In Honor of Halloween, Meet a Living Nightmare
This Female Serial Killer Was so Callous, Her Hitman Turned Her In
In the past year, there have been numerous - some would say endless- documentaries about serial killers. Samuel Little. The Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez. John Wayne Gacy. Ted Bundy. Keith Jesperson. I could go on and on. These were all twentieth century serial killers; most of them active between 1970 and 1995.
This focus on the “heyday” of serial killers might have given you the impression that they’re are a thing of the past. It might also have given you the idea that serial killers are all men. But while you were binge watching re-enactments of old serial murders, there was plenty of current news about more recent ones.
I’d like to introduce you to Nomia Rosemary Ndlovu, a South African serial killer and former police officer who was recently convicted of the murders of six people, all of whom she professed to love.
Show Me the Money
This forty-six year old South African female serial killer was a police officer until her arrest. Between 2012 and 2018, she murdered five relatives, including her cousin, sister, niece, and two nephews. She murdered her boyfriend of four years, Yingwani Maurice Mabasa. Her own two children also died under mysterious circumstances, although (so far) she has not been charged with their deaths.
Her motive was pure greed. She would identify a target among her relatives, take out life insurance and funeral cost policies without their knowledge, pay the premiums, and kill them as soon as the policy allowed a cash payout. She would sometimes lie to the insurance agent about her relationship with the proposed policy holder; for instance, she told one company that her cousin (whom she proceeded to murder) was her husband. Before killing her sister Audrey, Ndlovu pretended she was the soon-to-be-victim and took out a life insurance policy in Audrey’s name. Of course, Ndlovu was listed as the beneficiary.
At the time of her arrest, she had received $95,000 in insurance benefits. She would have received a lot more (at least until she ran out of family members) if she hadn’t been arrested.
Just Get the Job Done
Ndlovu was both heartless and relentless. Mabasa, the boyfriend who was stabbed over eighty times during his murder, had survived two previous murder attempts. On one occasion, he had been confronted by a man with a gun. Luckily, the gun jammed and he was able to escape. A second time, he woke up in the bed he shared with Idlovu to discover the room was on fire. Police later found empty gas containers under the bed but had no suspects. Sadly, Mabassa had no idea that he was sleeping with an enemy.
Unlike many serial killers, Ndlovu didn’t follow any modus operandi in her murders. Sometimes a hitman was her murder weapon. Sometimes she did it herself; for instance, she had no qualms about personally poisoning and strangling her sister to death. Victims were stabbed, strangled, beaten or shot. Ndlovu didn’t seem to care who did the killing or how it was done. All she cared about was the payout.
Unlikely Police Informants
In March 2018, Ndlovu hired a hitman to kill one of her sisters and her five young children. The initial hired hitman, upon learning that the youngest intended victim was under a year old, balked. No way was he going to kill those kids. He informed the police, who sent an undercover policemen to meet with her about the planned murder-for-hire. On video, you can listen to her give detailed instructions on how to kill the entire family.
You can tell she means business. She tell the “hitman” to strangle the victims and burn the house down. She drives five hours with him to show him where his sister’s house is. She promises to give her sister some pills so that she will pass out and sleep more soundly. She instructs them how to get in the house. There is no indication at any point in time that she has mixed feelings or is having second thoughts. She talks about the murders (and subsequent life insurance payouts) as if it is a business transaction. To her, I guess it is.
Another of Ndlovu’s hitmen, Lakhiwe Mkhize, also got cold feet. Ndlovu had hired this one to kill her mother, Maria Mushwana. At her trial, Mkhize testifed that Ndlovu had given him R2,600 ($172.50) to carry out the murder. He said that he actually went to the elderly lady’s house, but when the sweet old woman let him in, he just couldn’t go through with the killing. He asked for some water and left.
Maybe Murder Can Give Me More Than Money
While money was Ndlovu’s motive outside of jail, she was apparently willing to expand her horizons once she was behind bars. In October of 2018, approximately six months after her arrest, police discovered that she had paid an alleged hitman to kill her former police boss and another officer. She blamed them for her incarceration. Fortunately, the plot was uncovered before any damage. Two additional criminal charges were filed.
Ndlovu has not received her sentence, which could be life in prison. She is scheduled to hear her fate sometime in November. Surviving family members have had different reactions. Her mother, who testified at trial, torpedoed some of Ndlovu’s alibis but refused to believe her daughter had plans to kill her.
Sister Joyce, who, along with her children, was to be Ndlovu’s next victim, says she still loves Ndlovu but will not visit her in prison. She was unable to shed much light on the path Ndlovu travelled down to wind up a serial killer, describing her sister as a “jokester” in childhood and describing their relationship as close until recent years. Then, she says, her sister suddenly changed.