still had to do;
- Inge being a neat and perfectionist person would not have left an old shopping list lying around in her car.
To assess the validity of Elsdon’s conclusions, here are a few issues that need to be considered objectively:
- The list is not dated;
- “06:00 Marius” – does not necessarily mean that Inge had a 6 am appointment with Marius. It could also simply be that Inge wanted to do something at 06:00 that was somehow related to Marius;
- Even if “4:00 Marius” followed “House” on the list (as per Elsdon’s version) it does not mean that these points are related – in the same way that it is highly unlikely that “Bioplus” and “ABSA” (a bank) are related;
- The Woolworths till slip shows that Inge bought cheese and juice the day before the murder already;
- Bioplus was a drink that Inge consumed regularly and it is therefore something she could have put on a list on any day;
- The lunch she had with Wimpie was not on the list – nor the exam papers she picked up, nor the magazine she bought, nor the Steers combo, nor the DVD she rented;
- To the best of our knowledge no evidence has ever been presented, not by the police, nor by the multitude of private investigators that got involved in this case, that Inge visited, or planned a visit to a hair salon, a bank, a shoe store on the day of her murder – or that she had already bought bubble gum, shampoo, conditioner and/or Telfast before her murder;
- In December 2005 Mrs Lotz and Inge went shopping for a pair of silver shoes together. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a suitable pair and they ended up not buying a pair.
The Silver Shoes
Professor Lotz (Inge’s father) obtained this copy of the list from Advocate dup De Bruyn on Saturday, 16 February 2013.
(1. Juice, 2. Cheese, 3. Telfast, 4. D and K, 5. Silver shoes, 6. Houses, 7. 06:00 Marius, 8. Shampoo and Conditioner, 9. Bubblegum, 10. ASSA, 11. Hair, 12. Bioplus, 13. ABSA)
Inge’s mother – who was very close to her daughter – looked at the list and recognised some of the activities that she herself participated in with Inge – and on 21 February 2013, she typed up a detailed explanation for almost all the items on the list. Because of the ‘Silver shoes’ she knew for certain that the list was made on Sunday, 5 December 2004. The reason why Mrs Lotz did this was to dispell the notion that ‘D and K’ on the list stood for the Afrikaans version of ‘Dilation and Curettage’ – i.e that Inge had an abortion. At the time Fred’s team were spreading rumours that Inge had an abortion at some stage – something that was very upsetting to the Lotzes.
The items ‘Silver shoes’, ‘Hair’ and ‘D and K’ were all in preparation for the wedding of Dawie (Fred’s bother) to Carla on 11 December 2004 in Amersfoort, Mpumalanga. On Saturday, 4 December 2004, Inge, accompanied by her mother, bought a dress for the wedding. The next day, Sunday, 5 December, Inge decided that she needed silver shoes to go with the dress. Inge and her mom went to the stores but couldn’t find anything suitable. The search continued the next day (Monday, 6 Dec). Eventually, Inge gave up and decided to settle for her black matric farewell shoes instead.
The hair appointment was for early Monday morning, about 9:00 – Mrs. Lotz also had her hair done at the same time.
Mrs Lotz reckoned that ‘D and K’ stood for ‘Dawie and Karla’ (a common Afrikaans spelling of Carla) – Inge still had to buy them a card and a wedding gift.
‘Houses’ is on the list because Inge was looking for a place to stay – as she wanted to move away from the student area. We know that she eventually found the flat in the Shiraz complex which her father bought for her in January 2005.
Mrs Lotz was not too certain about the cryptic ’06:00 – Marius’. She reckoned that it meant that it was a reminder to send Marius an email or SMS to invite him for coffee – something she often did early in the morning. The appointment, if it was made, was not for the Sunday or Monday as Inge was with her mother and at home for both days.
On Wednesday the 8th, Inge had her graduation ceremony and the next morning on the 9th she left with Fred to attend the wedding in Amersfoort.
Was the list changed?
