Book review: Killer Cop: The Rosemary Ndlovu Story

Killer Cop: The Rosemary Ndlovu Story

Naledi Shange

Melinda Ferguson/NB Publishers

Review: Karen Watkins

This chilling exposé is the shocking true story of police sergeant Rosemary Ndlovu, a woman who exploited the life insurance system to fuel her appetite for money and insatiable gambling addiction.

The cover image, by Alistair Russell, portrays Ndlovu in an innocent light, a stark contrast to the gruesome story that lies within.

Ndlovu, who had taken an oath to serve and protect, was accused of cold-bloodedly embarking on a horrifying killing spree, murdering her lover and at least five family members.

She used various methods ranging from poisoning to stabbing, strangulation and bludgeoning, sometimes at her own hand, otherwise by enlisting the services of hired hitmen.

Shange’s introduction highlights the rarity of a case like Ndlovu’s. The presiding judge commented that such a case had not been seen in a South African court since the notorious Daisy de Melker in 1932.

However, Ndlovu proved to be a far more ruthless killer, having taken out insurance policies on her victims, even planning to murder her own mother, who ultimately testified during the trial.

Ndlovu was eventually sentenced to six life terms in prison with an additional 145 years behind bars at the taxpayers’ expense.

At the centre of the book, images capture the multiple personalities of this serial killer – from flirtatious poses for the camera to moments of sheer boredom, all while meticulously maintaining her appearance, even behind bars.

Killer Cop reads like a gripping crime thriller, drawing readers in and holding them captive with its spine-tingling accounts of one gruesome crime after another.

While it could have benefited from a smoother flow between the different crimes, Shange’s expertise as an investigative journalist and her thorough research shine through, making this book a highly commendable read.

Prepare to be shocked, horrified but thoroughly engrossed as you peel away the layers of the twisted world of Rosemary Ndlovu, a killer who defied all preconceived notions of what a female serial killer (or cop) should be.