Nov 21, 2010

Fruit of a poisoned tree

A true story of murder and the miscarriage of Justice.

It was the most sensational murder trial in South Africa of the past two decades. For ten months during 2007, Fred van der Vyver stood trial, accused of using an ornamental hammer to bludgeon his girlfriend Inge Lotz to death. When the trial began in February 2007, a guilty verdict seemed certain: the police had found his fingerprints at the scene, the alleged murder weapon had been found in his car, and a blood stain on the bathroom floor had been matched to one of his shoes. Yet, after a high-profile trial, in which some of the world's leading forensic investigators testified, and which cost his family more that R10 million, Van der Vyver was acquitted. But the story is far from over. Dubbed by an American expert as 'perhaps the worst case of forensic evidence fabrication in history', it has already attracted the attention of the world's largest association of professional forensic investigators. 

The outcome of the trial, however, was rejected by the family of Inge Lotz, who have only recently withdrawn a law suit against him. His career in tatters, Van der Vyver, in turn, is suing the Minister of Police for nearly R50 million, alleging that all the evidence against him was fabricated by detectives.
Acclaimed author Antony Albeker sat through the entire trial and, in Fruit of a Poisoned Tree, he explores the extraordinary circumstances in which the justice system failed both Fred van der Vyver and Inge Lotz. Part courtroom drama, part investigative journalism, Altbeker enters the heart of the challenges confronting the judicial system in South Africa today.


“…beautifully written, totally mesmerizing and absolutely riveting.” DEON MEYER 
“…obligatory reading for those interested in the current state of the nation. It reads like a thriller and is utterly un-put-down-able.” MARLENE VAN NIEKERK
“…both shocking and riveting. It is also beautifully written.” PETER HARRIS 
“…if you thought you knew something about the Inge Lotz murder trial, Altbeker has come, like a master decoder, to disabuse you of that notion.” KEVIN BLOOM

Complete review in The Sunday Independent
Article in You Magazine: Many questions, few answers

Fruit of a poisoned tree: A true story of murder and the miscarriage of Justice

Author: Antony Altbeker
Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers
ISBN: 9781868423330
Publication date: May 2010

The book is available from AMAZON.COM or KALAHARI.NET