PODCAST | The Shoelace Killer: A lifetime of murder

True Crime South Africa


Image: Allan Swart/123RF

Wesley Julyan was 18 years old when, in 2003, he was convicted of murdering Kenneth van Aardt. He and his accomplice strangled the man with a shoelace, walking away from their horrendous crime with just R70. Julyan was sentenced to 13 years in prison, which was eventually increased to 20 years on appeal. He was paroled in 2009 after serving just five years of his sentence. 

Eight years later, four members of Wesley Julyan’s family were found dead after a house fire. His brother, Jeffrey Julyan; Jeffrey’s nine-year-old son, Ethan; his 16-year-old stepdaughter, Kayla; and his father-in-law, Peter, were all seemingly victims of the fire. Autopsy results and evidence found at the scene, though, told a different story.

In episode 11 of True Crime SA, we discuss this disturbing case, the possible psychological motive behind it and attempt to uncover why a killer was released after only five years in prison.

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