From scrawny wimp to seasoned cop, from a nobody to one of the most beloved and successful detectives from South Africa. Investigating murders and solving crime to such an extent that Scotland Yard and Canadian Police asked him for assistance in solving serial killings. Piet Byleveld has had a good run in his almost forty year long career and has become synonymous with crime fighting. Winning the hearts of not only South Africans, but the world as headline after headline of true-crime was solved by this super-cop. This is his story.
Byleveld: Dossier of a Serial Sleuth is a non-fiction book, filled with photograph that depicts Piet Byleveld’s life. However, it’s not merely a book praising him, there is some in-depth talks about the murders he had investigated and the heartbreaking cases he solved. These cases consist of a variety of serial killings, but to South Africans two will stand out the most… The Leigh Matthews case, a twenty one year old student who was murdered, which Piet Byleveld solved as well as the heartbreaking case of Sheldean Human who was merely seven years old when she was molested and murdered. We are reminded of the Pied Piper serial killer, Sipho Dube who lured young children to the veld and killed them as a hobby, who Piet Byleveld got to confess to his heinous crimes. We read about the serial rapists he has apprehended, the stories that will chill readers to the bone… But these are merely some of the cases he has helped to solve, as many others have also gets attention in the book. Mentions of Daisy De Melker (South Africa’s first female serial killer), Moses Sithole, and others get their own mentions in this book, making it an exciting and quite disturbing read.
The truth is that real life is much grizzlier than fiction and this book shows how horrible man can be. Byleveld: Dossier of a Serial Sleuth is not for the faint of heart, but it is a necessary read to those who are interested in true crime. So many times we are bombarded with true-crime stories out of a serial killer’s perspective, think Charles Manson or John Wayne Gacy, and so many times we forget who caught them… Piet Byleveld may not have been the man to catch those guys, but he was the man that brought new hope to the public. Though his story isn’t all sunshine and roses either, we see the good and the bad in these pages, from his personal life and the scandals revolving around him all the way to the way he interrogated the assailants he sought.
This is a great biography for those who are interested in true-crime and an interesting read altogether. Page after page is filled with words that will make you sit on the edge of your seat and eventually you’ll realise you’re biting your nails. Thrilling, exciting and downright chilling, Byleveld: Dossier of a Serial Sleuth will definitely give you nightmares. Written by Hanlie Retief, she hits the hammer on the head every single chapter as she talks about the man, the crimes and the past that has made South Africa what it is today.
This book is not for the faint of heart…