When a wheeler-dealer named Louis Tumpowski bought himself an interest in Dorethea Kraft’s farm in the Transvaal she had no idea that he had the deeds drawn up in such a way that when the lease was up she had to sell her share to him at a knock-down price.

Dorethea figured the best way out of this legal trap was to marry Tumpowski. When he rejected her proposal she called in a witch doctor named Whiskers to make a potion that would make him fall madly in love with her. That didn’t work either.

Dorethea asked Hermanus Swartz to help her. He was in love with her daughter Polly. He thought the best way to solve the problem was to have Tumpowski killed – Whiskers the witch doctor would do the job for £100.

On the night of February 2nd, 1918, during a violent hailstorm, Whiskers attacked Tumpowski with a knobkerrie, raining blows on his head. But when Tumpowski didn’t die, Swartz, who was standing by, cut the farmer’s throat with a pocket-knife. Whiskers, convinced that someone was watching them through a window, fled in panic. Swartz and Mrs. Kraft, helped by three African labourers, buried the body.

Alerted by Tumpowski’s worried sister, police called upon convicts to dig over the farm. They dug for months, finally finding the body on September 20th, 1920, two and a half years after the murder. Whiskers turned King’s evidence in exchange for immunity from prosecution, and Dorethea Kraft and Hermanus Swartz were found guilty. They were hanged on Tuesday, August 16th and Wednesday 17th, 1921, respectively.