Singapore—In the first day of Boh Soon Ho’s murder trial on September 18, Wednesday, the Malaysia-born permanent resident revealed that after he had strangled a woman whom he desired as his girlfriend, he attempted to have sex with her before fleeing the country.
Mr Boh, now age 51, is accused of killing Zhang Huaxiang, a 28-year-old nurse from China on March 21, 2016. He and Ms Zhang had met while working in the same cafeteria. Although they had gone out a few times, they were not in a romantic relationship, which frustrated Mr Boh, who had pursued Ms Zhang.
The High Court heard that not only did Mr Boh attempt to have sex with Ms Zhang’s corpse, he also took photos of her nude body after he killed her. The court heard that he thought to himself at that point that since Ms Zhang had died, “and I have never seen her naked before, I should undress her” the Straits Times (ST) reports.
If Mr Boh is found guilty, he could face either the death penalty or life imprisonment.
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Kok Weng, “This is a case of a murder driven by jealousy, rage and unrequited desire.”
He told the court Mr Boh had thought of Ms Zhang as his girlfriend, even if they had never shared any physical intimacy. While doing her nursing studies in 2011/2012, she worked part time at a cafeteria, where she met Mr Boh. She went on to work at the National University Hospital after her graduation.
On March 18, 2016, Mr Boh grew jealous when he saw Ms Zhang get into a taxi with another man. He then invited her to his apartment at Circuit Road for a steamboat lunch on March 21.
While she was combing her hair, he attempted to initiate sexual contact with Ms Zhang, but she pushed him away, saying in Mandarin to him, “Crazy, go away!”
After a short while he again tried to get her to have sex with him, this time dragging her into his room, while she struggled against him.
He then asked her about the man he had seen with her in a taxi, and she told him she had been going out on dates with him. She also told him that it had been normal for her to have been intimate with her ex-boyfriend in China, with whom she was still in touch.
Mr Boh grew enraged when he heard this, put a towel around her neck and strangled her.
When he saw that the nurse was dead, he took Ms Zhang’s clothes off and attempted to have sex with her, but could not maintain his erection.
He also took around 6 or 7 photos of her nude body.
After putting Ms Zhang’s panties back on and covering the body with a blanket, Mr Boh packed his personal belongings, also taking Ms Zhang’s phone and S$50 in cash with him.
He called the owner of his flat to say that he was leaving in a few days, and texted his supervisor, saying he would go to Malaysia for one month for a vacation.
Mr Boh tried to put the body in a suitcase but found that he could not do so, as it had grown stiff. He ended up sleeping next to the body that night.
On the following day, he put Ms Zhang’s clothes back on her body, sold some items to a friend, and went to the cafeteria where he worked to get his salary.
Afterward, he left Singapore and went to his sister’s house in Malacca, where he told her he had killed a woman. His sister found an apartment for him nearby.
Ms Zhang’s body was found by the landlord, Chai Yong Siong, on the evening of March 22. He promptly called the police.
However, on March 23, Mr Boh called Mr Chai, and told him that he had killed the nurse and had fled to Malaysia, which the landlord told the police immediately.
Later that day, when Mr Boh called Mr Chai again, the police recorded the conversation.
Mr Boh, whose defense lawyer is Eugene Thuraisingam, was arrested by the police in Malaysia on April 4, 2016, and returned to Singapore the following day.
He has since been deemed not intellectually disabled and not suffering from any mental disorder by the Institute of Mental Health./ TISG