His reign of terror inspired two movies, 1989’s WINDPRINTS starring John Hurt and a pre-THE LORD OF THE RINGS Sean Bean, and the excellent 1992 Horror flick DUST DEVIL written and directed by Richard Stanley. But Nhadiep was real. A real, flesh and blood man, although his ability to avoid detection led people, as they did with Jack the Ripper, to attribute to him supernatural abilities. Finding information on this guy isn’t as easy as you’d expect. Not information in English, anyway.
This linked article provides the best breakdown of the case I could find: “The only evidence of a serial killer ever having been active in Namibia comes from the early 1980s in southern Namibia when a Nama-speaking man going by the name of Nhadiep was accused of a series of brutal ritualistic murders, of mostly railway workers and migrant labourers. Nhadiep is reputed to have been highly elusive and evaded capture by South African security forces for a long time. He was said to have hidden out in the mountains and canyons in the south of the country. Although information on Nhadiep is sketchy, the Nama are said to have believed him to possess supernatural powers that allowed him to shape shift in order to avoid capture…Nhadiep was reportedly killed in a shoot-out with police in one of the canyons of southern Namibian and his body taken to the police station at Berseba. However, because half the head had been blown off, making the body unidentifiable, people did not believe that it was the notorious Nhadiep that had been killed. It is not clear how many murders Nhadiep was accused of having committed.”
The headless body was buried near the town of Bethanie. The supernatural killer in DUST DEVIL had his head blown off, too (although that didn’t stop him), and the action in the movie took place in the town of Bethanie.