The Toa Payoh ritual murders took place in Singapore in 1981. On 25 January
the body of a nine-year-old girl was found dumped next to the lift of a
block of flats in the Toa Payoh district and, two weeks later, a
ten-year-old boy was found dead nearby. The children had been killed as
blood sacrifices to the Hindu goddess, Kali. The murders were masterminded
by Adrian Lim, a self-styled medium, who had tricked scores of women into
believing he had supernatural powers. His victims offered their money and
bodies in exchange for cures, beauty, and good fortune. Two of the women
became his loyal assistants; Tan Mui Choo married him, and Hoe Kah Hong
became one of his "holy wives". When the police investigated a rape charge
filed by one of Lim's targets, he became furious and decided to kill
children to derail the investigations. On each occasion, Hoe lured a child
to Lim's flat where he or she was drugged and killed by the trio. The trio
were arrested after the police found a trail of blood that led to their
flat. The 41-day trial was the second longest to have been held in the
courts of Singapore at the time. None of the defendants denied their guilt.
Their appointed counsels tried to spare their clients the death sentence by
pleading diminished responsibilities, arguing that the accused were mentally
ill and could not be entirely held responsible for the killings. The
prosecution's expert, however, refuted these testimonies and argued that
they were in full control of their mental faculties when they planned and
carried out the murders. The judges agreed with the prosecution's case and
sentenced the trio to death. The three were hanged on 25 November 1988. The
Toa Payoh ritual murders shocked the populace of Singapore, who did not
expect such an act to take place in the heartland of their society.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Hulagu Khan and the Mongols sacked and burned Baghdad, a cultural and
commercial centre of the Islamic world at the time, ending the rule of the
After an explosion destroyed the house in Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh, where he
was staying, the strangled body of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, the King
consort of Scotland, was found in a nearby orchard.
Britain, France, and Spain signed the Treaty of Paris to end the Seven
Years' War, significantly reducing the size of the French colonial empire
while at the same time marking the beginning of an extensive period of
British dominance outside of Europe.
The Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne collided with the
destroyer HMAS Voyager while both were performing manoeuvres in Jervis Bay
in New South Wales, Australia, killing over eighty of Voyager's crew.
Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in a game of chess, the first ever game
won by a chess-playing computer against a reigning International Grandmaster
and World Chess Champion under chess tournament conditions.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. To criticize or rebuke someone.
2. To disgrace, or bring shame upon someone
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Our theater must stimulate a desire for understanding, a delight in changing
reality. Our audience must experience not only the ways to free Prometheus,
but be schooled in the very desire to free him. Theater must teach all the
pleasures and joys of discovery, all the feelings of triumph associated with
liberation. --Bertolt Brecht
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