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Chitchat [From the SG Crime Archives] Sunny Ang's almost perfect murder (1965)

Discussion in 'The Courtyard Café' started by Rogue Trader, May 18, 2016.

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  1. Rogue Trader

    Rogue Trader Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Guilty As Charged: Sunny Ang found guilty of girlfriend's murder though body was never found

    [​IMG]
    Sunny Ang Soo Suan killed his 22-year-old girlfriend after taking out a host of insurance policies on her life.
    Photo: The Straits Times


    Hoe Pei Shan
    [​IMG]
    Monday, May 16, 2016


    This story was first published in July 2015 in an e-book titled Guilty As Charged: 25 Crimes That Have Shaken Singapore Since 1965. A collaboration between The Straits Times and the Singapore Police Force, the e-book appeared in The Straits Times Star E-books app.
    THE SUNNY ANG TRIAL (1965)

    He thought he had committed the perfect murder when his girlfriend disappeared at sea.

    Sunny Ang Soo Suan was from a middle-class family, smart but reckless. In 1957, he quit training to be a teacher, for a government scholarship to become a commercial pilot. But he was kicked out because he ignored safety regulations. He took part in the 1961 Singapore Grand Prix - a tourism event at the Old Thomson Road circuit.

    But he was soon arrested for negligent driving after killing a pedestrian. Then he was put on probation for trying to burgle in 1962. The same year, he started studying for a law degree, but was made a bankrupt.

    Ms Jenny Cheok Cheng Kid was a waitress at Odeon Bar and Restaurant at North Bridge Road, having studied only until Primary 3. She was paid $90 a month - her main source of income the $10 she earned each day in tips from customers. She already had two children who lived with a husband whom she married according to Chinese rituals. They later separated.

    She and Ang met in 1963, he was 24, she was 22. He was suave and educated, she was naive and simple, and flattered by the attention he gave her. She fell completely under his spell.

    On Aug 27, 1963, just a few months after they met, she disappeared during a diving trip near the Sisters' Islands.

    All that remained was a single flipper worn by her. It had been severed cleanly at the top and bottom, likely by a sharp instrument such as a knife or razor blade.

    An expert witness would later tell the court during Ang's murder trial that the loss of a flipper would have resulted in a diver's loss of equilibrium and affected the person's mobility. Ms Cheok, an inexperienced diver, would have panicked and inevitably drowned in the strong currents swirling around the islands.

    Suspicion was cast on Ang, a skilled diver, who conveniently stood to gain from the insurance policies he began buying for Ms Cheok shortly after they met.

    In April 1965, one of Singapore's strangest and most sensational murder trial began - one in which the prosecution's case was based entirely on circumstantial evidence.

    Prosecutor Francis T. Seow, in his opening statement, said: "This is an unusual case insofar as Singapore, or for that matter Malaysia, is concerned. This is the first case of its kind to be tried in our courts that there is no body."

    But he insisted that the notion a person could not be charged with murder when the victim's body had not or could not be found, was simply wrong - because that meant 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.

    A burden which was met.

    The jury was unanimous in its verdict: Guilty.

    THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE
    [​IMG]
    The body of bar waitress Jenny Cheok Cheng Kid was never found after she went missing during a sea dive.

    The insurance policies


    When Ms Cheok disappeared, her accident coverage amounted to $400,000. The payouts were meant to go to either Ang's mother or Miss Cheok's estate.


    Three weeks before she disappeared, Ang took his girlfriend to make a will leaving her entire estate to his mother, whom she hardly knew.


    A day before her disappearance, one of her policies expired. Three hours before the fateful diving trip which would cost her her life, Ang extended that policy for just five days.


    The total payout would have amounted to around $900,000 if several insurance companies had not become suspicious.


    According to one witness from the Great Eastern Life Insurance company, Miss Cheok tried to apply for a $40,000 "124" policy.


    The policy gave twice the sum if the insured died from natural causes but four times, or $160,000, if death was a result of an accident. Before that, she wanted a policy which gave $200,000 in accident benefits.


    In other short-term policies Ang negotiated for Ms Cheok, he said she wanted to take up flying and was the heiress of a chicken farm.
    But these were lies. The truth was that Ms Cheok, who had quit her job a month before she disappeared, had little money to pay the premiums on her policies.


    A previous attempt on her life?


    Before the diving incident, Ang borrowed a friend's car and drove Ms Cheok to Kuala Lumpur for a holiday - but the trip was quickly cut short after a bout of stomach illness.


