The Kalahari Killings: The True Story of a Wartime Double Murder in Botswana, 1943

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9780750956659: The Kalahari Killings: The True Story of a Wartime Double Murder in Botswana, 1943
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A true-life murder mystery of two British airmen in Bostwana-and the extraordinary trial that followed that changed the lives of an entire peopleOn October 4 1943 two RAF pupil pilots Walter Adamson and Gerald Edwards took off from Kumalo in what is now Zimbabwe Some time later they were forced to land their aircraft north of the British Protectorate of Botswana They climbed out unscathed left a note and disappeared What happened next would entail ethno-archaeological investigation a sensational murder trial that was reported around the world-with a sensational outcome-and a profound change in the lives of the Tyua Bush people The airmen had been murdered by bullet and axe But why The leader of the group of eight killers charged Twai Twai Molele was known to be a witchdoctor and a bottle containing what was probably human fat was found in his possession Following the trial the Tyuas guns were confiscated and their ageless nomadic hunting life began to die out The murders offered an excuse for British-protected ranchers to take their lands

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From the Author:

I have lived in Botswana for 17 years and I came across this story completely by accident. I had been asked to do some research on a local Tiger Moth that I hoped would become a subject for my next painting and a quick search lead me to one of the strangest tales I had read for a long time. Two RAF pilots had landed their Tiger Moth on one of the salt pans before being murdered by giraffe eating Bushmen who believed that they were Gods.

Further research showed that, though this legend was wrong in nearly every detail, there was a grain of truth in the story. Coincidentally, only a couple of weeks before I started my search the family of one of the pilots had started doing a family tree and had come across an uncle that had 'flown Spitfires' in the war. Gordon Edwards had never made it as far as Spitfires but the information his family provided was invaluable. Lots of time was then spent in the National Archives, both here and in London, and to this was added more time at the RAF Museum at Hendon.

I was also lucky that an American professor, and leading expert on indigenous peoples, had studied the murder case during the 1970's and interviewed many of those involved. Robert Hitchcock proved an invaluable resource and without his help this story could never have been told.

Finally, I learnt a lot about the history of Botswana - something often overlooked in favour of its more 'exciting' neighbours. The highlight of this was being invited to a veteran's lunch for the remainder of the 10,000 soldiers from Bechuanaland that served in the British Army during the Second World War.

The trick in writing the book was to weave Gordon's personal story, with his exciting postings to Russia and Egypt, into the history of Botswana and its people. Something I hope I have managed to achieve.   

About the Author:

Jonathan Laverick grew up in County Durham, completed his degree at Durham, and did his teacher training in Durham. When he became convinced that he was being followed by Durham Cathedral, he ran away to Botswana. This decision was influenced by a job advert that had elephants in it.

Spending most of his adult life in Botswana, with pit-stops in the Bahamas and Norway, he is now the Director of A-levels at a prestigious school in Gaborone. Having played football for the Bahamian national champions (three games!) and having been a successful player/manager (Division 2 Champions) in Botswana, his career came to an end with a goal at the home to the Zebras.

Forced into growing up, he became Botswana's leading aviation artist (in a field of one!) and during the research for one of his paintings he came across a story of witchcraft and murder that was too good not to tell. Hence his first 'proper' book, The Kalahari Killings, to be published in 2015.

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Book Description The History Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On 4 October 1943, two trainee RAF pilots, Walter Adamson and Gordon Edwards, took off from Kumalo in Zimbabwe. Some time later they were forced to land in Botswana. They climbed out unscathed, left a note, and disappeared. What happened next would entail ethno-archaeological investigation, a sensational murder trial with worldwide media coverage - and an astonishing outcome - that led to a profound change in the lives of the Tyua Bush people. The airmen had been murdered by bullet and axe - but why? Twai Twai Molele, the leader of the group of eight killers charged, was known to be a witchdoctor and a bottle allegedly containing human fat was found in his possession . Following the trial the Tyuas guns were confiscated and their ageless, nomadic hunting life began to die out. The murders offered an excuse for British-protected cattle farmers to remove them from their lands. Reopening this extraordinary case, Jonathan Laverick reviews the evidence to uncover the true story. Seller Inventory # AA79780750956659

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Book Description The History Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On 4 October 1943, two trainee RAF pilots, Walter Adamson and Gordon Edwards, took off from Kumalo in Zimbabwe. Some time later they were forced to land in Botswana. They climbed out unscathed, left a note, and disappeared. What happened next would entail ethno-archaeological investigation, a sensational murder trial with worldwide media coverage - and an astonishing outcome - that led to a profound change in the lives of the Tyua Bush people. The airmen had been murdered by bullet and axe - but why? Twai Twai Molele, the leader of the group of eight killers charged, was known to be a witchdoctor and a bottle allegedly containing human fat was found in his possession . Following the trial the Tyuas guns were confiscated and their ageless, nomadic hunting life began to die out. The murders offered an excuse for British-protected cattle farmers to remove them from their lands. Reopening this extraordinary case, Jonathan Laverick reviews the evidence to uncover the true story. Seller Inventory # AA79780750956659

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Not Signed; On 4 October 1943, two trainee RAF pilots, Walter Adamson and Gordon Edwards, took off from Kumalo in Zimbabwe. Some time later they were forced to land in Botswana. They climbed out unscathed, left a note, and disappeared. What happened next would entail ethno-archaeological investigation, a se. book. Seller Inventory # ria9780750956659_rkm

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