Construction worker killed lover before hanging himself in Geylang hotel, says coroner

Police cars in front of Hotel 81 Palace in Geylang, where the bodies of Ruli Widyawati and Chinnasamy Baskar were found, on Feb 1, 2015.
Police cars in front of Hotel 81 Palace in Geylang, where the bodies of Ruli Widyawati and Chinnasamy Baskar were found, on Feb 1, 2015. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - A construction worker took his own life by hanging after killing his lover in a Geylang hotel earlier this year, a coroner found on Tuesday.

Indonesian domestic worker Ruli Widyawati, 28, was found covered in blood and lying motionless on the toilet floor with a towel placed over her body at Hotel 81 Palace in Geylang on the evening of Feb 1. The room was in a complete disarray, with walls, furniture and fittings smeared with blood.

Indian national Chinnasamy Baskar, 30, was found with a ligature mark on his neck area, multiple cuts on his left arm, wrist and the chest area.

Among the items found were a blood-stained kitchen knife, a smaller pen knife, cellphones and a two-page handwritten note in a black sling bag.

Chinnasamy had written about his intent to kill Ms Ruli for cheating on him.

Thirty-four external injuries were found on Ms Ruli's head, neck, torso and four limbs in an autopsy. The fatal injury was a 12cm by 3cm cut on her neck.

Ms Ruli, who was married, and Chinnasamy had checked into the hotel at about 9.30 am that day. They were found dead at about 7.40pm by hotel staff.

In his findings, State Coroner Marvin Bay said the evidence showed a somewhat lopsided relationship, with Chinnasamy in an "ardent and aggressive pursuit'' for Ms Ruli's affections and attention.

He said mobile phone records confirm the tumultuous and troubled relationship. Chinnasamy, he said, had invested considerably in the relationship, going to the extent of borrowing from multiple individuals to provide for Ms Ruli.

"Mr Chinnasamy had developed a morbid suspicion that Ruli was seeing another individual,'' he said. Chinnasamy was becoming increasingly unstable and brazen over the notion that Ms Ruli had betrayed his affections.

He had sought to enter her place of work while posing as a repairman on Jan 25, and had openly declared his intent to end her life if she had not been faithful to their relationship.

Coroner Bay found Ms Ruli to have been the victim of an unlawful killing, and Chinnasamy to have ended his own life after killing her.