Three defendants in the serial murder case using the method of duplicating money escaped the death penalty at the Bekasi District Court, West Java.
The Bekasi District Court (PN) panel of judges handed down a lighter sentence than the prosecutor’s demand for serial killer Wowon Erawan’s gang.
Wowon, Solihin alias Duloh, and M Dede Solehudin were sentenced to life imprisonment for a series of murders they committed. They are known to have killed nine people, including Wowon’s wife and children.
“For the three defendants, each was sentenced to life imprisonment,” said Chief Judge Suparna reading the verdict in courtroom 7 of the Bekasi District Court, Wednesday (01/11)), as quoted by Kompas.com.
Wowon, Solihin and Dede remained silent and looked down during the verdict hearing. They wore white koko shirts wrapped in prison vests when sitting in the defendant’s chair.
When he heard the sentence to life imprisonment, Wowon only moved his hands slightly, his gaze remained straight ahead.
Likewise with Solihin and Dede. Both of them froze while listening to the verdict read by Suparna.
Previously, the Public Prosecutor believed Wowon, Solihin and Dede were guilty of premeditated murder, as regulated in article 340 of the Criminal Code.
Wowon, Duloh, and Dede were charged with premeditated murder of Ai Maimunah (40 years), Ridwan Abdul Muiz (20 years), and M. Riswandi (16 years). Ai Maimunah is Wowon’s wife and stepson, while Ridwan and Riswandi are Ai Maimunah’s children.
Apart from these three victims, there are six other people who are suspected of being victims of the murder of Wowon et al.
The defendants deceived victims by pretending to have supernatural abilities to double money and then, worried that the lie would be discovered, they killed the victims.
According to criminologists, such motives are “quite common” in Indonesia. It is said, apart from the Wowon et al case, there are at least two similar cases which have the same modus operandi.
As for why there are still people who believe in promises of getting rich quickly, it is because they have a tendency to measure happiness with the economy, said a social observer.
It is said that some people – regardless of their educational background – still use “smart people” as patrons to gain wealth in a short way.
In the trial at the Bekasi District Court, 2 October 2023, the prosecutor explained that one of the factors that weighed Wowon et al so that they were demanded the death penalty, apart from taking the lives of three other people, was that their actions were considered to have disturbed the community.
“That the defendant has taken the lives of other people, namely Ai Maimunah, Ridwan Abdul Muiz, and M Riswandi,” said the prosecutor, as reported by detikcom.
“You are also disturbing the community.”
Meanwhile, the mitigating factor is that the three defendants have never been convicted.
The prosecutor believes Wowon et al are guilty as regulated in Article 340 in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph 1 1 of the Criminal Code.
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The defendant’s lawyer, Sugijati, said he would prepare a defense. He admitted that he had spoken with the defendants and they admitted they had regrets.
“The decision is in the hands of the judge, hopefully it will only be for life or 20 years,” he said.
It started with a poisoning case in Bekasi
The premeditated murder incident that occurred in Bekasi, Cianjur and Surabaya was revealed by “irregularities” in the poisoning case that befell a family on Jalan Ciketing Udik, Bantargebang, Bekasi City.
Initially the police suspected that the five people had simple poisoning after consuming food.
But after extracting information from a victim of suspected poisoning who survived named Dede Solehuddin, it was revealed that they were deliberately poisoned after drinking coffee mixed with pesticides.
Police investigations focused on three suspected perpetrators: Wowon Erawan, Solihin Alis Dulloh, and Dede Solehuddin.
Meanwhile, three people died as a result of poisoning: Ai Maemunah, Ridwan Abdul Muiz, and Muhammad Ruswandi. A five year old child is said to be safe with Dede.
“Based on the confessions of the three perpetrators, they had previously killed six people apart from the victims in Bekasi,” said the Director of General Criminal Investigation at Polda Metro Jaya, Kombes Hengki Haryadi at a press conference in Jakarta.
Who are the victims of Wowon CS?
So far it is known that there are nine murder victims, the suspect being Wowon and his two colleagues, Dulloh and Dede.
This was revealed after the police opened a grave containing skeletons located in Cianjur or Wowon’s house.
First, Siti, an Indonesian worker (TKI) from Garut, West Java and became the first victim when she wanted to collect Wowon for the promise of doubling her money.
He was killed by being pushed into the sea while on a boat trip with Wowon and Wowon’s mother-in-law, Noneng, from Surabaya to Mataram, NTB.
Wowon admitted to Siti that the proceeds from doubling the money were kept in Mataram. The police said that Noneng was the one who pushed Siti into the sea. His body was found by residents and then taken to his hometown to be buried.
Second, Farida, who Wowon and Dulloh allegedly killed by poisoning.
It is known that this Indonesian worker (TKI) lived with Wowon and Dulloh in a rented house in Babakan Curug Village, Ciranjang District in 2021.
To residents, Dulloh claimed that Farida was his son and Wowon was Farida’s husband.
After five months of contracting, they left without reporting to the local RT.
Farida’s whereabouts are unknown, but the police found her body in the rented house.
Noneng and Wiwin were the third and fourth victims executed by Dulloh on Wowon’s orders in 2019.
Noneng, who was none other than Wowon’s mother-in-law, was murdered by poisoning and then strangling. Likewise with Wiwin who is Wowon’s first wife.
Initially, Wiwin and Noneng were lured to come to Wowon’s house in Cianjur.
The two of them were then told to sleep on the pretext that Wowon had supernatural abilities, but were suddenly strangled using a cloth.
