South Africa-based SVoD service Showmax is set to debut an original true crime docuseries about a cult murder spree, titled Devilsdorp.
The series came about as a result of research into the killings that took place between 2012 and 2016 in the town of Krugersdorp, otherwise known as the Appointment Murders.
Devilsdorp, which will air from July 29, will showcase extraordinary footage of church meetings, trial testimonies, judgments and apparent ‘exorcisms.’
It will also feature first-hand accounts of stories by church members who knew the perpetrators: senior investigating officer Captain Ben Booysen, deputy director of public prosecutions Gerrit Roberts, discovery claims specialist Shane Chatzkelowitz and journalist Marizka Coetzer.
The series is directed by David Enright, produced by Randburg-based prodco IdeaCandy and narrated by Jana Marx, author of the book The Krugersdorp Cult Killings: Inside Cecilia Steyn’s Reign of Terror.
Enright said: “The result of an 18-month research process, Devilsdorp shows again that truth is stranger than fiction, especially in South Africa. This is the story of the events that rocked an entire community and forever changed the lives of those involved, especially the families of the victims.
“What started as a group of devout Christians trying to help a former satanist escape the satanic church ended in a murderous spree involving a killer mom, her two children and a cult with more victims than members. It may all sound too far-fetched to be believed, except it really happened – just down the road from us,” he added.
“We know our audience is fascinated by local true crime, pointing to the popularity of the SAFTA-winning film Griekwastad and the SAFTA-nominated series Huisgenoot: Ware Lewensdramas. There’s something deeply unsettling about watching a true-crime series where the victims and perpetrators look and sound like your neighbours, and where you can recognise the locations,” added Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content.
IdeaCandy producer Wim Steyn added: “You may think you know this story but you don’t. This is one of those stories where things are seldom as they seem, and where the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”