    Before the return trip, Ang took out accident policies - $30,000 for himself and $100,000 for her. Their car crashed on the way back. Ang, skilled enough to take part in a Grand Prix, said it was because he was trying to avoid a dog. The passenger side of the car suffered the worst damage but Ms Cheok escaped with bruises.


    Boatman's testimony


    Boatman Yusuf Ahmad, the prosecution's key witness, made it clear that Ang behaved "normally" all through the diving trip, despite facing the loss of his lover.


    At 2.30pm, Ang and Ms Cheok chartered his boat at Jardine Steps for three hours. The fare they negotiated was $12.


    After a 30-minute ride, Ang told him to drop anchor in the middle of the straits, then dropped in a guide rope.


    Ang, who was in swimming trunks, had also brought along three air tanks, two pairs of flippers, two knives, a small axe, aqualung equipment and a transistor radio.


    Ms Cheok put on a dive belt to which the axe, a knife and metal weight were attached. Using the rope to guide her, she went into the water alone despite her lack of diving experience.


    (Mr Yusuf also said that two months before, he had taken Ang and Ms Cheok to Pulau Tertukor. Only Ang went diving that day, while Ms Cheok swam. Mr Yusuf said she did not seem very skilful.)


    Some 10 minutes later, she surfaced.


    Ang changed her tank, and she went into the water again.


    Still in his trunks, Ang started checking his own tank and found that it was leaking.


    He said the problem was with the washer and the boatman helped him to improvise one, but it failed to work. Ms Cheok at that time was still underwater.


    Ang then tugged at the guide rope three times and asked: "Where's the girl?"


    Mr Yusuf said he did not know. Ang gave three more tugs. There was still no sign of his girlfriend.


    Ang pulled the rope up and told Mr Yusuf to look for air bubbles in the water.


    There were none.


    "What are we going to do?" Ang asked.


    Mr Yusuf suggested going to the nearby St John's Island to call the police. He hauled anchor, circled a few times to look for bubbles, and left for the island.


    Asked by Justice Murray Buttrose if he or Ang went overboard to look for her, Mr Yusuf replied: "No."


    On the way to the island, Ang never asked him to speed up.


    He also did not rush onto the island when they arrived, as a desperate boyfriend would have. Ang returned with a guard, who suggested picking up several fishermen from another nearby island on the way back to where Ms Cheok had gone missing.


    They returned with five fishermen, all of whom dived into the water.


    Ang stayed in the boat.


    THE VERDICT

    [​IMG]

    Crowds at the High Court for Ang's trial

    On May 18, 1965, the jury took just two hours to decide on a guilty verdict.


    Justice Buttrose said: "You have killed this young girl Jenny, whose only fault apparently was that she had the misfortune to fall in love with you, and to give you everything she possessed: her all.


    "You killed her for personal gain. It is a crime cunningly contrived to give the appearance of an accident, and it was carried out with consummate coolness and nerve. At long last, the time has come for you to pay the penalty for your dreadful deed."


    Outside the courtroom, Ang's sister, Ms Juliet Ang, a law student, broke down. A big crowd watched Ang taken away in a green prison van. Ms Ang identified her brother's body after he was hanged on Feb 6, 1967


    Sunny Ang's testimony


    During the trial, Sunny Ang was repeatedly asked why he did not go into the water to search for Ms Jenny Cheok.


    Justice Buttrose: Did you realise that this girl, whom you love and whom you were going to marry, had gone down and disappeared, and you calmly turn round to the boatman and said, 'All right. Go to St John's'?


    Ang: If she was anywhere around the boat we would have seen her air bubbles.


    Justice Buttrose: It didn't occur to you to go down and search for her?


    Ang: No.


    Justice Buttrose: Why?


    Ang: Because I thought there was obviously a leak and also if she was anywhere around the boat, we would have seen her air bubbles.


    Mr Seow: You had skin-diving equipment with you in the boat?


    Ang: Yes.


    Mr Seow: The girl you were going to marry was obviously in difficulty, if not actually dead already. Why didn't you use your skin-diving equipment to go down?


    Ang: I was not quite sure what sort of difficulties she was in. It occurred to me - it was a vague thought - that she might have been attacked by sharks. In fact, I remarked upon that to Yusuf. Not then, but long after the incident.

    Justice Buttrose: You could have gone down to find out?

    Ang: She might have been attacked by sharks.


    Mr Seow: When did you change back into your street clothes?


    Ang: I think I remember I put them on, on my way to St John's Island.


    Mr Seow: So that when the Malay divers were going in, you were then in your street clothes, and you saw no point in joining them?


    Ang: I do not say I saw no point. I was in my street clothes and there were more experienced skin-divers, and there were five of them. Besides I knew the chances of finding her were very slim.


