Every contact leaves a trace. For investigators to catch a serial killer, they must find the pattern in the traces. Serial killers know this, and sometimes the most demented among them work hard to avoid leaving a pattern. The first list, published here, included at least one serial killer who hasn’t been caught…yet.
#7 Annanias Mathe
Annanias Mathe was arrested in November 2006 and charged with 51 counts of crimes such as murder, rape, hijackings and armed robbery. By that time, he had had an almost uninterrupted crime run for seven years. He had been arrested only once, in June 2003, for raping a woman.
In 2006, however, the psychopathic criminal decided he was not going to sit in prison. Held at the high-security C-Max Penitentiary in Pretoria, Mathe devised an escape plan. While the official story claims he smeared his naked body with petroleum jelly and lubricated his way to freedom, later investigations showed he had walked through the front door. Mathe’s gang bribed wardens nearly R100, 000 to let him escape.
His freedom was shortlived, however, because he was arrested two weeks later. His mistake this time was that he had carjacked a car fitted with a satellite tracking device. Although Mathe was never convicted of murder, he was convicted of 64 different counts of rape and robbery with violence. He was also found guilty of killing 12 dogs by poisoning them. The judge sent him to 455 years served concurrently, bringing the sentence to 54 years in prison.
In late September 2013, Mathe tried to escape again. He laboriously dug through the wall, concealing his work with clothing and toothpaste. His plan was discovered before he could stand any chance of escaping again. He remains the only person to have successfully escaped from the C-Max Penitentiary.
#6 Phillip Onyancha
Philip Onyancha was arrested after a woman’s remains were recovered from a sewer of a house where he had worked as a guard. A second body, that of 32-year-old Catherine Chelangat, was found on the rooftop of a building opposite Karen Police Station.
During the interrogation, Onyancha claimed he had killed 17 people in different parts of Kenya. His motivation was cultist; while he was in high school in the early 1990s, his class teacher recruited him into a cult. The only way to be completely at peace, he was told, was to kill 100 people.
Philip Onyancha’s known victims were prostitutes and children. He claimed responsibility for four dead ladies of the night who had been strangled in cheap lodges in Thika. He lured his victims but then attacked and strangled them when they were alone in the room. The killer also claimed he had been involved in the murder of two kids in a forest near Lenana School. Although he claimed his motives had been purely cultist, he also confessed to have been part of a gang of kidnappers.
The kidnappers would abduct a child and demand ransom. They would kill the child even if the ransom was paid. The exact number of murders this Kenyan serial killer committed is still unknown as he is yet to be convicted. Five years after he was first arrested, Onyanchas case is still weaving through the lethargic Kenyan justice system.
#5 Abdelaali Hadi, the Taroudant Serial Killer
Between 2001 and 2004, eight male teens disappeared from different points near Sidi Bou Dheb graveyard in Taroudant, a small town 620 kilometers south of Rabat, Morroco.
In 2004, the owner of a lonely shack behind the graveyard decided to pull down the structure and develop the land. Shortly after, the decomposed bodies of nine people were found nearby hidden in plastic bags.
The first finding had eight badly decomposed bodies while the second, a few hundred meters away, had a second set of human remains. Among the other times found there was a note written in Arabic that translated to “Adidas 55 Hadi.” The first part led the police to a nearby inn in search of the man called Hadi.
The man was later identified as Abdelaali Hadi.
Born in 1962, Hadi had had a troubled childhood after his mother died. He ended up on the streets, and finally in Taroudant where he did odd jobs whilst living in a makeshift shelter. It was here that he lured young teens into the lonely shack behind the grave. He then attacked, gagged, and brutally raped his victims before killing them.
At his trial in 2004, Hadi openly told the trial court that he enjoyed suffocating his victims while sexually abusing them. This, he claimed, was because he had been gang-raped by 14 men when he was a child. He was sentenced to death in December of 2004.
#4 Bulelani Mabhayi, The Monster of Tholeni
The Monster of Tholeni terrorized the female residents of Tholeni in South Africa for years. His MO was simple; he would do reconnaissance on homes and identify houses without males. He would then break into the house in the dead of the night, attack and rape the female occupants. He would then hack everyone to death with a machete or axe. Some he would further mutilate, removing their wombs for cultist medicine.
Tholeni became known as “The Village of Death.”
The Monster of Tholeni had once come close to being caught but escaped because of a small oversight.
Sometime in 2010, the South African government launched a widespread operation to collect and record male DNA and fingerprints from Tholeni to aid in capturing the elusive murderer. Mabhayi claimed he had forgotten his identification card at home and his DNA sample was not recorded.
In 2012 the Monster of Tholeni made a grave mistake. He left a shoe at one of his murder scenes. The shoe was later identified as that of Bulelani Mabhayi and he was arrested.
Mabhayi pleaded guilty to 20 murder charges, six counts of rape and 10 rape attempts. He was sentenced to 25 life sentences.
