Journalist’s coverage of serial killer captured in book

Bedford Park resident and former investigative journalist Janine Lazarus recently published her first book, Bait – To catch a killer.

It tells his story about the crimes and activities of the Norwood rapist and serial killer in the 1990s.

In her book, which was published in August, Janine details how she was used by police as a decoy to hunt Kobus Geldenhuys, who had terrorized the Norwood suburb.

Set in the newsroom of the pre-digital age, the story competed with some of the biggest headlines of the era as the SA made the transition to democracy.

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Written as a true crime memoir with an unusual twist, Bait – To catch a killer explores newsroom ethics and questionable police procedures against the backdrop of a deep dive into the power relationship between journalist, editor. in chief and a serial killer.

With over 30 years in the media industry, Janine recently caught up with NEWS to provide an overview of her book and what prompted her to write it.

She explained that her passion for crime began after she fell in love with the American legal drama television series LA Law.

After realizing her passion, Janine attended university where she began to study law.

It occurred to her that criminal litigation was not the career choice for her, so Janine decided to pursue a career in journalism.

Starting with a Jewish publication, Janine worked as a general news reporter for several months at The Citizen before moving to The Sunday Times as a criminal reporter.

Janine’s tenacity, determination and hard work led her to become head of the crime bureau and investigative reporter for the Sunday Star, then investigative reporter for the Saturday Star.

“My career started while I was at The Star,” explained Janine.

She pointed out that it was during this period of her career that she came face to face with a killer.

While working for the Star, Janine also lived in the suburb of Norwood.

She explained that some of the rapes and murders took place just two and a half kilometers from the building where she lived at the time.

“Norwood was where I lived and loved, but when the killer struck, the suburb became a ghost town,” Janine said.

She explained that as the killings continued, all of the single women left the area.

“The only stores making money back then were the security companies. “

Janine said readers can expect more than a book recounting her journey on the Norwood serial killer, breaking journalistic rules, being reprimanded by her editor and used by police to attempt to catch Geldenhuys.

“It was a dream of mine to write a book, but it’s not a story type book,” Janine explained.

It took him two and a half years to write Bait – To catch a killer.

The book, which Janine described as a detective story in part, bares her emotions.

She said that after submitting the manuscript, she felt a tremendous wave of relief. Janine has said to date that the reception of the book has been positive.

Having been on numerous radio shows, Janine believes those who would enjoy the book the most are those who enjoy watching or reading the detective genre.

Visit www.nb.co.za for more information on the book.

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