Jonathan Laverick

The Kalahari Killings

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On 4 October 1943 two RAF pupil pilots, Walter Adamson and Gerald Edwards, took off from Kumalo (Zimbabwe). Some time later they were forced to land in Botswana. They climbed out unscathed, left a note, and disappeared.

What happened next would entail ethno-archaelogical investigation, a sensational murder trial with worldwide media coverage — and a sensational outcome — that led to a profound change in the lives of the Tyua Bush people.

The airmen had been murdered by bullet and axe — but why?

The leader of the group of eight killers charged, Twai Twai Molele, was known to be a witchdoctor and a bottle allegedly containing human fat was found in his possession… Following the trial the Tyuas’ guns were confiscated and their ageless nomadic hunting life began to die out. The murders offered an excuse for British-protected ranchers to take their lands. Reopening this extraordinary case, Jonathan Laverick reviews the evidence to uncover the true story.
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266 printed pages
Original publication


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