By Anna Shilongo
The arrest five days ago of a Namibian of German origin could possibly give the police the break they badly need to solve the case involving the highly elusive ‘B1 Butcher’, who is behind the gruesome killing of at least two suspected sex workers.
The suspect surrendered himself to the police after he was accused of barbarically raping a 30-year-old woman whose throat he allegedly tried to slice open with a sharp object, but who miraculously escaped death and ran stark naked to the main road and raised the alarm.
The suspect picked up his victim from 7de Laan, an informal pub at Otjomuise where the two had drinks and thereafter he offered to drive her home, but instead he drove to a secluded area used as a makeshift driving school near Ramatex, where he allegedly raped her.
According to a relative and family friends of the victim, the suspect after the alleged rape tried to strangle the victim and tried to cut her throat.
The suspect, being investigated for links to the infamous ‘B1 Butcher’ killings, which have sent shockwaves in the seemingly booming local sex industry and who was charged with rape and attempted murder, has been identified as Heinz Knierem, aged 42. Last Friday he briefly appeared in court and his case was postponed to October.
Due to the severity of the alleged offences he was denied bail and what strengthens the suspicion among some that the suspect could be linked to the ‘B1 Butcher’ case is his being detained at the maximum-security Windhoek Central Prison, unlike with other rape suspects.
Though police yesterday held a press briefing, police spokesman Chief Inspector Angula Amulungu claimed the case was a “typical” rape and attempted murder case.
“As I told you the case is in the hands of the Women and Child Protection Unit. The case is still ongoing and the suspect is being detained while police investigate. I don’t want to assume or link him to the ‘B1 Butcher’ because investigations are still going on. A case of rape and attempted murder is opened,” said Amulungu.
Asked whether the victim was receiving any police protection, Amulungu said there was no need for the victim to worry as the suspect is locked up.
“Unless the suspect was not arrested, that’s the only time we render police protection and it should be on request by the victim, but at this moment she doesn’t have to worry or fear,” he said.
He could also not tell the condition of the victim as she was already discharged from Katutura state hospital.
In an attempt to contact the victim, New Era learned from a reliable source that the victim had left town to Katima Mulilo on Friday. The victim is a resident of Windhoek.
The victim is a sister to a seaman who works for De Beers company, who was last week Thursday called out from sea to attend to his sister’s case.
The suspect who’s being detained by the police at the Windhoek Central Prison is married to a Damara/Nama-speaking Namibian woman.