Sunday, April 14, 2013

Southeast Asia's Serial Killers (part two): Toa Payoh Ritual Murders in Singapore

On January 25, 1981, a 9 year old girl was found dead next to the lift of a block of flats in the Toa Payoh district of Singapore. Two weeks later, a 10 year old boy was found nearby. After the second murder, the police could follow a blood trail all the way to the apartment of Adrian Lim.

Adrian Lim claimed to be a medium who tricked women into believing he had supernatural powers. His favorite targets were bar girls, dance hostesses and prostitutes, especially the very vulnerable and troubled girls. He was promising them cures, beauty and good fortune in exchange of money and sexual services. His MO (Modus Operandi) was very well prepared: he would insert a blackened needle in an egg before the victims arrived, then pass the egg over them while chanting, before asking them to crack the egg open. He would then tell his victims that the black needle was the proof that all the problems were caused by evil spirits. Lim promised to help them get rid of the evil spirits in one of two ways: either through an electro-shock therapy (the same used on mental patients), or through a ritual massage and sexual intercourse in front of Phragann's idol.

Adrian Lim had two accomplices: Tan Mui Choo, one of these girls he liked to pray upon, and that he married, and Hoe Kah Hong, who became one of his "holy wives". He liked dominating his wife through beatings, threats and lies.

After abusing another victim, he was arrested and charged with rape. Frustrated that the police was still investigating, he decided to create a diversion. He then pretended to be possessed by the Goddess Kali and persuaded Tan and Hoe that the goddess required the lives of children to draw away the attention of the police and to bring vengeance on the women who was accusing him.

The children were lured by Hoe Kah Hong, were drugged and smothered with a pillow. Then the trio would drain their blood, drinking and smearing it on a portrait of Kali. After, they would drown the bodies and use the electro-shocks to make sure the victims were dead. Lim sexually assaulted the little girl before killing her.

After reading this, some of you might wonder why I am mentioning these murders as those of a serial killer, as there were only two victims. It is quite simple: in my opinion there were only two victims because they were caught after the second killing. Hadn't they been sloppy and been caught, more bodies of children would have turned up. Adrian Lim shows signs of psychopathy (according to the criteria of the Psychopathy Checklist Revised PCL-R created by psychologist Robert D. Hare): grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, manipulative, lack of remorse or guilt, emotionally shallow, lack of empathy, failure to accept responsibility for his own actions, criminal versatility, many short term marital relationships, promiscuous sexual behavior. Of course, I agree that the little information available to me does not allow me to make definite conclusions, but even though he does not check every criteria, he certainly checks most of them.

 Adrian Lim
 Tan Mui Choo
 Hoe Kah Hong
 Newspaper extract

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