Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Stewart Wilken

Full Confession

Wuane was Wilken's daughter from his first marriage. She was last seen on September 29, 1995, by her half-sister, who was Wilken's first wife's daughter from a previous relationship. Wilken, who had been married to his second wife for almost five years by now, was visiting with Wuane's mother. Later that afternoon, the half-sister saw Wilken with Wuane, sitting on a sidewalk about 150 feet from their home.

Wuane was never seen alive again.

Wilken stated that he had been concerned about Wuane's welfare. Her stepfather was molesting her and there was not enough food in the house. Wuane's half-sister admitted that there were times when they did not have food and that their new stepfather did not like them. Wilken claimed Wuane told him she wanted to run away.

Wilken took her to Happy Valley. There is a garden here, filled with fairy-tale figures such as dwarves. Wilken played there as a child and said they were some of his happiest memories. When he left his second wife's home, he went to stay in the bushes near Happy Valley.

Here Wilken inspected Wuane's vagina and found that she was "no longer a virgin." He wanted to save her from the kind of life that he had had, and strangled her, thereby "sending her soul to God" (Die Burger, 1998, p. 1). He removed her clothes and kept her body, talking to it and sleeping next to it at night. When the body had decomposed, he covered the skeleton with a tarpaulin. He placed her clothes next to him, as if they were still being worn.

Regarding Henry Bakers, Wilken said he met the boy in Algoa Park. Henry allegedly asked Wilken about sex. Wilken took the boy to an open field on the outskirts of Algoa Park. He told the boy to take off his clothes and proceeded to perform fellatio on him. Then he told Henry to lie on his back and he sodomized the boy. Henry cried and protested, and Wilken began to strangle him. As the boy died, Wilken ejaculated.

Wilken also alleged that Henry was being physically abused by his parents. As he had done with Wuane, he wanted to send Henry's soul to God. Henry's parents said that they had scolded the boy when naughty and at times had hit him on his buttocks, but that they had never kicked him, as Wilken alleged.

Holiday Inn Garden Court hotel
Holiday Inn Garden Court hotel

Wilken showed police where he had left the bodies. He took them to the place, behind the Garden Court Holiday Inn, where he had kept Wuane's body, and later her skeleton, for almost six months. This would finally provide the identity of a skeleton found there beneath a blue-green tarpaulin on May 22, 1996. At the time, forensic experts had only been able to identify the skeleton as belonging to a white girl, younger than 12.

S Africa policeman
S Africa policeman

Then, Wilken took them to Henry's body, hidden in bushes near Algoa Park. The boy's body was found infested with maggots.

Back at his office, Sgt. Norsworthy again confronted Wilken. He told Wilken that he knew there were more bodies.

Wilken replied that there were probably at least 10.

He proceeded to make a full confession to his lawyer, describing the crimes in explicit detail, using particularly foul language. This confession kept Sgt. Norsworthy and his colleagues busy for months, trying to locate the murder dockets (which is what case files are called in South Africa) pertaining to the crimes Wilken had described.


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