by Hidir Koh
Singapore is a lively city. But, amidst the joyous laughter, lies pockets of stealthy treachery. Today, we shall take a sneak peek at some of the insidious murders, which have occurred in the past two decades or so.
Characterised by a smile that constantly crept onto his face, The Smiling Murderer, Anthony Ler, possessed a calm façade that masked his manipulative tendencies. He used the promise of $100,000 to lure 4 youths to take up his offer to kill his wife, but only the youngest, aged 15, took the bait. Preying on the emotions of the teen, he slowly shaped him into the eventual murderer of his soon-to-be ex-wife, as he was undergoing divorce proceedings from her. Anthony then trained the teen to wield a knife and told him to wait at a lift lobby where Ler lured his wife to; it was there she was stabbed to death. Her death would have benefited Ler with sole ownership of their $480,000 matrimonial flat as well as custody of their daughter, but the law eventually caught up with him and saw past his ‘mourning’ for his wife, and he was prosecuted and hanged.
In 1995, Flor Contemplacion was accused of strangling fellow Filipino domestic worker, Delia Maga with an elastic cord before drowning the 3-year old son of Maga’s employer. Admitting to the crime, she provided a full statement, citing that she lost control because she was unwell at the time. She was found guilty, despite an intervention by Fidel Ramos, the President of Philippines of the time, and was sentenced to hang. This verdict strained bilateral ties with Philippines, as some believed that the intense work conditions faced by Conteplacion was what triggered her to snap, and should have warranted a lighter punishment.
Painting the Town Red
Residents in Tampines did not think much of the red liquid dripping all over the stairwell of Block 505, Tampines Central 1 on 16 December 2014. However, what looked like splattered red paint was actually blood, and the presence of it was traced to a Chinese national who had murdered a woman in a unit close by. He was eventually cornered at the stairwell where he proceeded to stab himself with a knife before climbing over the ledge of the 9th floor and threatening to commit suicide. He was eventually caught in relation to the case and investigations are still underway.