Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Three Accused of Killing Nine Victims

The Jakarta Globe
October 2, 2023 | 9:22 pm
From left: murder trial defendants Solihin, Wowon Erawan, and Dede Solehudin await a hearing at the Bekasi District Court in West Java, Sept. 18, 2023. (Antara Photo/Fakhri Hermansyah)
From left: murder trial defendants Solihin, Wowon Erawan, and Dede Solehudin await a hearing at the Bekasi District Court in West Java, Sept. 18, 2023. (Antara Photo/Fakhri Hermansyah)

Bekasi. Indonesian prosecutors on Monday recommended the death sentence for three men suspected of being serial killers who allegedly used poisoned drinks to murder their victims.

The defendants, namely Wowon Erawan, Solihin (known as Duloh), and Dede Solehudin, were arrested following the deaths of three individuals from poisoning at a boarding house in Bekasi, just east of Jakarta, on January 12.

The victims included a 40-year-old woman and her two sons, aged 23 and 17, who died after consuming poisoned coffee.

A subsequent investigation led authorities to discover secret graves in various locations in Cianjur, where additional bodies were found.


During the court hearing, a prosecutor demanded the maximum punishment under the premeditated murder article of the Criminal Code. 

“We demand that the panel of the Bekasi District Court pronounce the defendants guilty and sentence them to death,” a prosecutor said as he read aloud the demand.

Wowon, aged 60 at the time of his arrest, has admitted to ordering the murders.

According to the indictment, at least seven of the victims were related to Wowon. He stands accused of murdering his three wives, son, two stepsons, and mother-in-law, along with at least two other victims. Dede, aged 35, and Solihin, aged 65, are alleged to have assisted Wowon in these crimes, motivated by money scams.

The trio claimed to possess "supernatural abilities" to multiply money and resorted to killing victims who had surrendered cash and later grew suspicious of their activities, as stated by the police.

Most of the victims were poisoned using coffee, said Chief Commissioner Hengki Haryadi, the director of the Jakarta Police's criminal investigation agency.

The motive behind Wowon's decision to kill his wives, children, and mother-in-law remains unclear. The police believe that some of them began questioning his actions.

The victims include Wowon's two-year-old son, whose body was buried at his home in Cianjur.

So far, the police have recovered eight bodies, including four buried in Cianjur.

The first known victims of the trio were two Indonesian migrant workers, identified only as Siti and Farida, who fell into Wowon's trap. They were killed after demanding returns on their "investment," and Siti's body was disposed of in the sea.

Farida was buried near Wowon's residence in Cianjur, although the police did not provide details regarding how, when, or where the two women were murdered.

The third and fourth victims were Wowon's mother-in-law, identified only as Noneng, who allegedly witnessed the earlier murders, and his wife Wiwin. They were killed at Solihin's house in Cianjur.

Solihin also killed Wowon's other wife, named Halimah. Her body was returned to her family in Cilicin, and unsuspecting relatives accepted the explanation that she had died of natural causes.

Subsequently, Wowon married Halimah's daughter, Ai Maimunah, aged 40, a widow with two sons named Ridwan Abdul Muiz, 23, and Muhammad Riswandi, 17. They were found critically ill in Bekasi and succumbed to poisoning at a hospital on January 12, prompting a murder investigation against the three men.

Wowon is believed to have killed his two-year-old son, Bayu, from his marriage with Ai, burying the body in his Cianjur home approximately three months before the Bekasi murders.

The suspects buried some of their victims in concealed graves, using tiles or even a chicken coop to camouflage them. Several of the victims likely met their fate two years ago.

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