On 2nd May 2011 in Johannesburg South Africa, Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren stabbed his girlfriend fourteen times, killing her in broad daylight, and all caught on CCTV.

A violent murderer yes, but also a charismatic manipulator, who evaded prison – twice – in two different countries, assumed three different identities, and started families with two different women, before being brought to justice. And all with the help from his mother.

Original Sin: My Son the Killer weaves a chilling narrative of Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren, seen through the haunted gaze of his mother. This crime thriller pulls you into a world where familial shadows loom large over present horrors. We move between the chilling scene of Andrea Venter's murder and the twisted lineage of Gerhard's upbringing, unraveling how the hidden scars of an abusive father and a dark family history forged him into a cold-blooded killer.

The film charts Gerhard's twisted courtship with Andrea Venter. Armed with a lethal combination of charm and intellect, van Vuuren ensnares Andrea in a tangled web from which she desperately seeks escape. Her tragic end ignites the fervor of Dr. Labuschagne, a seasoned detective and criminal psychologist, who becomes the Venter family's beacon of hope in their quest for justice.

Through the gaps of an imperfect justice system, Gerhard is granted bail. He retreats to his mother, Thea’s home, where life superficially moves on—new love blooms, and soon, twins are on the way. Yet, beneath this facade of normalcy, Gerhard is quietly laying the groundwork for his escape.

Gerhard eludes justice by vanishing on the eve of his trial, igniting an international manhunt. His mother, Thea is overwhelmed with guilt which eventually leads to a confession that reveals she aided and abetted his escape. This new intel sets the wheels of justice in motion with Interpol’s relentless pursuit through the dangerous streets of Rio. Their diligence pays off with Gerhard's capture, but the victory is short-lived. After two years behind bars, a promise of extradition and sweet justice turns sour — Gerhard is mysteriously released.

Now, “He could be anywhere, it’s like a needle in a haystack.” After four years of nothing, fresh intel surfaces, and hope is rekindled as a combined force of South African and Brazilian Interpol Agents, through ingenious detective work, locate him in a favela, with his new family. Finally, he’s arrested and extradited to South Africa where he must face his day in court.

The cat-and-mouse tale of a clever and resourceful murderer on the run is compelling enough. But it’s only half the story. The film delves deep into the psyche of Gerhard’s mother, interweaving the tale of Gerhard’s remarkable upbringing. Deep in this family background are the clues not just to why Gerhard became a murderer, but also the creation of such a charming and persuasive sociopath. It raises unsettling questions about the origin of human character: are terrible crimes the product of nature or nurture? Something that’s born in the individual or created by upbringing?

With unprecedented access to many of the key characters, a mass of personal archive as well as footage of the courtroom denouement, the film goes way beyond the horrific crime Gerhard committed and his escape from justice. It examines what it was that made him, and the personality that allowed him to literally get away with murder. Until now...

"No fiction writer could dream up these events... Tragedy, a brutal murder and a mother's memories flash through Thea Pretorius' haunted eyes." RAPPORT (South Africa)
"It's the brisk pace, shifting images and keen visual eye of director John Gutierrez that rounds off the tragedy." RAPPORT (South Africa)
“not just another documentary about a violent death. It is a film that contains some of the answers to the age-old question - what makes a killer?… Original Sin somehow touches on every vital element of this crime in a raw and tragic exploration of domestic violence and all its consequences.” TRUE CRIME SOUTH AFRICA PODCAST
“jaw-dropping… If you haven’t watched it yet, do so!" CAXTON LOCAL MEDIA
“captivates from the first frame, immersing viewers in the stark reality of femicide in South Africa… gripping storytelling… A must-watch for understanding the complexities of gender-based violence in our society. Brilliant, hard-hitting, and utterly compelling." MIA SPIES, MEDIA PERSONALITY, TV PRESENTER AND MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST
"a deep dive into one of South Africa’s most brazen crimes caught on camera... captures a sensitive and often times harrowing look into a senseless murder that lingers on the country’s psyche. A phenomenal production that showcases thoughtful and informative story-telling supported by a powerful visual experience. A documentary not to be missed." TIMESLIVE VIDEO LEAD
“Original Sin is textured storytelling at its finest… the film exposes an uncomfortable truth about South Africa’s femicide epidemic: that the perpetrators of evil at its most horrific find sustenance in people’s indifference.” CARTE BLANCHE
"As the true-crime genre continues to captivate audiences worldwide, “Original Sin: My Son The Killer” stands out as a powerful testament to the resilience of survivors and the unwavering pursuit of justice in the face of tragedy." FASHION FORCE AFRICA MAGAZINE
"A raw and unfiltered look at the tragic events surrounding Andrea’s murder and the subsequent manhunt for Gerhard." FASHION FORCE AFRICA MAGAZINE
"Poignant." SARIE (South Africa)


1 x 90-minutes
Available in 4K / UHD




John Guttierez


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