Sunday, November 26, 2000

Anthony Browne

Fear grips Ghana as ritual killer claims 34th victim

ACCRA — One of the world's most prolific, ghoulish serial killers is terrorising women in the West African country of Ghana. The killer — or killers — last week claimed his thirty-fourth victim in what police believe was a ritualistic murder. All the victims have been women, found stripped from the waist down, with their legs apart. In many cases unused condoms have been scattered around, and some of the women had their genitals mutilated. Sometimes, empty syringes were left at the scene. Close examination of some victims revealed pin pricks where some of their blood had been removed.

Mystery surrounds the identities of the women, some of whom are thought to have been prostitutes. Only a few families have come forward to acknowledge the dead.

Police have revealed virtually no information about their investigations, claiming that it would help the killer. They have not said what the cause of death is, but most of the women were not visibly injured and were thought to have been strangled or suffocated. It is not thought the the women were raped.

"After so many deaths there are no clues whatsoever, it is strange. The police are not moving fast enough’" said Elvis Aryeh, editor of the Daily Graphic, Ghana's best-selling newspaper, which has launched its own investigation into the killings.

The police silence, two years after the killings began, has led to widespread accusations that they are being complacent. Thousands of women — including the President's wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings — dressed in red demonstrated against police inaction.

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Created: November 26, 2000
Last modified: November 26, 2000
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