Gruesome slaying of the Hamer family | Sunday Observer

Gruesome slaying of the Hamer family

22 May, 2022

It was shortly after dusk and the rain was pelting down heavily on that fateful day when the retired land surveyor identified as Austin Hamer, 79, lived in his three-roomed small home with his son Dieter (31) and daughter Romaine (29).

Austin Kramer was alone at his private residence when the incident started to take place.

Pet dogs

The land surveyor also shared his house with two pet dogs.

His son Dieter, a bank executive and daughter Romaine a hotel employee were yet to return from work that evening.

Perhaps, he would have never noticed the lone figure of a man entering his home through the front door armed with a sharp instrument and the dog apparently fail to bark, simply as it would be later known the intruder was known to the family.

The intruder began to attack the elderly land surveyor with the sharp instrument until he fell dead on the floor in a pool of blood.

Limp body

The killer later cleaned the blood and whatever signs of a struggle before concealing the limp body underneath a bed while the rain kept pelting down.

A short while later Dieter arrived home after work and met the same brutal fate.

Dieter was a humble and meek young man and was making arrangements for his engagement when this cruel fate caught up with him.

Romaine arrived a short while later only to meet the same fate after the killer strangled her to death before leaving the house with several items that belonged to the victims that even included a pair of sneaker shoes, denim pants a single wrist watch that was torn off from Dieter’s lifeless hand.

The gruesome find was discovered the following morning by a part time domestic and the police were called.

A silly slaying for a handful of items, one would surely think but as investigations would later reveal there was a larger, clever and ruthless plan with a greedy restaurant operator identified as Harrison Jayaweera behind the sordid incident.

The Kramer family owned the land on which they were residing and it was situated at the start of Frazer Avenue along the busy Galle Road in Dehiwala.

The family had rented a space facing the Galle Road to the restaurant operator who was drawing up draconian plans to own the entire property but to do that he had to eliminate the owners.

At the start of it, the restaurant owner with the assistance of legal experts and lawyers manufactured a doctored deed and other documents that the land had been sold to him by Kramer senior instead of being rented on lease.

Legal battle

The Kramer family immediately sought the intervention of the Courts and lengthy legal battle ensued that dragged on for many years.

At the end of the day, a Court ruling decided that the Kramer family was the rightful owners of the property and the matter ended there.

However, it was not to be with the restaurant owner who was seething with the Court decision and, therefore, he decided to eliminate the entire family one single day.

The restaurant owner was also aware that the Kramer family had no extended family or even a single relative in the country and, therefore, he hoped in a finding a way to occupy the land.

The killer waiter was none other but the waiter at the restaurant and the reason the dog did not raise the alarm is because this man was known to the canines.

The burglary after the killings was an attempt to divert the attention of the investigators but before long the suspects were arrested and subsequently sentenced to death by the High Court after a lengthy trial.

The sentencing Judge, W.T.M.P.B. Warawewa, also said that murder of the Hamer family as it was known, will go down in the annals of crime as a ruthless and an inhuman act.

The incident took place on May 8, 2003.