Former South African Police Service Head Profiler on the Murder That “Stands Out The Most”

Original Sin: My Son The Killer is now streaming on Showmax, with Sarie‘s Marteli Brewis hailing the true-crime documentary as “poignant” and Cape Talk’s Sara-Jayne King praising it as “absolutely gripping viewing.” 

The Showmax Original follows Thea Pretorius, the mother of Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren, who murdered his 25-year-old girlfriend Andrea Venter in front of her neighbours, security guards and CCTV cameras. He then escaped authorities in South Africa and Brazil for years, assuming three different identities and starting families with multiple women. After initially helping him escape, Thea slowly had to come to terms with her son being a killer. As she admits in the trailer, “He’s capable of worse things.”

Former South African Police Service head profiler Dr Gérard Labuschagne worked on hundreds of murder cases but says in the true-crime documentary, “This was definitely one of the more brutal ones that I’ve seen… This was definitely in the realm of what we regard as overkill.”

He says Andrea’s story shows how hard it can be to leave an abusive relationship. “We all think the victim should just get up and leave,” he says, but “people get sucked up into this web of violence. And sometimes it’s the outright fear of this person, that, ‘If I leave, he is going to kill me.’ She did leave, and he tracked her down. She did take out a protection order, but the police did nothing…”

Pretorius also appears in Showmax’s Tracking Thabo Bester and Boetie Boer documentaries but he says this is the case that “stands out the most” in his career. “I finally left the police on the first of March, 2016. People asked me which was the case in your career that stands out the most, and I guess people often expect me to say a serial killer case, because I worked on lots of those. Or, you know, a really weird, bizarre murder, but it was this one… Because of the unfinished business and unfairness of it all. It just felt personal, and I think a lot of people in the case felt the same way.”

Original Sin is directed by John Gutierrez, whose credits include Sons of the Sea, which won the Best South African Film at Durban, and editing the Grammy-winning Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream.

Original Sin’s cat and mouse chase across two continents is interwoven with CCTV footage of Andrea’s murder; footage from Gerhard’s trials; and interviews with both their families, as well as the Brazilian Federal Police, Rio de Janeiro Interpol and the South African police and legal teams on the case.

The documentary feature is a co-production between Showmax, Rogan Productions (BAFTA winner Uprising, BAFTA nominees Freddie Mercury: The Final Act and Putin: A Russian Spy Story), and The Electric Shadow Company (BAFTA nominee McQueen, Hot Docs Jury winner Name Me Lawand), in association with Combined Artists (Strangers You Know, Carte Blanche) and Red Earth (Narcoworld: Dope Stories).

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB | Actor | Armourer | Tech Enthusiast With over two decades in the film industry, I'm a seasoned actor and skilled armourer. I hold numerous certifications in acting and filmmaking, complemented by degrees and diplomas in IT and technology, giving me a unique blend of creative and technical expertise. When I'm not on set or in the workshop, you'll find me immersed in the world of gaming and VR, fuelling my passion for cutting-edge technology. Connect with me: X / Twitter Facebook Instagram Mastodon Threads Explore my work on SAMDB IMDb