Shannon Mak's alleged murderer ‘acted like he was expecting us’, police officers tell court

Prosecutors are hoping that a single strand of blonde hair is enough to link Mak to her alleged murderer’s home

Prosecutors in the case against Jelle Rijpma, the man accused of murdering Shanon Mak last year, are hoping that a single strand of blonde hair could be enough to tie Mak to her alleged murderer’s home.

This emerged as the compilation of evidence against Rijpma, a 23-year-old gaming employee, continued today.

Mak died from horrific throat wounds after being stabbed not far from her residence in August 2018. The accused had recently moved into a nearby apartment, the court had heard in previous sittings.

Over the course of the sitting, Rijpma again appeared to be completely devoid of emotion, ignoring the presence of several of the victim’s family members, including her mother.

Two crime scene officers presented the court with a report they compiled after analysing the crime scene and Rijpma’s rented converted garage on Triq l-Istampaturi in Santa Venera.

They told magistrate Simone Grech how they had found a single strand of long blonde hair on a shower handle, together with traces of blood and 17 cigarette butts. The items were all handed over for forensic testing after being photographed and could potentially place the victim at Rijpma’s home.

Later on in the sitting, one of the four police officers who had arrested Rijpma recalled finding the suspect sitting in his flatlet, calmly watching television. The man appeared relaxed, he said.

 Lawyer Stefano Filletti, appearing on behalf of the victim’s relatives, asked whether the suspect asked any questions. 

“No. He behaved normally as though he had been expecting us,” the officer replied, adding that the suspect had not even asked the police why he was being arrested.

The compilation of evidence continues next month.

Inspector Robert Vella is prosecuting.

Lawyer Leontine Calleja is appearing for Rijpma.