Monday, January 20, 2003


Massage massacre: 7th man dies

CAPE TOWN — Another victim of the gruesome early-Monday attack at a massage parlour in Sea Point, Cape Town, has died in hospital, bringing the death toll to seven.

The bodies of six men were found at a house in Graham Road, while four seriously injured men were admitted to two hospitals in Cape Town.

Philippa Johnson of Groote Schuur Hospital said three of the injured were admitted on Monday morning, and one had died at 08:00.

"One has died and the remaining two are in a critical condition in the ICU," she said.

Somerset Hospital medical superintendent Dr Ria Kirsten said a young man had been admitted there, but would be transferred to Groote Schuur later in the day.

"He is in a serious, but stable, condition."

Captain Etienne Terblanche said one of the four injured men was seen by neighbours running out of the house with wounds to his neck and head to a service station in nearby Main Road.

The six men who were killed in the massage parlour had all been tied up and shot in the head at close range. Their throats had also been slit.

Police, who rushed to the parlour at 7 Graham Road in Sea Point after neighbours notified them of shots fired about 04:30, described the scene that greeted them when they arrived as "horrific".

Injured were crawling around

Terblanche said there was "an incredible amount of blood about" and it was difficult to determine the exact wounds.

"When we arrived, the injured were crawling around on the floor," he said.

Terblanche said the house was rented out and was run as a massage parlour, apparently for gay men.

Each bedroom in the house served as a massage suite and the walls were decorated with graphic images. Bondage equipment was also found in the house.

There are signs on the front of the house with the words "No cheques accepted".

The police are not yet certain whether the seven dead were clients or masseurs.

The road was cordoned off at both ends on Monday morning, and there was a large police presence at No 7.

Cops mum on drug-dealer link

Faced with a barrage of speculative questions from reporters about possible links between the massacre and drug dealers and protection rackets, Terblanche would not be drawn on the leads police were following.

"At this stage, we are investigating all possibilities. It is obviously a very early stage of the investigation. We are questioning people and putting the puzzle together," he said.

Asked if the shootings were all execution-style in the back of the head, Terblanche said: "Let's not go into graphic detail."

Terblanche said police did not know if there were any other people in the house at the time of the attack, besides those who were killed and wounded.

Police, trying to establish who worked at the premises, took a statement from a client who arrived at the house shortly after the shooting.

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Created: January 24, 2003
Last modified: January 24, 2003
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