According to News24, a 28 year old journalist, who has not been named, has been suspended after text messages surfaced between her and one of the Krugersdorp killers gang member, Steyn Le Roux, whom she met while covering the the case for the publication.
22 year old Le Roux Steyn, who was recently sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, is one of the seven gang members who call themselves Electus per Deus which means Chosen By God.
The gang, which is said to be involved in satanism and cult behaviour, allegedly went on a crime spree involving robbery, fraud and murder around the Krugersdorp area between 2012-2016.
While the contents of all the text messages that were exchanged between the Huisgenoot journalist and the now convicted killer have not been fully disclosed, Rapport has reported that Steyn had texted the woman to "wait for him".
Huisgenoot's editor Yvonne Beyers released the following statement following the allegations.
"It has come to the attention of Huisgenoot editor Yvonne Beyers that there are allegations that one of its journalists is in a potential unprofessional relationship with one of the convicted criminals and other role players in the Krugersdorp murder case. Pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Huisgenoot will not be commenting further," the statement read.
While it is not new to have writers and journalists who have "fallen in love" with convicts while working on their cases, it is still shocking. Over the years however many such stories have surfaced, one such story is that of American journalist Ann Rule and mass woman murderer Ted Bundy.
The two met after Ann had left her job as a police officer for a career in crime reporting and was volunteering at a suicide crisis hotline where Ted was also volunteering. According to Washington Post, while volunteering together, the two developed a close relationship.
During their seven year long friendship Ted had already committed a number of crimes unbeknownst to Ann, however when Ted was finally incarcerated, Ann paid him visits in prison and also sent him money for haircuts. The two maintained a relationship until Ted was executed in 1999.
It was also reported that Ted had a growing amount of groupies, who showed up at his court appearances sporting the same hair styles as the victims that Ted killed.
Another case involves Bobbi Bergmeier, a young British psychologist who began a relationship with one of the inmates at the prison she was working for. The love struck woman allegedly forged his prison documents to hide that she was his psychologist and used a fake name to visit the prisoner ABC News reports.
She was later found guilty of professional misconduct, stripped off her registration and banned from working in a public institution for two years.
One prison sex offenders psychologist took it one step further when she married one of the prisoners from her workplace. The 36-year-old woman married the notorious Australian Skaf gang rapist who had been sentenced to 33 years in prison for his crimes.
She too had met him while working on his case. The two married shortly after his release from prison in 2013 Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Many of us have no idea what these women see in these criminals, especially since so many of the crimes were so hateful and projected at women.
According to Laura Elizabeth Woolett, the author of The Love of a Bad Man in this Refinery article, many of the woman who became involved with the convicted murderers and rapists, suffered from insecurities.
"If there was one thing that was common to all of these women, it was probably insecurity, and a willingness to have their sense of self determined by the men they were involved with. I think insecurity is a very human thing, though. You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who isn’t insecure in some way, or hasn’t been at some stage in their life" she says.
While Katherine Ramsland, PhD, a professor of forensic psychology blames the uncanny romances these women pursue on a condition called Hybristophilia, which is described as being sexually aroused by unusual behavior and especially socially unacceptable behaviour, for instance murder or rape.
“People want to be close to the notoriety of it, they also get a sense that they’re special to the person, so that if the person escaped he or she wouldn’t harm… so there’s a bit of narcissism in it as well. But primarily the idea is that they want to get close to a violent person so that they can either participate in a fantasy life that involves them or actually become partners with them.” says Dr Katherine in this Cosmopolitan article.
We spoke to psychologist, David Wilson, and he believes that there are narcissistic elements to these women seeking relationships with dangerous men.
"These sort of relationships contains certain elements of narcissism, in the possible omnipotent sense, they (the women) believe that they can heal the little boy beneath the dark deeds, in a sense "rescue him". Another factor that comes into play is that the convict is also conveniently under control by the prisons systems, so she feels more secure in the relationship, there is almost a perfect lack of normal relationship insecurity regarding competition or being left . She becomes the only one in his sexual world in her mind." says Dr David.
A relationship coach, Shelley Lewin, agrees with Dr David on that regard and also sites the women wanting to "rescue" the convict, although according to her, convicts can also easily manipulate these women into falling for them.
"It is an opportunity of connection without the complication of physical intimacy. Even the worst of humanity have a soft side to them that wants love and affection. These men can provide women with sincere emotional and intellectual intimacy. It sometimes begins as an innocent ‘pen pal’ however it evolves into a deep, emotional connection in which the women experience only the loving side of the men. In some cases, prisoners know how to manipulate women in order to maintain the perception that “I was the victim” or “I am rehabilitated now”. This ‘grooming’ creates an environment perfect for a ‘rescuer’ and/or ‘nurturer’ which appeals to many women who like to feel needed." says Shelley.
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