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article imageAttackers Gouge South African Farmer To Death

By Carolyn E. Price     Apr 17, 2007 in Crime
Just after a Limpopo farmer who lived alone called for help on her CB radio, she was stabbed to death with a garden fork, and her body tossed into an empty water tank.
The gruesome murder of Susan Bristow, 54, has shocked the South African community she lived in to the core. Tobie van den Heever, chairperson of the Witvlag farm-watch called it "a very, very cruel murder. We're all terribly shocked".
Police superintendent Ailwei Mushavhanamadi of the Vhembe region in Limpopo said nothing had been stolen during the attack on the farm, which is about 8km north of the town on the road to Musina.
Gavin Bristow, her brother, said Susan had lived on her farm for about 30 years. "She was a bit scared, but she chose to live there alone." His sister had just had lunch with them that day at his own farm just south of the town. "We think the attackers were probably waiting for her when she returned home that evening."
Bristow says that it appears that an unknown number of attackers rushed at his sister when she stopped on the property in her bakkie.
Frans Heinlein of the local farm-watch was the first at the scene of the murder. "Susan shouted 'help' on her portable CB radio just after 19:00. Three minutes later, there was another cry for help, but this time it sounded muffled."
A large number of farm-watch members rushed to her farm to help, but they were too late. It appears that the attackers used the pitchfork to kill her boerbull dog, whose carcass was found on the property, covered in blood. She also had a fox terrier, and it could hardly walk when Heinlein and the others got to the farm.
The farm-watch members found her body in the empty water tank about 30m from the house. Heinlein said a plastic bag had been wrapped around her head.
"Her face was covered in blood and hardly recognisable. Her head had been deeply gouged by the fork and her back also was gouged." Heinlein said they found a garden fork in the farmyard that had Bristow's hair on it. "The portable CB radio she had used to call for help was lying next to her bakkie in a pool of blood."
Police report that there have been no arrests.
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