It does appear as if Point 7 was changed from something to 06:00 – and that someone then drew a circle around it.
As the original shopping list found by the private investigators already contained these changes, they could only have been made by Inge – for reasons that will forever be unknown to us. Look carefully at the consistency in the tone and colour of the red ink – it certainly appears as if the edits were made by the same red pen used for the rest of the note. We are confident that forensic analysis like Raman Spectroscopy or Thin Layer Chromatography will confirm this.
For Elsdon story to work he needs there to be a “4” under the “06” – so that he has evidence that Marius had an appointment to meet Inge at 4 pm – about the time she was murdered. So what did he do? He made a factual statement that there was indeed a 4 under the 06. Can you see a 4 there?
It is clear that Inge wrote a 6 over something – but there is no indication that there was 4 there. We have no idea why Elsdon thinks there was 4 there – apart from the fact that he needs it to be there and wants it to be there, in order to fit his narrative. So he made it up.
It is obvious that there is simply no evidence that there was a 4 there before someone wrote a 6 over it.
We have two electronic copies of the list – the colour copy we obtained in June 2015, and a B/W copy we received from Professor Lotz circa April 2015.
Professor Lotz obtained a hard copy of the B/W list from Advocate Dup de Bruyn on Saturday 16 February 2013. De Bruyn, in turn, obtained his copy from Boet Claassens, one of the two investigators who found the original list in Inge’s car.
It is clear that with all the photocopying, possible faxing and scanning of documents between Boet Claassens’ original copy, until we obtained our electronic copy, there has been a significant loss in the resolution and quality in the B/W list. For example – look at the circle, the “7”, the “s” in Huise, and the “e” in “Huise”. However, it is clear that, despite the loss of quality in the B/W list, these two lists are both copies of the same source document – the original list.
According to Elsdon we modified the list in two stages:
- First, we only changed the 4:00 to 06:00 – to create the B/W list. We then used this list in our article called ‘Daryl Els Exposed‘;
- Then later, before we published Bloody Lies Too, we changed the “:” after “Huis” to “e” to create the colour copy we used in Bloody Lies Too, and we made the circle bold.
Our motive for doing this? To protect the Lotzes, as “Huis:” and “4:00 Marius” on the list could somehow expose their alleged involvement in Inge’s murder.
Elsdon allegations are completely illogical. For us to have made the first change, we would have to have had access to the original list before Boet Claassen made the copy which he had send to Adv Dup de Bruyn (and according to Elsdon also to the police). We don’t know exactly when a copy of the list was sent to Dup de Bruyn – we know it was before 16 February 2013 – and there are several people that can swear under oath that we were never given access to the original list prior to this date. We never had any interest in this list until some time in 2014, when we simply used for the Daryl Els article. When we wrote Bloody Lies we did not even know of the list, and therefore wrote nothing about it at the time.
It is no secret that Elsdon despises us. First, we exposed his friend Daryl Els for the incompetent and dishonest private investigator that he was – we also told Elsdon in no uncertain terms how unacceptable his behaviour was when he tried to hijack a public talk by Thomas at the Woordfees to make highly insensitive and unsubstantiated statements in front of about 200 people that a dark family secret was behind Inge’s murder – while Inge’s mother was in the audience! Then to gate-crash another talk by Thomas (in Paarl) with his book hidden in a plastic bag, which he pulled out and waved around, before he was chased out like a school kid. So we can’t discount the possibility that the true motive behind Elsdon’s allegations against us is malice and jealousy (look at the type of WhatsApp messages he is currently pestering Thomas with at the bottom of this page).
- There is no evidence that this list was for 16 March 2005;
- There is no evidence that anyone, let alone us, changed the list after Inge’s death;
- There is no evidence that Inge had a 4 pm appointment with Marius on the day of her murder.
