Murders of Sumarti Ningsih and Jesse Lorena

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Murders of Sumarti Ningsih and Jesse Lorena
Sumarti Ningsih and Jesse Lorena.jpg
Sumarti Ningsih and Jesse Lorena
DateOctober 27 – November 1, 2014 (2014-10-27 – 2014-11-01)
LocationWan Chai, Hong Kong
AccusedRurik Jutting
ConvictedNovember 8, 2016
ChargesMurder, sexual assault
VerdictGuilty
SentenceLife imprisonment

Sumarti Ningsih was found dead, and Seneng Mujiasih near death, on November 1, 2014, in a luxurious one-bedroom apartment in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.[1] Mujiasih, who was pronounced dead shortly after being found, also used the name Jesse Lorena Ruri. The apartment was rented by Rurik George Caton Jutting, who was convicted of their murders on 8 November 2016.[2][3][4]

Murders[edit]

The J Residence in Wan Chai in 2013

The two female victims were originally believed to be sex workers from Southeast Asia. Ningsih, 25, is believed to be Indonesian and Lorena, at first unidentified, was thought to be 30, and of Philippine origin.[5] However, it was later revealed Lorena was from a region near Java, Indonesia.[6] Lorena's occupation as a sex worker is also disputed.[6]

Sumarti Ningsih is believed to have arrived in Hong Kong a month before the murder on a tourist visa, and been murdered on 27 October 2014. The last known contact from Ningsih was on 26 October 2014, near Lockhart Road in Wan Chai.[7] Jesse Lorena is thought to have resided in Hong Kong for more than eight years,[6] originally worked as a domestic helper,[6] but transitioned to a "part-time disc jockey in a pub" at the time of the murder.[5] Lorena was last seen at around 20:45 on 31 October 2014, outside a pub in the Wan Chai red light district, and spoke briefly to Robert van den Bosch, a Dutch DJ who works at the pub, who had also been Lorena's acquaintance for four years. She said, "I’m going to have fun. I’m going to a Halloween party," before leaving; this was the last known communication from Lorena before her murder.[6][8] The two women were found murdered at the J Residence in Wan Chai.[3] On the morning of 1 November 2014, Jutting called the police three times to report that "something happened" in his 31st-floor one-bedroom flat.[9] His call at 03:42 requested the police investigate his apartment.[10] When the police arrived, a 12-inch knife, sex toys and cocaine were found at the apartment,[9] and Lorena was found lying naked on the floor, with cut wounds to her neck, throat and buttocks;[3] she was alive when the police arrived but was pronounced dead soon after.[1] Rurik Jutting had been talking ‘delirious nonsense’[1] and was arrested at the scene.

Eight hours after Jutting's arrest, a second partially decapitated female corpse was discovered in a large black suitcase on the balcony of the apartment. The badly decomposing corpse was partially clothed, wrapped in towels and had her hands and legs bound with ropes.[9] It was later identified as Ningsih's.

Police examined the contents of Jutting's phone, and found about 2000 photos. These photos include those of a sadomasochistic nature; Rurik had also taken photos of himself with different portions of the corpses, including sexual organs and the partially severed head of Ningsih, and also said in a video that he killed one of the victims.[7] Jutting was charged with the murder of the two women.[11] After his arrest, he refused to cooperate with police.[7]

Local impact[edit]

Following the murders, the Hong Kong police raided the Neptune III basement dance club in the Wan Chai district. Officers checked work and immigration papers while police vans took up positions in the local streets. A reconstruction of the murders was scheduled for 8 November 2014.[12]

Response in Indonesia[edit]

Indonesian police have been coordinating with Interpol and the Foreign Office to find out more about this event. They also collected antemortem data required to identify the victims.[13] Indonesian foreign minister, Retno Marsudi said that the government will do the best to fulfil their citizen rights.[14]

Sumarti Ningsih[edit]

Sumarti Ningsih (a.k.a. Alice, in Hong Kong) was born in Cilacap, Indonesia, 22 April 1991. She graduated from elementary school. She got married in Semarang in 2009, and she had one child, a five-year-old boy. She first went to Hong Kong in 2011, and worked as domestic helper for two years and eight months. When she was back to Indonesia in 2013, she attended a disc jockey course for five months in Yogyakarta. She returned to Hong Kong in August 2014 with a tourist visa, looking for a new job as disc jockey. Before the murders happened, she told her family that she was intending to return home on 2 November 2014.[15][16]

Jesse Lorena[edit]

Seneng Mujiasih (a.k.a. Jesse Lorena, in Hong Kong) was a 30-year-old woman, from Muna Regency, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia who first came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper in 2006. The Indonesian Consulate-General in Hong Kong said Mujiasih had overstayed as her Hong Kong work permit had expired.[17][18]

Rurik Jutting[edit]

