Even though Johannesburg police discovered the murder of Manolis Veloudos last April, only recently did they consider that he might be a fifth possible victim in the recent string of anti-gay murders which have plagued the South African capital over the last ten months. However two details stick out in Veloudos’s murder—the fact that he was killed in a way very different from the other four men and the fact that the police botched his investigation with stunning incompetence.
Like the other four men, police found no signs of forced entry which suggests that they all knew willingly invited their killer into their homes. Veloudos was bound and murdered and had very little stolen, just like the other victims; he also had an online dating profile like a few of the other victims. However, Veloudos died after getting beaten to death with his laptop, rather than getting strangled like the four other victims.
Police collected DNA evidence and arrested a suspect, but the suspect’s DNA did not match the DNA they found, so the police let him go. Also, the victim’s niece, Evita Veloudos, gave CCTV footage of her uncle with an unknown man on the night of the murder to the police, but the investigating officers lost the footage.
The police (in)action on these cases has gotten so bad that even the local Commission on Gender Equality has criticized the Department of Justice for dawdling. The commission’s spokesperson said, “Cases of this nature are not taken seriously by the police or the justice department.”
It’s also surprising that the police have not yet had any luck following up on the personal e-mails traded between the victims and their potential hook-ups before their deaths. Surely commonalities between their inboxes and cell phone records would create a trail to possible suspects.