PENANG: “Justice has been done”. These were retiree Chew Shing Kheng’s first words after learning that the co-conspirator in his daughter’s murder had been sentenced to a 73-year jail sentence by a New Mexico court on Friday.
Chew, 68, said he was glad that Linda Henning, a former fashion designer, was given the sentence by Judge W. John Brennan for the murder of his only daughter, Girly, four years ago.
“I would be even happier had she been given the death sentence. A life for a life would have been more appropriate.”
He said that his son, Andrew, had called him to announce the “good news” after receiving an e-mail from prosecutor Paul Spiers.
“I have been waiting for this day since my daughter’s disappearance on Sept 9, 1999,” he said.
Girly’s husband Diazien Hossencofft, 37, the main perpetrator, was earlier convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment plus 60 years’ jail for first-degree murder.
“For me, the case is almost closed. I have come to accept that Girly, who would have been 39 on Aug 27, is dead despite the fact that her body had yet to be recovered.
“I was hoping she could still be alive but now it’s time to let go. I will continue to pray daily for the US authorities to eventually find her remains so that the last rites could be conducted,” Chew said.
Hossencofft and Henning planned the murder by using the latter to get Girly to open her apartment door in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Prosecutors claimed she was kidnapped and dragged away to her death.
The motive for the killing had yet to be determined but investigations showed that it could be due to Hossencofft’s vendetta over custody of his son and claims of “the existence of alien beings”.
Spiers, in his e-mail to Girly’s parents, said Henning would likely die in jail, adding that she would be spending her entire life at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Grants, New Mexico.
Henning’s lawyers are, however, seeking a retrial based on “newly” discovered evidence. Hennings has maintained her innocence despite the evidence against her.
Among the “weird” details that cropped up during the trial was that Girly’s flesh might have been consumed by Henning.
Spiers, in his e-mail to The Star recently, said these reports came from two inmates and two temporary nurses who met Henning in jail in March 2000.
“She (Henning), in all probability, engaged in a ritualised consumption of blood and flesh, though not of the entire body. As a consequence of that, Girly’s remains are unlikely to be found.”
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