The 22-year-old former Alexandra High School learner suspected of murdering three elderly people within a month was taken by detectives to court on Thursday morning, where he made a full confession before senior magistrate Ashin Singh, reports Maritzburg Sun.
A reliable source confirmed to Capital Newspapers that Kershwin Goldstone, who lives in ‘Ghost Town’, Woodlands, said he was “relieved” to admit what he had done. “I want the truth to set me free,” he said.
Capital Newspapers can now reveal that the 22-year-old suspect, a former pupil at Alexandra High School, was orphaned at a young age, suffered abuse, lived at the Salvation Army orphanage and was later sent-off to Boy’s Town, reports Maritzburg Sun.
It is also believed that the suspect is a known drug addict.
Goldstone made a full confession before senior magistrate Ashin Singh on Thursday morning and appeared briefly in court on Friday with a legal aid lawyer. He declined applying for bail and is expected to plead guilty to three counts of murder and house robbery, when he appears in court next week.
Last month, Pietermaritzburg was rocked by a series of murders and robberies targeting elderly residents living in two CBD retirement homes – the Kenwyn Retirement Home and the Jacaranda Lodge, Pietermaritz Street.
In all three incidents the killer used the same modus operandi to gain access into the retirement homes. The three pensioners found murdered were:
- 89-year-old pensioner, Patricia Elizabeth Tugwell, who was found with her throat slit at her apartment in the Jacaranda retirement Lodge on Monday;
- On July 21, an 89-year-old disabled man was also found murdered at the Jacaranda Lodge. He had been stabbed in the head. A pair of scissors was also found at the scene. Electronic goods were stolen.
- A week prior, a 92-year-old resident at the Kenwyn Old Age Home, was found dead by a cleaner. It is believed the woman had been strangled to death while a small flat-screen TV and two cell phones were taken.
Chilling details have emerged about the suspect’s brazen modus operandi, including his ability to scale high walls, climb three floors up and even being able to swing from balcony to balcony in search of his victims, all of them elderly white pensioners.
Apart from the abuse suffered early in life the suspect targeted his victims believing they were all “rich white people” living in the retirement homes. He monitored the patrol pattern of guards and scaled high walls and fences at the rear of both properties before climbing up to access balconies to peer into windows seeking visible valuables.
After killing his victims, he raided the apartments before helping himself to food in the fridge and fleeing the scene.
The suspect’s last known address was in “Ghost Town”, Woodlands. He later became homeless and claims hunger and drug addiction drove him to commit his crimes. In all three murders, items stolen from the deceased were peddled for cash to buy drugs. It is believed some of the goods stolen were sold to prostitutes at a local brothel.
Earlier this week, Pietermaritzburg and District Council for the Care of the Aged (PADCA) CEO Trevor Clowes, said he was “appalled by the senseless violence”.
“We are appalled by the senseless violence against the frail, defenceless elders in our community. The safety of all our residents is of paramount importance and we are fully aware of the expectations placed on us by the residents and their families when it comes to security,” he said.