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Updated: May 27, 2022


Name: Van NIEKERK. Maria Helena Gertruida Christina LEE, Formerly Oosthuizen and Kruger. DOB: 1899

Crime / Crime: Murder

Classification: Poison killers

Characteristics / Category: Femme Fatal Maritcide

Family: Parents: Willem Johan Christian van Niekerk and Aletta Catharina Barnard….

* Married DANIEL RUDOLPH OOSTHUIZEN in 1915, 4 sons, divorced

1929 Her descendants therefore Oosthuizen…. (See SK for names)

* Jacob Casper KRUGER, short-lived marriage 1933-1933

* Jan de Klerk LEE, 1934 Lee's surname she retained. She was engaged to * S.J.B Olivier, and eventually befriended Alwyn Smith.

Date / Date of Death: 18 September 1948, 49 years old

Victim / Victim: Alwyn Jacobus Nicolaas Smith a.k.a. Nico DOB: 1917. Died on 30 1947, His PARENTS Alwyn Jacobus Nicolaas Hendrik AND Elsje Sphia Johanna Jacoba Smit / h and brother Pieter Albertus Smith.

Method / Method: Poison, poisons her boyfriend with Arsenic

Location: South Africa

Status / Status: on Sept 18 1948 Executed by Judicial Hanging at the Pretoria Central Prison Pretoria, for Poisoning her young lover Alwyn Smith.

For Researchers: Someone linked her to the wrong person on Familysearch. Contact me please, for correct linking to this person and documents.

Maria Lee, as she was known, might have done more harm to humanity if it were not for an awake Dr. Helman. Alwyn began to feel ill and began to show the typical Guillan-Barre symptoms, after which he went to Dr. Helman for treatment. Afterwards he showed improvement, but weeks later ill again, the smart man decides to go to Alwyn's place of residence on his own, there he finds a dying man and a ‘sad’ Maria . He does not like what he saw, and decides his colleague Dr. Leftwich, must be contacted, Dr. Leftwich agrees. Alwayn died. Dr Helman went straight to the police, Colonel van Niekerk (ironically) was appointed and took the case further.

At this point Maria was leading a double life, she had a man in one province tell him stories so she could get on a plane every now and then to go to her boyfriend-Alwyn, and so she told Alwyn stories again. Micky Pistorius describes this classification of poison killer as very dangerous. She also goes on to say in her analysis that this is usually the case so that they can enrich themselves. Jan apparently died of Tuberculosis….

She was also a jewelry thief, caught and just fired at American Swiss. She looks very stylefull in her photos but was very cunning and clever, she clearly aimed her sights at the unseen weaker personalities, and struck like a typical female spider. She is not the weaker sex in the story. Maria was executed and hanged on the Pretoria gallows. 18 September 1948

Legal fragments: please note that mainly deceased is being discussed here for Genealogy purposes, it is a #case study, and we mention convicted persons and / or other relation to this case for research and Genealogy educational purposes.

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