Con artist must face the music
sonally oversee the child’s therapy under the auspices of the US justice department, accommodate her at the embassy compound and even register her at a school for children of the embassy staff. There was one proviso: he was forbidden to have any contact with his child. His ex-wife, however, would be allowed to visit the child to monitor her therapy.
“I was absolutely devastated but I believed her because she’s sitting in the booth with her FBI badge; my exwife was also present, as was a police officer,” recalls the child’s father, who now lives overseas with his daughter. “I agreed to this crazy arrangement because I thought it would benefit my daughter and I would do anything to spare her further trauma.”
In reality, Morrison imprisoned the little girl in one of the houses she was renting (but pretending to own), registered her at a local school as her own daughter and made her call her “mommy”. The cruel ruse lasted for several months until the girl’s father caught on and forcibly had to remove his child from Morrison’s clutches.
The girl’s mother did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
As with the Cummins and PPE scams, she was never arrested and she continued to impersonate an FBI officer at the Sandton police station.
Morrison has a criminal record in the US and had been previously charged with at least eight crimes dating back to 1987. But she managed to escape accountability, even using the Sandton police station as her personal crime scene because, it is claimed, she had some police officers in her pocket and one in her bed.
They were members of Sandton’s tracing task team, which conducted a series of sensational arrests during the mid-2000s. The cop at the forefront of this team was Inspector Derek Bruce Macintosh, otherwise known as Rambo Cop for his takeno-prisoners approach to crime.
In 2016, Macintosh resigned as a hero. He and Morrison were lovers and his colleagues from the tracing task team regularly visited her lavish homes.
Although Macintosh has acknowledged the relationship, he says he regrets it as “the biggest mistake of my life”. He also denies any complicity in Morrison’s alleged scams and says that, when he voiced suspicions about her lavish lifestyle, she became so violent that he ended their affair.
But several alleged victims and witnesses angrily dispute his claims and have also identified several officers who they allege were Morrison’s willing accomplices.
In 2007, the alleged victims of the PPE Technologies scam and another bogus investigation laid charges of fraud, forgery and theft against Morrison. They allege that she was paid more than R1-million to conduct the fake investigations, but the amounts were paid into a police officer’s account, who would then hand the cash to her. The alleged accomplice (whose name is known to Special Assignment) subsequently turned state’s witness against Morrison. But 11 years later, he has yet to testify and the trial at the commercial crimes court, appears to have been beset by delays.
“The police officer appeared several times to testify but there were so many delays and, to this day, we don’t know the status of the case,” says Cecily Squire, the sister of the owner of PPE, who testified on behalf of the prosecution.
Special Assignment contacted the investigating officer, Captain Joel Ngobeni, for comment but he declined because he said the case is ongoing.
Alleged victims still express fears about laying charges against Morrison at the Sandton police station because of her alleged connections.
After Special Assignment laid complaints of corruption against the Sandton police station with the provincial police commissioner, a task team was mandated to investigate the allegations.
Headed by Brigadier David Tsotsotso, who is the station commander of the Midrand police station, the task team is investigating Morrison’s impersonation of a police officer and her alleged accomplices, all of whom have since left the force.
Tsotsotso declined to comment on the progress of the investigation, but has assured Morrison’s alleged victims that the South African Police Service is taking the allegations seriously.
The Sandton police station is now also determined to bring Morrison to justice. Investigating officer Constable Mpho Molope is compiling the charges against Morrison before her next court appearance on November 9. Since September this year, six more alleged victims have laid charges against her, including of fraud, forgery and theft.
Born in 1961, Morrison’s maiden name was Bougardt. At the age of 15, she became pregnant, left school, married her child’s father and, in September 1978, gave birth to Jason Lee Morrison.
Jason died before the age of three, a death that Morrison would later rescript, telling her alleged victims that her son was shot and killed in the US by her husband, who was a police officer.
“He subsequently turned the gun on himself, but didn’t die and is currently in prison,” Briony recalls Morrison telling her.
Morrison also pretends that she now has three children.
“The loss of a child can trigger long-term trauma,” says psychiatrist Dr Duncan Rodseth.
“But it cannot justify criminality. Sociopaths have no real empathy or remorse and there is something terribly wrong with the wiring of their brains.”
He adds: “The problem with trying to rehabilitate sociopaths is that they are far too clever in their manipulations and they are extremely adept at pulling the wool over your eyes in order to fulfil their narcissistic fantasies.”
Morrison declined to comment when confronted about all the allegations.
Fantasies: Tracy Morrison fooled the mink-and-manure set with her phoney American accent and claims of links to Hollywood, but her alleged scams wounded many people
Police protection: Tracy Morrison allegedly had a close relationship with members of the Sandton tracing task team