We often read of high-profile, disturbing murder cases and always associate them with other countries, thinking “Oh, that stuff only happens overseas, lah! Where got like that one here?”
Well, there have been a number of incredibly eerie and infamous murders that did in fact happen here, although some are more well-known than others. Here are some local murder cases we thought were particularly disturbing. To think these all happened here! *shudders*
[Warning: Some of these stories are quite disturbing, so we suggest you proceed with caution!]
1. Mass murder on a train
Did you know that there was once a mass murder that occurred on a train right here in Malaysia?
Mat Taram bin Sa’al or ‘Utoh’ was convicted of stabbing and killing 11 people on a train heading for Kuala Lumpur and a Kongsi near Bangi in 1947.
Originally from Indonesia, 30-year-old Utoh owned a farm in Parit Six, Perak. He wanted to return to his home and took his wife and children on a train to Singapore after selling his house and farm for 200 Straits dollars. However, when he arrived in Singapore, he found out that he couldn’t afford ferry tickets.
Utoh then became depressed and even stayed awake for two days according to his wife. After that, he decided to return to Perak on 9th October and took the train to Kuala Lumpur with his family. He remained quiet throughout most of the journey.
Later that evening, when the train just passed Bangi, he walked into the train’s restaurant car, pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed four men from the British army who were having their dinner.
The train then made an emergency stop, after which Utoh jumped off and ran into a nearby jungle. He then stabbed a homeless man while on his way to a Kongsi, where he then killed two elderly woman, one man, and three children, wounding nine others.
Police officers were soon notified of the mass killing and were in pursuit of Utoh, causing him to flee and walk for 36 hours all the way back to his home in Parit Six.
When he returned, he was asked why he didn’t return to Indonesia. He explained that he was kicked off the train after getting into a fight because a boy spilled tea on him, separating him from his family. He retold this story to the police when he was brought to the Sabak Bernam station.
However, one of the policemen had read about the killings in Bangi and suspected Utoh was behind it, leading to his arrest. In the end, he was declared mentally unsound and was sent to the Tanjong Rambutan mental hospital.
2. South Korean woman murdered in Genting
This is one of the more recent cases that sent chills down our spine!
Just last month (August 2017), a 92-year-0ld South Korean woman was found dead in her hotel room in Genting Highlands.
The woman, identified as Xiang Lian Jin, was resting in her hotel room with her Malaysian maid while her daughter and granddaughter were out.
Suddenly, a 57-year-old man broke into the room with a knife in his hand, telling Jin and the maid to keep quiet. He then bound their hands and legs with a rope.
He then hit the old woman, saying that he was dissatisfied with her oldest son for bad-mouthing him. He continued hitting her until she passed out, then moved her to the bathroom.
After that, he waited for Jin’s daughter to return to the room and attacked her as well. The following morning, he finally left the room, leaving the maid and the old woman’s daughter with bruises. Sadly, Jin did not survive the beating and passed away.
Two days after the murder, the police managed to arrest the man in Bukit Tinggi.
3. Mona Fandey’s trial
You may have heard of this high-profile, chilling murder trial that happened right here back in 2001.
Mona Fandey used to be a pop singer before she decided to switch careers and become a ‘bomoh’ instead after she became enthralled in the world of spiritual witchcraft. Her career as a ‘bomoh’ began to flourish and she worked with her husband and an assistant.
In 1993, Mazlan Idris, a state assemblyman from Pahang, requested Mona’s services because he wanted to become more successful in politics. She agreed to help him and offered him a talisman that was supposedly owned by the former Indonesian president, Sukarno, claiming that it would make him invincible. The catch was that she wanted RM2.5 million in return!
Seduced by the potential power the talisman could give him, Mazlan agreed to the arrangement and paid Mona RM500,000. He also gave her and her husband 10 land titles to cover the RM2 million.
Soon after, Mazlan made an appointment with her to undergo a cleansing ritual at her home. When he arrived, Mona told him to lie with his back on the floor. She then placed flowers on him, telling him to close his eyes and wait for “money to fall from the sky”. Her assistant, Juraimi, then chopped his head off with an axe!
They then cut up Mazlan’s body into 18 parts, partially skinned him, and buried his remains at a storage room near her home.
Throughout the trial, people were disturbed by photos of her wearing fashionable clothes while smiling and posing outside the court. Ultimately, Mona, her husband, and assistant were all found guilty of murder and were sentenced to death. Right before she was executed on 2nd November 2001, she reportedly said, “Saya takkan mati” (“I won’t die”).
4. Mysterious and gruesome Penang murders
In 2014, two brutal murder cases that were suspected to be connected rocked Penang, and it’s definitely one of the more gory ones on this list.
In the first case, the body of a headless woman was found floating a few miles away from Pulau Kendi on the 5th of November 2014. Police found no identification on the body and discovered that the body had been floating at sea for more than two weeks before it was found.
Just three days later, another woman’s body was found in a suitcase with her head and legs cut off. The torso was wrapped in a blanket.
“This is the most gruesome case we have come across this year. We believe the crime took place at a different location and the body was dumped here. She could have been dead for between 24 and 36 hours,” said Penang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim.
“Whether it’s ritualistic, serial, non-serial or crime of passion, we cannot rule out anything,” a criminologist from University Sains Malaysia told The Star.
5. Charles Sobhraj allegedly murdering his accomplice
Charles Sobhraj was a notorious serial killer from Cambodia. Known as the Bikini Killer, The Splitting Killer, and The Serpent, he remains to be one of the most frightening killers from Southeast Asia.
He committed at least 12 to 24 murders and is believed to be a psychopath and even attained celebrity status from his crimes, with four books and three documentaries about him.
Sobhraj started out by robbing tourists in various countries in Europe and the Middle East and spent most of his life on the run from the authorities.
During one of his escapades in Thailand, he met a young Indian man named Ajay Chowdhury, who was also a criminal and became his accomplice. It was there where he also met one of his most loyal followers, a Canadian named Marie-Andrée Leclerc.
The two of them committed their first murder in 1975 when they drowned a young American woman in a tidal pool in the Gulf of Thailand. Police believed that Sobhraj and Chowdhury first got to know their victims before convincing them to join in their crimes. However, when their victims declined to be involved, that became their motive for killing the victims who’d threaten to report the two of them.
From then on, both of them continued killing foreigners by strangling, burning or drowning them. A few of his female victims wore similar-looking bikinis, which was where Sobhraj got the nickname, the Bikini Killer.
He would apparently even poison people as a way of manipulating them into obeying him.
Their killing spree continued and they would steal their victims’ passports so they could travel the world without being tracked by police. In March 1976, he returned to Bangkok where he was arrested and questioned by police, but was eventually released because authorities feared a murder trial would hurt Thailand’s tourism industry.
After that, he travelled with Chowdhury and Leclerc to Malaysia. Chowdhury was sent here to steal gems and deliver them to Sobhraj. He was last seen in Malaysia and has not been found to this day. It is widely believed that Sobhraj brutally murdered his accomplice in Malaysia before flying with Leclerc to Geneva to sell the stolen gems.
He continued robbing and killing in different parts of the world, until he was finally caught by police and sent to prison for 12 years in New Delhi in July 1976.
After he was released from prison, he spent most of his time charging people who were interested in making documentaries or writing books about him large sums of money. In September 2003, Sobhraj was spotted by a journalist in Kathmandu, Nepal, who alerted local authorities. He was arrested and charged with two murders he committed in 1975, landing him a life sentence in prison in 2004.
Well, we hope you weren’t too disturbed after reading all that! Don’t say we didn’t warn you, ah!
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