    Justice Buttrose: You never got into the water at all that day? You never got your feet wet?


    Ang: That is so.


    Ang was also asked why Ms Cheok went into the water first.


    He said they had gone skin-diving a few days after they first met.


    He admitted that all she could do then was "float around".


    But she made "amazing progress". When asked by defence counsel on why she went in first the day she went missing, he replied that is was a matter of courtesy.


    Justice Buttrose: That she should brave the perils of the deep before you?


    Ang: Not exactly, my Lord, but always ladies first.


    Buttrose: I see, even in deep waters?


    [​IMG]
    This article was first published on May 14, 2016.
    Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.







     
  2. Narong Wongwan

    Narong Wongwan Alfrescian (Inf)

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    There's another one.....
    Who threw the gf into a well.....
    Sunny drove around in a sportscar.....an alpine sunbeam....cost $7k then but price of a terrance house
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  3. Rogue Trader

    Rogue Trader Alfrescian (Inf)

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    there was a thread here a few years ago which said that the Ang siblings were all highly intelligent. One was a Shell executive and there's another who's the legendary "Pink Panther"
     
  4. erection2015

    erection2015 Alfrescian (InfP) + C

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    one of his brothers is William Ang.....bright spark RI boy and a fairly good sportsman.....lost contact with him circa early 70s.


     
  5. gingerlyn

    gingerlyn Alfrescian (Inf)

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    is Sunny Ang related to Belinda Ang
     
  6. Rogue Trader

    Rogue Trader Alfrescian (Inf)

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    wow.. they sound like the addams family. Did William receive a lot of shit in school for his bro's high profile case?
     
  7. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    William went into full time crime. Has been imprisoned a few times in Europe. Sadly he used his kids in his crime spree. Both he and wife would use counterfeit cards to buys perfumes and ship it back to Singapore. He had a shop at Roxy Square, ground floor facing the old Joo Chiat Police station side road. The name of shop was "Kidd Traders" in honour of Sunny Ang's victim - Jenny Ang Cheok Kid. The wife would sell the contraband perfumes in this store. Whole family bright and whole family rotten to the core except for one brother who worked for HP. The worst is the mother.

     
  8. erection2015

    erection2015 Alfrescian (InfP) + C

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    not that you would know.....he was quite a carefree cheerful chap.

     
  9. erection2015

    erection2015 Alfrescian (InfP) + C

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    ohhhh ...sad to hear that. As I mentioned to RT this William was a real nice guy with a cheerful disposition. I guess Sunny was too from the looks of things.
    Its a downer for me this piece of news....poor guy looks like the dice were loaded against him from the start with this kind of family make up, but no matter what we are still accountable for our actions.


     
  10. eatshitndie

    eatshitndie Alfrescian (Inf)

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    sunny was quite a good-looking guy. as for jenny, she had mo-fo lips.
     
  11. Narong Wongwan

    Narong Wongwan Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Got moustache you call father?
    He related to Ang soon Tong too
     
  12. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Pink Panther was younger sister's husband. Husband and wife ran a very lucrative shoplifting syndicate targeting high value items. The bane of department stores.

     
  13. Narong Wongwan

    Narong Wongwan Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Some time later there was a similar case of a couple who befriended a lonely old man and brought him to Cambodia holiday to be murdered. Tried to claim travel insurance.....not successful but think they were not charged for any crime
     
  14. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    I have no doubt the mother was the problem. Sunny got grade 1 for Cambridge, and that would have put him on trajectory for even PS if he went to Uni. William was the closest to the mother and she stayed with him and his family. The mother was the named beneficiary of victim's will and she was involved in bribing the main witness.

    Everytime William and his wife got arrested, the mother would fly to Europe to pick them up and bring them back.

     
  15. scroobal

    scroobal Alfrescian Old Timer

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    There was also another case very similar, they found an old destitute man and brought him to JB and burned him after giving him alcohol. This episode is related to the Ang family as one of of them was wanted on a warrant and they tried to claim that he died.

     
  16. GoldenDragon

    GoldenDragon Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Also related to Ang Meng Tong and Ang Ku Kuih.
     
  17. Rogue Trader

    Rogue Trader Alfrescian (Inf)

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    I heard from an ex client who used to be in the retail he is a cool cat who could brazenly cart off cartons of freshly received stock in the loading/unloading area. And he would hit several outlets in a day targeting the same merchandise (which lead many to believe he's fulfilling "orders" taken somewhere else). By the time a police alert is issued to all shops, he's already done.

    Calling card was his pink shirt
     

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