Alex Eliseev

Cold Case Confession

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Unravelling the Betty Ketani Murder

‘… if you are reading this then I am dead.’

This is the opening line of a letter hidden under a carpet for a decade. The chilling words are followed by a confession to a murder committed nearly 13 years earlier. The chance discovery of the letter on 31 March 2012 reawakens a case long considered to have run cold, and a hunt begins for the men who kidnapped and killed Betty Ketani – and were convinced they had gotten away with it. The investigation spans five countries, with a world-renowned DNA laboratory called in to help solve the forensic puzzle. The author of the confession letter might have feared death, but he is very much alive, as are others implicated in the crime.

Betty Ketani, a mother of three, came to Johannesburg in search of better prospects for her family. She found work cooking at one of the city’s most popular restaurants, and then one day she mysteriously disappeared. Those out to avenge her death want to bring closure to Betty’s family, still agonising over her fate all these years later.

The storyline would not be out of place as a Hollywood movie – and it’s all completely true. Written by the reporter who broke the story, Cold Case Confession goes behind the headlines to share exclusive material gathered in four years of investigations, including the most elusive piece of the puzzle: who would want Betty Ketani dead, and why?

Buy the ebook

The print book is available at all good bookstores around the country.

our-philosophy-is
  • This case is like an Agatha Christie whodunit: abduction, murder and a confession.

    CARTE BLANCHE
  • Unputdownable, riveting, utterly fascinating. My book of the year. By far. 

    DEON MEYER
  • This book has become a South African classic. 

    JENNY CRWYS WILLIAMS
  • Wonderful, evocative and vivid writing. Eliseev is a very exciting new talent.

    PETER JAMES
  • This story inspires confidence in the system and affirms that we are all equal before the law.

    THULI MADONSELA
the-author

The Author

  • ALEX ELISEEV is an award-winning journalist. He has reported from as far afield as Haiti, Japan, Libya and Russia. Eliseev has worked for some of South Africa’s top publications and media organisations, including Eyewitness NewsThe Star and Sunday Times. He was able to work on this book with the assistance of a Taco Kuiper grant.

  • ALEX ELISEEV is an award-winning journalist. He has reported from as far afield as Haiti, Japan, Libya and Russia. Eliseev has worked for some of South Africa’s top publications and media organisations, including Eyewitness NewsThe Star and Sunday Times. He was able to work on this book with the assistance of a Taco Kuiper grant.

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