PETALING JAYA: Besides the case of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, there is only one other instance in the country of a murderer being convicted and hanged without the body of the victim being found.
In 1963, former barmaid Jenny Cheok went missing during a diving trip with her boyfriend, Sunny Ang, in Singapore, which was then part of Malaya. Her body was never found.
Ang, who was a one-time Grand Prix driver, was accused of murdering Cheok in order to benefit from her insurance policies.
It was one of Singapore’s most unusual murder trial where the prosecution’s case was based entirely on circumstantial evidence.
It was reported in Singapore’s The Straits Times that prosecutor Francis T. Seow, in his opening statement said: “This is the first case of its kind to be tried in our courts that there is no body.”
Seow insisted that the notion that a person could not be charged with murder when the victim’s body had not or could not be found, was simply wrong because it would mean that crafty killers would be able to get away scot-free by getting rid of the body.
It only meant that the prosecution’s burden of proof was higher.
Ang was found guilty and sentenced to death in 1965 and hanged in February 1967.
On Aug 27, 1963, Ang, 24, had hired a boat to take him and Cheok, 22, to Sisters’ Islands for a diving trip. They had only met a few months before that.
Cheok went underwater on her own twice and never resurfaced from her second dive.
One of the flippers worn by Cheok was recovered and its heel strap was found to be severed cleanly at the top and bottom, likely by a sharp instrument.
Ang, an experienced diver, was alleged to have made the cuts knowing the likely outcome as he stood to gain from the insurance policies he bought for Cheok.
The insurance coverage amounted to some S$400,000.
Ang took Cheok to make a will leaving her entire estate to his mother three weeks before she went missing.