Micki Pistorius

South African psychologist and author (born 1961)

Micki Pistorius (born 19 March 1961 in Pretoria 22) is a South African forensic or investigative psychologist and author. She was the first woman in her profession[1] and the first profiler in South Africa.[2][3] She says she has "cryptesthesia", an extra-sensory perception for killers.[2][4] Her nephew is former sprinter and convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius.

Early and personal life

Pistorius grew up in Pretoria with several brothers and sisters. She worked as a journalist for eight years,[1] before deciding to study psychology at the University of Pretoria, where she received a Masters in the subject, and also became a lecturer with a reputation for eccentricity.[4][5] While doing her doctoral thesis on serial killers, the first in South Africa,[6] she developed her theory linking Freudian psychosexual development with serial killing.[3] She was married for eight years, but divorced as a result of work pressures after she became a profiler. She is a Catholic.[5]


Pistorius joined the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 1994,[7] where she founded and headed the Investigative Psych Unit[8] as Chief Investigative Psychologist,[5] a rank equivalent to colonel;[4] she also founded the Serious and Violent Crimes Component.[citation needed] By 1997, she had trained over 100 detectives to investigate serial criminals, and two successors, including Elmarie Myburgh.[5][8]

She was involved in more than thirty serial killer cases while at SAPS. Among the people whose cases she worked on are Norman Afzal Simons, Moses Sithole, David Selepe, Stewart Wilken, Sipho Thwala, Velaphi Ndlangamandla, Cedric Maake, and David Mmbengwa.[1][3][5][7][9][10]

She developed post-traumatic stress disorder and consequently retired in 2000 to join a private investigation company. Gerrard Labuschagne took over from her.[3] After quitting, she wrote Catch me a killer in order to "purify" herself of her experiences while profiling.[1] She still consults for South African government agencies,[4] and appears in court cases as a clinical psychologist.[11]

Pistorius is recognised as one of the world's foremost psychological profilers, by people such as FBI profiler Robert Ressler.[3][6]

Pistorius has empathy for serial killers, who she says are "not monsters; they are human beings with tortured souls. I will never condone what they do, but I can understand them."[4] She participated in the training of nearly two hundred detectives in the investigation of serial homicides.[citation needed]

Books by Micki Pistorius

  • Skimme in Die Skadu Penguin (SA) 2006 ISBN 978-0-14-302517-7
  • Profiling Serial Killers and other crimes in South Africa Penguin SA 2005 ISBN 0-14-302482-5[4]
  • Fatal Females Penguin SA 2004 ISBN 0-14-302440-X
  • Strangers on the street Penguin SA 2002 ISBN 0-14-100356-1
  • Catch me a killer (autobiography) Penguin SA 2000 ISBN 0-14-029722-7[4]
  • Sorg (historical novel) Penguin SA 2012 ISBN 978-0-14-352715-2

Books about Micki Pistorius

  • Micki Pistorius une femme sur la trace des serial killers by Stéphane Bourgouin. (In French) ISBN 2-86391-997-0


  1. ^ a b c d "Micki Pistorius, une profileuse en Afrique du Sud – Tueurs en Serie.org". www.tueursenserie.org (in French). 26 June 2003. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b Rademeyer, Julian; Siemaszko, Corky (25 February 2013). "Pistorius aunt is famed criminal profiler". NY Daily News. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Attwood, Vivian (8 November 2007). "Is tracking serial killers 'mumbo jumbo'?". Independent Online. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Howden, Daniel (25 February 2013). "Why South Africa's top murder expert will not be involved in Oscar". The Independent. Archived from the original on 14 May 2022. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e Johnson, Angella (1 October 1997). "The woman who stalks the stalkers". The M&G Online. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b Fuchs, Erin (25 February 2013). "Oscar Pistorius' Aunt Is One of South Africa's Top Murder Experts". Business Insider. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Drogin, Bob (22 March 1997). "Post-Apartheid South Africa Swamped by Crime". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Five serial killers operating in SA". The M&G Online. 1 October 1997. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Top psychologist joins hunt for Delmas killer". The M&G Online. 22 September 1998. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  10. ^ Bailey, Candice (16 August 2005). "Revisiting the Station Strangler cases". Independent Online. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Barbie 'psychologically imprisoned' by Dirk". The M&G Online. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2017.

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