Wed. Jul 24th, 2019

Crime committed in 1985 finally solved by a Cape Town detective

Fish Hoek beach Cape TownThe murder of Norma Coram has finally been solved.

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Modern forensic tech has solved a decades-old cold case. According to the False Bay Echo, for more than 30 years the murder of elderly Fish Hoek resident, Norah Coram, 80, had remained unsolved until the case was given the fresh eye of Warrant Officer Detective Jeremy Marten.

The Cold Case

In September 1985, Coram died from pneumonia due to being held hostage in the bathroom during a robbery in July that year.

In a statement to the police, Coram stated that she had given work to a young man who came to her house on 2nd Crescent Street in Fish Hoek.

He had allegedly asked Coram for food and money in exchange for working in the garden.

Sometime later in September, the suspect had ransacked Coram’s and tied her up in the bathroom. She had been locked in the bathroom for days until she was found by a neighbour.

Later, Coram was taken to Groote Schuur Hospital and spent a long time in ICU for pneumonia treatment.

Coram died of pneumonia on September 27, 1985.

Then the case went from a charge of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm to one of murder.

The police continued to search for the suspect that had eluded them. They even published an appeal to the public in the False Bay Echo, asking anyone with information to come forward.

Since then, it seemed that the suspect disappeared into thin air.

A fresh eye on the case

Marten who had been part of the Hawks was transferred to Fish Hoek Police Station earlier this year. He became in charge of outstanding suspect warrants from as early as 1996.

This also included cases from Ocean View before the area had a police station.

Fish Hoek police station commander Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Johnson stated that murder cold cases were looked at once a year.

This year they had the help of Marten and two weeks ago he decided to look at Coram’s file.

He first read Coram’s statement.

Then he began investigating possible places where the suspect might have been.

Finally, Marten was able to track the suspect’s current address using technology that was, unfortunately, not available in 1985.

However, when Marten was ready to arrest the suspect, he discovered that the suspect had died the year before.

Closure for the victims family

Coram’s nephew, Andrew Kavanagh, 60, stated that he was impressed with Marten’s work and that it had finally brought closure to the family.

Kavanagh described Coram as a loving woman who enjoyed cricket. He said that she would often take her binoculars with her on a train to Newlands to watch a match.

A proud Lieutenant Colonel Johnson stated that since Marten joined Fish Hoek Station they have been able to finalize more than a 100 cases on the wanted-suspect list.

Read: Eastern Cape teen charged with murder after stabbing 80-year-old woman

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