The Van Breda’s were the perfect family. Wealthy, successful and well-liked. In a luxury estate just outside Stellenbosch they lived what seemed like a dream life. But everything changed overnight. The gruesome murders of Martin, his wife Teresa and their son Rudi shocked South Africa. Julian Jansen, one of the first reporters on the scene, immediately realised that the case was going to place exceptional demands on the police. He was also deeply shaken by the events. As relatives and friends one by one started talking to Jansen, a picture emerged of parents at their wits’ end with their difficult ‘loner’ child and his drug problem. Could it be that the Van Breda’s’ own son had wielded the axe? From the moment the news broke, Rapport journalist Julian Jansen has followed the case closely as a reporter for the Sunday press grappling with the human side of this tragedy.

The De Zalze Murders: The Story Behind the Brutal Axe Attack was the book published in English and Afrikaans late last year.

Julian Jansen spoke to Aden Thomas on Heart Breakfast, take a listen to the podcast.

Julian Jansen is an author and award-winning investigative journalist. He was one of the first journalists on the scene of the De Zalze murders. He investigated the case in depth and reported on it for the Sunday weeklies Rapport and City Press, where he has been working for over a decade. He and his family live in Strand, Cape Town.