Sav­age by name PLUS ‘I share my wife with her lover’

A FOR­MER mil­i­tary ser­vice­man faces life be­hind bars af­ter two grue­some mur­ders.

People (South Africa) - - Contents -

THE hu­man mind is an enigma. Yes, it’s re­spon­si­ble for all of hu­man­ity’s great­ness and is pos­si­bly the sin­gle most com­plex thing in ex­is­tence, but with that dis­tic­tion comes a ca­pac­ity for great evil. Thirty-five-year-old Craig Sav­age may have had the mak­ings of a mur­derer long be­fore he killed two peo­ple and a dog with an M-4 ri­fle, and his time in the mil­i­tary very pos­si­bly set the gears in mo­tion. The two peo­ple he killed were in fact close to him, al­beit es­tranged. On March 16, 2018 Craig gunned down his wife Michelle, 32, and his moth­erin-law, Heather Whit­bread, 53. The fam­ily dog, Zeus, was also lost to the slaugh­ter. The cir­cum­stances lead­ing up to the mur­ders paint a pic­ture of a con­trol­ling man who slowly started los­ing his grip on real­ity. Craig re­port­edly longed for a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, but Michelle was un­in­ter­ested, some­thing that in­censed him, and the mea­sures he took to vent his rage only in­creased in their sin­is­ter­ness. He slashed her tires, poured paint over her ve­hi­cle, men­aced her with threats of re­venge porn, and promised to take his own life.

But the signs of his dis­turbed mind had pre­sented them­selves long be­fore. Michelle, who had spent nine years with Sav­age, had told oth­ers she had be­come fed up with what she called her part­ner’s ‘at­ti­tude of a teenager’, which saw him bom­bard her with texts daily, want­ing to know where she was and with whom. An on­line re­port from Fe­bru­ary writ­ten by Mrs Sav­age made clear her grow­ing fear.

“I’m con­cerned for my and my fam­ily’s safety as he’s be­com­ing more and more ag­gres­sive. He is a nasty, spite­ful, bit­ter per­son and I know if I stay quiet and do noth­ing then things can only get worse. I be­lieve he will hurt me in any way he can, men­tally or phys­i­cally. I be­lieve he wanted to ei­ther kill or hurt me, I gen­uinely don’t know which.”

Craig, who had served in the mil­i­tary force, had also dis­played an hor­rif­i­cally cruel streak, and Michelle had stated that the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ with re­gard to her re­la­tion­ship with Craig had been his treat­ment of her dog, when she had

‘HE slashed her tires, poured paint over her ve­hi­cle, men­aced her with threats of re­venge porn, and promised to take his own life.’

Craig Sav­age be­ing held for ques­tion­ing for the mur­der of his ex-wife and

for­mer mother-in-law come upon him pin­ning it to the ground.

On the day Michelle and her mother were mur­dered Craig re­port­edly stole the M-4 ri­fle from a fir­ing range close to his home.

CCTV footage cap­tured him that evening ap­proach­ing the home of his wife and moth­erin-law. An emer­gency call to the Sus­sex Po­lice De­part­ment was made by Mrs Sav­age’s au­di­bly pan­icked sis­ter, Raven. But it was far too late for the two women.

Mrs Sav­age and Whit­bread were shot six and seven times re­spec­tively. Some of the wounds in­di­cate that Sav­age man­aged to fire from a fairly close dis­tance if not at point-blank range.

For his crimes Craig was charged with two counts of mur­der and one count of pos­ses­sion of a firearm with in­tent to en­dan­ger life.

“He car­ried out the shoot­ing be­cause he had been re­jected by his wife. They had sep­a­rated about a month be­fore the shoot­ing and he was des­per­ate for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion,” Benjamin Aina, the prose­cu­tor at Craig’s trial, said. “One of the en­try wounds on each woman was ac­com­pa­nied by a muz­zle mark. This in­di­cates that the firearm was pressed fairly close to each woman and dis­charged in an ex­e­cu­tion-type man­ner.”

Aina also said that Sav­age had tried to shoot a po­lice of­fi­cer who at­tempted to ap­pre­hend him af­ter­ward, but the fir­ing mech­a­nism jammed.

“Mr Sav­age claimed he had planned to kid­nap her and have po­lice shoot him in front of her in a ‘cop-as­sisted sui­cide’,” Aina added.

Oddly enough, de­spite the ev­i­dence Sav­age has put in a plea of not guilty. It seems the de­fence in­tends to present to the jury that the killings were only the re­sult of an ac­ci­dent af­ter a strug­gle with his wife en­sued dur­ing which the firearm dis­charged.

For all the charges, if found guilty Craig Sav­age could face a life-term of at least 38 years. The verdict was still pend­ing at the time of go­ing to print.

Michelle, 32, and her mother Heather Whit­bread, 53

The mur­der weapon was stolen from a fir­ing range on the­day of the mur­ders

CCTV footage cap­tured Craig that evening ap­proach­ing the home

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.