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In this article 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 – always picking the one that serves his story the best.
There is court accepted evidence that at about 3:00 pm Inge visited the Simonsrust Shopping Centre in Stellenbosch where she bought herself a Cheese Burger Combo from Steers, a Shape magazine and a Bioplus drink from Spar, and then she rented a video (the Stepford Wives) from the Video Place.
According to Elsdon:
- Inge then did not return to her flat – but instead drove for about half an hour to the house where she had a 4 pm appointment to meet Marius (the “House”);
- When she arrived at the “House” she was murdered by stabbing – they collected some of her blood in a container – then they took all her clothes off, including her underwear, and dressed her in pajamas – a yellow vest and short silky pants;
- Then about 3-4 hours later as the sun started to set, they transported her body in a luxury vehicle to the Shiraz complex along with everything she arrived with – handbag, cellphone, Steers food container, etc., except for the Bioplus container, her underwear and the clothes she was seen wearing in Spar (blue jeans, and yellow top);
- The absence of the Bioplus container from Inge’s car or her flat is strong evidence that Inge did not return to her flat;
- One of the murderers followed the luxury vehicle in Inge’s car – and that this person pushed Inge’s car seat back;
- Inge’s car was parked in its designated spot while the luxury vehicle was parked alongside in the “shadows”;
- After checking that the coast was clear, they took Inge’s body from the luxury car and carried it up the stairs to her flat in the far corner of the complex;
- Inside they staged Inge’s body on the couch – dripped/scattered/splattered blood around to make the scene look more authentic – including “carefully” placing a single round drop of blood on the open magazine by her feet – suspicious as there are no other drops on the magazine;
- The empty Steers container was placed in a garbage bin and other possessions (keys, bag, sunglasses, cellphone, etc.) were placed around the flat to look as if she came home by herself;
- A woman with a high-set ring took a metal photo stand and bashed Inge’s head with its round base;
- The photo stand was cleaned with a towel and returned to its place;
- They obtained another pair of Inge’s jeans and placed in on a chair in the bedroom.
We should consider the following when assessing the validity and truthfulness of Elsdon’s statements:
- Inge bought the Bioplus at Spar at about 15:00 – she rented a DVD at 15:07. It is therefore not inconceivable that she drank the Bioplus immediately after she bought it and threw the empty container away into a garbage can somewhere in, or outside, the shopping centre. That the Bioplus container was left behind at the house is not the only reasonable explanation for its absence. Elsdon, like in many other instances, did not consider and weighed the likelihood of all possible alternatives. (In cans, Bioplus are only available in 200 ml slim cans, which is a quick drink.)
- The blood-soaked vest that Inge was found in, was bagged and sent to the Forensics Science Laboratory for examination. There a forensic analyst took several photos of the vest. These photos show that the blood-soaked vest is of the same colour, style and design (with the same thin cross-over back straps) as the one that Inge was seen wearing in Spar.
Notice the cross-over design on the back – similar to the vest that Inge was found in.
- Crime scene photos clearly show that Inge was wearing underwear under the pajama shorts she was found in. The postmortem reports mentions panties and bra that were retained as samples. Elsdon had absolutely no basis for his statement that murderers removed her underwear – he made it up;
- CCTV images from Spar show that the jeans Inge wore were of the bell bottom style. The jeans on the chair in Inge bedroom had a similar bell bottom cut and colour;
The image on the left if from CCTV footage of Inge in Spar – about an hour before he death. The photo on the right is of the jeans found in Inge’s bedroom. Elsdon says it is not the same jeans that Inge wore in Spar and that its “obvious that the jeans were placed there” by the murderers. Notice how the jeans still has a belt in it like it was recently worn – making it highly unlikely that it was pulled from a suitcase or a cupboard. Also noted how the “neat and perfectionistic” Inge left a hair drier on the floor next to the chair.
- There wasn’t just one single blood mark on the magazine – there were at least 15 other small blood spatter marks – consistent with blood splatter spray. That the bigger blood mark appears completely circular is no evidence that it was “planted” there – it can also be that the blood drop impacted the magazine at a near perpendicular angle.
Right next to the “single, carefully placed drop” we see another 3 fine spatter stains. There more than 15 of these stains on the spread, consistent with impact spatter. Another huge mishap by Elsdon.
- There is not a shred of direct evidence – no phone records, no eyewitnesses, no DNA, no fingerprints, no hair fibers, no CCTV footage, no footprints, no charter flight records, no airport passenger manifest, no speed camera photos – ABSOLUTELY nothing that puts “Mr X” in Cape Town and all of them in the Shiraz complex that evening. Elsdon’s whole version is based on conjecture – which he states as fact without any corroborating evidence;
- On 16 March 2005 sunset was at 7:03 pm. At about this time some people that lived in the complex might still be arriving home from work or from shopping trips – or heading out for evening entertainment. Although Inge’s flat was in a corner of the complex, to get to it you had to walk from where the luxury car was parked in the shadows, up a central set of stairs (that was most likely illuminated) and past two neighbouring apartments, as shown by the red line below: For someone who wanted to commit the “perfect murder” – this was certainly a very risky undertaking. Mrs Lotz was not a stranger to this complex – she has been there several times – and it is quite possible that if someone saw them that he/she would have recognized Mrs Lotz.
- Elsdon says that he interviewed a police officer that told him that he was involved in the removal of Inge’s vehicle and that he noticed that the driver car seat was pushed back. To Elsdon, it is obvious that it was done to accommodate the murderer who was taller and heavier than Inge. Between when Inge was murdered until when the vehicle was removed, the vehicle has been searched through by several people – most notably by Niel van Heerden and Boet Claassens. Even if the police officer’s observation was correct and his memory did not fail him after 12 years – is it inconceivable that the seat was shifted by an investigator when they searched the car? Again Elsdon made a factual statement that the murderer pushed the seat back (if it was indeed pushed back) without a shred of evidence that “Mr X” was in Inge’s car that day – no eyewitnesses, no DNA, no fingerprints. Nothing. Only conjecture.
Investigators looking through Inge’s car
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