Words: Karen Rutter
Images: Kirsty Dinkelman
If someone had to pitch a potential movie script about a religious cult run by a suburban ex-witch who persuades two teenagers, an actuary, a teacher and a printmaker to kill 11 people, it would probably be dismissed as too far-fetched.
What if the story included a mother- daughter murder duo, an orphanage for the rescued children of Satanists, and a journalist who falls in love with a serial killer? Nah, definitely not feasible.
And yet all these ingredients and more make up the explosive new South African crime-doccie series Devilsdorp, which is taking the country by storm. The amazing part – all of this is true.
Based on actual events which took place in the town of Krugersdorp on Johannesburg’s West Rand between 2012 and 2016, the series follows an intensive murder investigation. When several people are killed in what was dubbed the ‘Appointment Murders’ in 2016 (so named because the victims, including an estate agent, were lured to their deaths by false business arrangements), the crimes are linked to a number of unsolved homicides from 2012. The murders are both brutal and callous – one woman is stabbed over 60 times; a homeless man is burnt to death in a car. And there is a pattern that ultimately leads investigators to a bizarre cult called Electus per Deus – Chosen by God.