So when we took Elsdon to task about this, he did what he does best, and that was to lie that the PDF was corrupted. And then his wheels just came off. He clearly did not even know about the original list, and certainly did not try and verify his claims against that before he published his book. For any investigator this would have been the most basic thing to do. Get your eyes and hands on the original list. He never did that. Any case, so now he said, “I suggest you keep the original ‘To-do’ list in a safe place. It will almost certainly be required soon for forensic testing.” This now after we invited and challenged him repeatedly to obtain the original list and to send it for forensic testing (after we provided him with the PI’s number, he never contacted the PI to get the list tested). But the issue so far is, that he did not even know where the list was being kept. We had to tell him and invite him to get it forensically tested.
But that is not where the absurdity stopped. A couple days later he emailed us: “Oh, by the way … Niel van Heerden does not have the 16-03-2005 To-do list. It was handed to the police who … instead of making a copy of the original and placing both in the docket, simply handed the original to (you know who)” – probably referring to his pet hate, Attie Trollip. The problem here is, in his book he writes nothing about this. Now suddenly it was given to the police, not so in his book. Therein he complains that it was not handed to the police. So we asked him if he ever saw this “other” list, because if not, how can he make any claims about it. And what about the list in NvH’s possession? Then things really started to fall apart. He now said that there was only one list, “the one found by George Fivaz detectives (NvH was one of them) and that this list was “photocopied in its ORIGINAL state and eventually handed to the corrupt police … who gave it to (we know who) … It is the same list on your infamous ‘Daryl Els Exposed’ internet site … and the same – again changed list, in Bloody Lies Too”. Anybody that can help make sense of this, please help. So now there is one list again but two originals – one with NvH and one given to Trollip. But the one NvH has (which is actually the hard copy original small paper with the red writing on) is somehow not the 16-03-2005 list. (Just remember a couple of days before this he said, “I suggest you keep the original ‘To-do’ list in a safe place. It will almost certainly be required soon for forensic testing” – this is referring to NvH’s list, and before he came up with this other list). Elsdon clearly got lost in his own story here.
But the bummer is that if NvH’s list is worth nothing (not the original) – and given that this was the list we worked from (and not “Trollip’s list”) then his whole allegation against us falls flat. We don’t care if there are 100 lists, we provably worked from NvH’s list and if he alleges tampering, that is the only reference he can use.
This all being as it may, we have relentlessly asked Elsdon for proof of this alleged tampering. He cannot provide it. We have asked him to go to the police with this story and that he should give Thomas’ number to the police so that we can chat with them about this claim. Elsdon, predictably, failed to respond meaningfully – instead, he retorted to his usual “you are morons and amateurs” insults. He called us “clowns” too. This from a man who has issue with our “rude” emails.
There is just no logic to the claim that we tampered with the list. What purpose would it have to make the circle bold? Why would Inge have placed a colon after Huis – (to make it Huis:)? In fact, why would Inge talk of the place where she would be killed on surprise, of the “House” (“Huis” in English can also mean “Home”).
Then this complete lack of logic: Elsdon says that it was 4:00 originally. He does not mention anything about adding the zero but in the end he says 4:00 was changed to 06:00. What would have been the easier thing to do here? Add a one in front of the 4 to make it 14:00 or to put a zero in front and to then scribble over the 6?
Conveniently, Elsdon says that Inge would not have seen Marius at 6 in the morning. But what makes “4:00” afternoon and not morning? He keeps on turning things the way he need them to be.
Does not matter how one looks at it, the whole story is just illogical and completely disjointed. Because he could not discern between a fax and an original (i.e. the expected detail loss), he made up these stories as it suited him.
Very important to note: There is a lot of nonsensical claims in his book, but without this list, it just collapses completely.
The way Elsdon changed this list into something that he wanted it to be, must be the biggest daylight fabrication of evidence ever, but also the most feeble. Creative but feeble. One can just wonder how Elsdon thought he would be able to explain this list as evidence in a court of law.
We, again, here in public domain, challenge Alan Elsdon to provide us with proof that we changed the list. If he cannot, he must simply admit in public that his whole book (which rests on this list) is a figment of his wild imagination.