igh- profile murders like this are rarely tied up to the complete satisfaction of everyone, but few are left like the conclusion of South Africa’s Van Breda family murder case, with such an enormous elephant in the room. Why did Henri Van Breda murder his mother, father, brother and attempt to kill his sister in a single night of bloody madness? Despite his recent conviction and sentence to life in prison, his motives, which we had hoped would surface during the investigation or even the trial, have never even come close to being established. Theories of a drug- fuelled psychosis, an attempt to wrest the family fortune away for himself, and a family argument gone horribly wrong have foundered on weak evidence without ever looking very convincing. We’ve spoken South African legal expert Tracey Stewart, who sat in on Henri Van Breda’s trial, for an insight into Van Breda’s mind and a blowby- blow account of the night in question. Our ten- page special starts on page 14 – maybe you could put your own theory to the test?
Henri Van Breda demonstrated to the South African court his battle with the ‘ intruder’, in which he somehow ended up holding the axe with the blade facing the wrong way