Eastern Magistrates Court

Rurik George Caton Jutting is a British citizen, and a former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee; he resigned on the Monday before the murders.[10] Jutting was educated at Winchester College and Peterhouse, Cambridge.[5] He is believed to have started his career working for Barclays Bank in the United Kingdom after graduating from Cambridge with a degree in history and law. He then worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch's London office from July 2010 until his move to the Hong Kong office in July 2013.[10] He worked on "tax-minimization trades that are under scrutiny from prosecutors, regulators, tax collectors and the bank’s own compliance department", according to The Wall Street Journal, and he was also reported to be a competitive poker player.[19]

A friend of Jutting while he was a student at Cambridge said he was 'awkward' around girls.[20] Another female friend described Jutting as 'hard-working and intelligent - a gentleman'.[20]

Jutting's mental stability is in question. He was reportedly devastated when his fiancée cheated on him with another man. Jutting attempted to forgive the betrayal and patch up the relationship but was unable to do so. His fiancée left the day their relationship ended because 'his reaction was so extreme'.[21] After his arrest, an automated email reply from Jutting's work email said the banker was out of office "indefinitely", and appeared to describe him as "an insane psychopath".[10] The message also contained the line 'For escalation please contact God, though suspect the devil will have custody [Last line only really worked if I had followed through]'.[9]

Trial, appeals, and imprisonment[edit]

The criminal case, officially known as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region v Jutting Rurik George Caton, ESC3743/14, was heard at the Court of First Instance. Jutting appeared in court and expressed understanding of the charges brought against him, but declined to enter a plea, before the court was adjourned until 10 November 2014.

Although four psychiatrists testified that he had narcissistic personality disorder, Jutting was declared mentally fit to stand trial as a result of his November court appearance, with the case adjourned to July 2015.[22][23]

On 8 November 2016, Jutting was found guilty of two counts of murder, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.[2]

In August 2018, Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal rejected his appeal after just 8 minutes of deliberation. He was returned to maximum security Stanley Prison to serve out his life sentence.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Greenhill, Sam; Tomlinson, Simon; Hall, John (2 November 2014). "Did British banker murder two prostitutes after fiancée CHEATED on him? Public schoolboy 'was devastated by her betrayal and became obsessed with money and power', friend claims". Daily Mail. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b Rurik Jutting, British banker, guilty of Hong Kong murders, BBC, 8 November 2016
  3. ^ a b c Chan, Cathy (3 November 2014). "Banker Rurik Jutting Charged With Two Hong Kong Murders". Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  4. ^ Harding, Luke, "Beaten, abused and afraid: the plight of Hong Kong’s sex workers", theguardian.com, 5 November 2014
  5. ^ a b c Phillips, Tom; Ensor, Josie. "British banker Rurik Jutting suspected of 'American Psycho' killings in Hong Kong". The Telegraph (2 November 2014). Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e Phillips, Tom (3 November 2014). "'I'm going to have fun' – last words of Hong Kong murder victim to friends". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "雙屍案疑兇扯死者頭合照". 明報. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Hong Kong murders: Family mourns death of Sumarti Ningsih", bbc.com, 4 November 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d Drake, Matthew; Endley, Ben (1 November 2014). "Hong Kong murders: British banker arrested after two sex workers found dead". The Mirror. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d Forsythe, Michael; J. de la Merced, Michael (2 November 2014). "Hong Kong Police Arrest British Banker After 2 Women's Bodies Are Found". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  11. ^ "No plea at Wan Chai double murder suspect's first court appearance". South China Morning Post (3 November 2014). Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  12. ^ Phillips, Tom (7 November 2014). "Dozens of police raid sex clubs in Hong Kong". The Daily Telegraph, UK. p. 22.
  13. ^ "Polri Koordinasi dengan Interpol dan Menlu Terkait Mutilasi WNI di Hongkong" (in Indonesian). Kompas. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Usut Kasus Pembunuhan WNI, Pemerintah Kirim Tim ke Hongkong" (in Indonesian). Kompas. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Orangtua seorang korban pembunuhan Hong Kong minta jasad dipulangkan" (in Indonesian). bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Firasat Orangtua Sebelum Sumarti Dibunuh di Hong Kong" (in Indonesian). Liputan6.com. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Jesse Lorena yang Dibunuh di Hongkong Disebut WNI Asal Sulawesi Tenggara" (in Indonesian). Kompas. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  18. ^ "Jesse Lorena Ruri alias Seneng Mujiasih yang Kerap Dipuji Bule di FB" (in Indonesian). DetikCom. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  19. ^ Strasburg, Jenny, and Enda Curran, "Hong Kong murder suspect was involved in controversial tax trades", MarketWatch, November 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-07.
  20. ^ a b "Hong Kong murders: Cambridge graduate Rurik Jutting appears in court". Cambridge News. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  21. ^ Tom, Phillips (3 November 2014). "Hong Kong murders: British suspect 'devastated' by fiancee's betrayal". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Depraved Jutting 'already suffered personality disorder aged eleven'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  23. ^ "Hong Kong banker ruled fit to stand trial". The Daily Telegraph, UK. 25 November 2014. p. 20.
  24. ^ "Murder conviction appeal bid thrown out for brutal killer of two women". South China Morning Post. 2018-08-09. Retrieved 2019-05-03.

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