A manhunt is afoot in Capetown to catch a “serial cat killer”

Wess Haubrich

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Manenberg, South AfricaWikimedia Commons

So far, 27 cats have died; could be motivated by dog fighting or the occult

Manenberg, South Africa is a township in greater Capetown that was created by the Apartheid-era government in 1966 after many poor families of color were forcibly removed from their homes in the nearby Cape Flats area. It counts about 52,000, mostly destitute, residents.

In recent weeks, Manenberg has had a very odd problem. The indigenous cat population has been turning up brutally murdered and dumped in the yards of Manenberg. At this point, local authorities put the number of victims at 27 cats.

The Manenberg Police Commander Brigadier Sanele Zama said the cats are being killed in a way to harvest blood. This could be indicative of a practice in dog fighting known as “live bait” training, where the blood of an animal like a cat is used to hone the trained aggression of the dog in question. As Zama pointed out, “the more the dog gets blood from the cat, the more aggressive they become.”

Authorities are also operating on a hypothesis of teenagers partaking in occult rituals with the dead animals. There is no actual correlation of dead cats with the religious practices native to this area of Africa or even to much larger, more organized faiths like Santeria – the latter being a “syncretism” (or joining) of Christianity and native African beliefs.

The Animal Welfare Society is offering a reward of R5,000 for information leading to an arrest in these cases. The government is also running a variety of forensic pathology tests on the animals to get answers.

Meanwhile, local animal lovers are understandably worried. "If they can slaughter innocent cats like this then what else are these monsters capable of doing. This is not right, it makes me mad these killers are still roaming the streets," said one.

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live

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