#3 Mansour al Tourbini
Mansour is probably the most bizarre known serial killer on the African continent. Born in 1980 in Tanta, a small town north of Egypt’s capital, the young Mansour ran away from home and joined a brutal gang. He eventually ventured off and formed his own psychopathic gang.
The gang of street children abducted, raped, and killed other street children. Mansour committed his murders on the carriage roofs of the trains plying the Cairo to Alexandria route. He would abduct street children and drag them onto the carriage roofs of the express train. There they would rape and torture the children before tossing them onto the trackside.
For others, the death was more gruesome; some were said to have been buried alive while others were dumped into the River Nile.
In 2006, two of the gang members were arrested. The ensuing series of arrests eventually led to the capture of Mansour on November 26, 2006. The serial killer, nicknamed al-Tourbini which means “Express Train”, claimed he had killed 30 street children although only 8 bodies had been recovered. He was sentenced to death in 2007. Mansours trial had a bizarre outcome.
In his hometown of Tanta, his nickname gained immense popularity. Some businesses even changed their names to include the reference. The most common instances of the commercialization, however, included a sandwich, lambs for sale, and taxis.
#2 The Mailoni Brothers
Zambia’s claim to this list is a bizarre family of brothers from Luano Valley of Central Province. In the five years they roamed the jungles of Luano Valley, the three brothers-Mika, Stephen, and Fabiano-killed between 12 to 15 people. In a family of six brothers, only the eldest, Nelson, was never involved in the murders.
The murder spree began on April 27, 2007 when the brothers killed a local headman who had come to stop them from beating their mother. In a revenge attack by the victim’s son, one of the Mailoni brothers, Nicious, was shot dead and Fabiano was wounded. The remaining brothers, including Friday, escaped to their jungle. Friday would later abandon his brothers sometime in 2008 and reunite with his family.
According to Fabiano’s ex-wife Eredina, the brothers changed in 2007 after they visited a witchdoctor. They desired wealth, and the witchdoctor gave them a list of things to fulfill to get rich. Eredina claims they didn’t fulfil the instructions and they went mad. Eredina, who had been married to Fabiano for ten years, divorced her husband and went back to her parents. Shortly after, the brothers raided her parents home and killed her father.
The renegade serial killers frequently changed locations. Their motives seem to have been purely psychological and vengeful. Other than Fabiano’s father-in-law, they also killed Zambia Flying Doctors Service chief pilot Dr. Modesto Masumba and the headman of Shitambeni village, Mbalakwe Chipokolo. They also killed Luano Valley’s Chief Chembe’s key advisor.
In 2012, the Zambian police offered K50, 000 in cash for information leading to the capture of the notorious brothers. The army dispatched a platoon of commandos to hunt them down. On the evening of June 24th, 2013, Corporal Joy Shapela, 29, shot the serial killers. Their reign of murderous terror came to an end in the same fields where they had viciously stabbed their victims. Corporal Shapela was honoured at Zambias 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2014.
#1 Maoupa Cedric Maake, the Wemmer Pan Killer/The Hammer Killer
For some time, the Wemmer Pan Killer and the Hammer Killer were thought to be two different serial killers. The Wemmer Pan Killer attacked couples in cars. He shot the men and raped the women. Sometimes, the mysterious murderer attacked men and women walking alone and brutally bludgeoned them with rocks. The Hammer Killer, on the other hand, killed tailors in their shops. He used a hammer to kill his victims, hence the moniker.
The first pattern of killings happened during the weekend while the Hammer jobs were committed during the week. The seeming dichotomy of patterns fell through when he used a similar alias, Patrick Mokwena. The coincidence led a keen police investigator to the idea that they were looking for one murderer with two distinct patterns.
A single profile was built: the killer was a black man between 30 and 40 years of age who lived or worked in the Wemmer pan area. He didn’t own a car and used taxis for mobility. There was seemingly no victim or weapon pattern in the murders. He attacked victims of both genders and any race.
He also attacked everyone from shop owners to taxi drivers, and there was no pattern in the age of his victims.
He mixed his weapons, using a gun, rock, hammer or knife when it suited him. He used as gun on taxi drivers he lured into remote areas but bludgeoned shop owners, who were also male, with rocks or a hammer. The one common thing was that he often stole his victims’ shoes.
When he was finally arrested, Maoupa Cedric Maake faced a charge sheet with 134 crimes, including 36 counts of murder and 28 of attempted murder. The married father of four earned a living as a house painter. The police used crime mapping technology to locate the extent of his murders. Maake had focused on the areas around his two homes, his workplace, and where his brother and his girlfriend lived.
While in the dock, the Hammer Killer wept at any mention or sight of his mother. Then he openly threatened the female prosecutor with rape and murder. In the end though, he was found guilty of 114 of the original charges and sentenced to 27 life sentences. An additional 1, 159 years and 3 months imprisonment was added, bringing the total time to 1, 340 years in prison.
Owaahh, 2015.One Story is good Till Another is Told.
Last modified: June 13, 2016