Women shot her daughters and then herself

By Murray Williams
Staff Writer

A De Doorns woman has shot dead her two teenage daughters in their beds before lying down between them and turning the gun on herself.

The drama unfolded in the Winelands town on Wednesday, when station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Desmond van der Westhuizen rushed to the family's home after he was tipped off by a staffer about potential trouble at the house.

He raced to the house in Voortrekker Road, where he found the house locked. He smashed a window, clambered inside. He found the victims in the children's bedroom.

Two girls, aged 13 and 14, lay under duvets on their beds, which had been pushed together. Both girls had sustained gunshot wounds to the chest and head.

Between them lay their 42-year-old mother, clutching a pistol. She had suffered what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

"It was very horrible."

A 38 Special revolver was nearby; six rounds had been fired from the revolver, and a further two from the pistol.

Van der Westhuizen took the woman, who was still alive, to a hospital in Worcester.

She died at 1am on Thursday.

Van der Westhuizen later established that the guns had belonged to the woman's parents, who were visiting from the Free State. They had been due to leave to spend the Easter weekend in Mossel Bay together on Thursday - but the couple had left the house on Wednesday morning to spend the day in Worcester, leaving their guns at their daughter's house.

Searching the girls' bedroom, the officer also found typed letters in their cupboards' drawers, from the mother to her daughters, "telling them how much she loved them".

He found a third letter, in which the woman instructed her family how she wanted her children to be buried.

The police on Wednesday opened two murder cases for the girls' deaths and an inquest docket for the apparent suicide.

The names of the woman and the two girls have not yet been released.

The woman appeared to be a divorcee who had resided with her two daughters, he said.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Argus on April 01, 2010

Report ID: 243
Crime Category: Murder
Province: Western Cape
City/Town: Worcester
Suburb: De Doorns
Address: Voortrekker Road
Crime Date/Time: 31 Mar 2010, 00:03 AM
Reported By: Report A Crime
Reported Date: 1 Apr 2010, 15:04 PM
Related Link: View

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