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‘Facebook rapist’ stalks South Africa’s women

A man, known as the “Facebook rapist” is being sought by South African police for over 30 crimes, including murder.

Most recently, the man, believed to be in his mid-twenties, has been going by the aliases Thomas Bester and Marius Botes. According to South African news site Independent Online (IOL), however, the man is known to have up to 13 identities.

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For the last nine months “Bester” has eluded the South African police’s best efforts to capture him on charges which range from fraud and theft to murder and rape.

Police report that “Bester’s” modus operandi is to pose as a businessman and target young women interested in modelling and television work. Previously, his crimes had merely been to lure these women with the promise of work and then rob them of personal belongings or leave them with the bill to high-end hotels.

Police warn, however, that “Bester” has recently become “more violent” with his crimes escalating.

Most recent reports have connected him with rapes and a murder in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa’s metropolitan centres.

The murder victim, Nomfundo Tyulu, who was originally from Johannesburg and then lured to Durban and finally Cape Town, was found dead mid-September in a beachside guest house. She had been stabbed in the chest according to reports.

In a front page story on the “Facebook rapist,” the Weekend Argus reported that as recently as the end of September, two Cape Town women had escaped “Bester’s” clutches. One of the women was almost lured to a local shopping mall by “Bester” and another to international celebrity hotspot hotel, The One&Only.

Adding even more concern to the case which is gaining prominence in SA media, the Sunday Times reported on a 17-minute long conversation “Bester” had with the officer in charge of his case, Anton Booysen.

Booysen said that, “Bester” had been “cold and calm”, during the conversation and spoke about killing himself, saying “I want to get out, I want out”.

“Bester” has gained the moniker of “Facebook rapist” through both posting these fake job offers on online classifieds and his Facebook status updates taunting police.

According to reports, some of his updates on Facebook have included him saying that he had “just pirated a local movie How to steal 2-million let me go and educate myself,” and “Wow, I got 200 friendship request in 15mins, I wonder why? Yawn…,” and perhaps most chillingly, how he “likes being surrounded by hot girls”.

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