In Empangeni in South Africa they called 35-year-old Simon Mpungose the Hammer Man because he would break into homes in the dead of night and kill the occupants with a hammer before robbing them of their money and jewels.

In December 1983, he killed Graham and Margaretha Macaskill, both prison officers, and in February the following year he killed Justin and Terri Smith. When he was brought to trial in November 1984, the court was told that he had attacked many other people during violent robberies – a report which was lost on Mpungose because he slept through the entire proceedings.

Mr. Justice Broome could find no extenuating circumstances, noting that Mpungose covered his hands with socks during the robberies to avoid leaving fingerprints. The fact that the defendant was a psychopath was not a mitigating factor in law. He sentenced him to hang, whereupon Mpungose threw his blue tracksuit into the public gallery, shouted, and threatened to expose his penis to the court, until he was restrained with handcuffs.

He was hanged a year later, on Friday, November 29th, 1985, in Pretoria.