Singapore—Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, one of the suspects charged with the murder of a man at Orchard Towers, has gotten famous and garnered support from some users of the online community.
Users on local online forums and groups expressed support and admiration for the 22-year-old suspect. Some even called for her to be released despite the brutal crime committed.
Video of this morning stabbing incident at Orchard tower !8 murder suspects arrested after man at Orchard Towers dies from injuries.
Posted by District Singapore on Tuesday, July 2, 2019
One of the forum users posted a picture of Zhen with the caption “Release Natalie… freedom and justice for Natalie!!! She is innocent, pure and chio.” Another user commented that Zhen’s sentence be reduced to a mere “probation only.”
The rest of the fanbase posted comments that seem to sexualize the accused murder. A user posted a CCTV screengrab of Zhen in shorts with the caption “red hot chili pepper.” Others shared and posted photos from her social media accounts to the “[Official] Natalie Siow Yu Zhen Fan Club” thread on the forum.
Such behaviour is no longer new. Murderers and terrorists have long amassed their own fanbase, and it certainly helps if the suspects are attractive. Social media made it easier for people to spread information and develop a community in support of the criminals. The 2013 Boston bombing suspect who killed three people and severely injured hundreds of others was supported by a horde of fans online, making trending hashtags, pleading for his innocence, and fawning over his appearance.
Zhen and six other men were charged with the murder of a 31-year-old man at Orchard Towers on Tuesday (July 2). They will undergo psychiatric evaluation and be remanded for three weeks after the next hearing on July 11. The accused may face the death penalty if convicted./TISG