Mason Barry Monday 13 May 2013
The Unit—the only police force in the world dedicated to supernatural crimes (located in Pretoria, South Africa)—has stumbled upon a gruesome murder scene. A male torso was discovered in a township shanty outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.
According to Inspector Tseme Dusu, a significant portion of murders and mutilations in South Africa are a result of muti ritual murders. Witchcraft is a predominant and growing religion in South Africa, and the Unit has investigated thousands of witchcraft related killings since the force opened about thirty-three years ago.
Muti is the Zulu word for medicine. A muti-murder involves a sacrificial killing where the body parts and limbs are harvested for use in magical medicines. “These murders are violent and are committed while the victim is cognizant,” Inspector Dusu said. “Sangomas, often referred to as witch doctors, will hold their victim down, and the more the person screams, the stronger the magic becomes in the medicine.” Besides murders, suicides are the most sought-after victims from which to harvest body parts due to the suffering involved in taking one’s own life.
The police do not think the torso will ever be identified. The teeth and fingers used to identify a body are missing from the victim and the torso has been drained of blood. Many people are reported missing on a daily basis. Most are never found. Inspector Dusu said, “There are about sixty-eight murders a day committed in South Africa. While not all of them are muti-murders, all of them are a tragedy, and the muti motive is an embarrassment to our country.”
(this is a fictional news item related to the new novel The Bookseller’s Secret by Catherine Jordan)