The bodies of the two were buried and cast with cement next to the house. Even their personal belongings were buried in one hole.
The fifth victim, Halimah, was said to be Siri Wowon’s wife and was killed by Dulloh at her home in Babakan Mande Village, Cianjur, while she was seeking treatment.
According to the police, people close to them knew that Dulloh liked to give supernatural medicine. So far it is not known when Halimah was killed.
Ai Maimunah, Ridwan, and Riswandi, were the sixth, seventh and eighth victims. The three of them were poisoned on January 12 2023 at a rented house on Jalan Ciketing Udik, Bantargebang, Bekasi City.
Ai Maimunah is Wowon’s wife. Ridwan and Riswandi are Wowon’s stepchildren.
Their deaths were the beginning of this serial murder case being revealed. According to police information, the three of them will be buried like the other victims because Wowon is known to have prepared a hole in the rented house.
Bayu is the ninth victim. He was murdered about three months ago.
This two-year-old boy is Wowon’s child with his third wife Ai Maimunah. The toddler’s body was buried next to Wowon’s house in Cianjur.
What was the perpetrator’s motive?
Metro Jaya Police Chief, Fadil Imran, said that the motive for the murder carried out by the three perpetrators against two TKI, namely Siti and Farida, was because they wanted to control the victim’s property.
The way to do this is by narrating that you have the supernatural ability to double your money.
“Dulloh or Solihin described themselves as having the ability to increase their wealth and then ordered Wowon alias Aki to look for victims,” said Fadil.
But when the victims did not receive the wealth as promised, they continued to collect it.
Because they were worried that the fraud under the guise of the supernatural would be discovered, Wowon and Dulloh executed the victims.
Wowon, in the police investigation, played a role in escorting the victims who were then executed by Dulloh.
Meanwhile, Dede served as a hole digger to bury the victims.
Meanwhile, Wowon CS’s motive for killing Ai Maimunah, Ridwan and Riswandi is said to be to cover up the traces of their crime, namely serial murder.
Meanwhile, Wowon cs’ motive for killing another victim who was still related to them is not yet known.
Until now, the police are still investigating the psychology of the suspects by involving forensic psychologists and psychiatrists.
General Chair of the Indonesian Forensic Psychology Association, Reni Kusumowardhani, said that the results of the examination would later reveal why Wowon cs had the heart to kill his wife, in-laws and children.
What is the relationship between the perpetrators?
Head of Public Relations of Polda Metro Jaya, Trunoyudo, said Wowon and Dulloh had been friends for a long time.
Meanwhile, Dede Solehuddin and Wowon are family. Dede is known to be the younger brother of the victim Ai Maimunah who is also Wowon’s wife.
The finding of a flow of funds from TKI amounted to IDR 1 billion
The Polda Metro Jaya team also said that their party discovered that there was a flow of funds of around IDR 1 billion which was collected by suspect Dede Solehuddin from a number of TKI.
The money was transferred periodically to Dede’s account every month since April 2019. However, the police claimed, the ATM card for the account was held by Wowon.
It is suspected that the flow of funds was related to a fraud duplicating money under the guise of the supernatural.
Polda Metro Jaya said they were still looking for the TKI who sent money to suspect Dede. Several migrant workers who were contacted by the police admitted that they were hysterical and shocked because they did not think they were victims of fraud.
The reason is that these migrant workers are promised that when they return to Indonesia they will get a good house and double their money.
Criminologist: the motive of being able to double money is covered by occult practices “quite common” in Indonesia
Criminologist from the University of Indonesia, Adrianus Meliala, said serial murder cases have the same pattern: the perpetrator is one person or a gang and takes place over a certain period.
Referring to serial murder cases revealed in Indonesia, there are a number of motives for why the perpetrator killed his victim.
First, because they want to control the victim’s assets with the promise of being able to double their money with supernatural abilities.
Second, to master and improve the ‘black magic’ he is studying.
Third, because they suffer from sexual disorders or revenge.
From these motives, serial murder cases with economic pretexts, namely being able to double money, are wrapped up in occult practices “quite common” in Indonesia.
Moreover, the method used by a number of perpetrators to “operate” is also the same: using poison.
Adrianus reflects on two similar cases: Shaman Asep in Cianjur in 2007 and Shaman IS in Magelang in 2020.
Tubagus Yusuf Maulana alias Shaman Asep claims to be a shaman who is able to multiply money through ritual ceremonies.
He was caught killing eight people between May and July 2007.
Asep ended the lives of the victims with fish poison or portas.
As a result of his actions, he was charged with premeditated murder and sentenced to death by the Rangkasbitung District Court judge.
In Magelang, an IS shaman admitted to four of his victims that he was able to double their money.
As a condition for doubling their money, the perpetrator told the victim to drink water that he claimed he had prayed for.
It was later discovered that the water had been mixed with potassium cyanide or apotassium.
“So the common thread is that occult practices in society still exist. Whether they are called white shamans or black shamans, these stories are still alive in Indonesia,” explained Adrianus.
“Even though this phenomenon is decreasing with increasing education and prosperity.”
In the case of Wowon cs, Adrianus suspects that there were more than nine victims referring to the beginning of the perpetrators practicing their ability to multiply money.
Moreover, the funds collected by Wowon CS reached IDR 1 billion.
“Are those two TKI the only ‘customers’ of Wowon CS? Because there are definitely those who have benefited. Well, who hasn’t and how many of them charged and didn’t manage to kill them? Or was there someone who charged and disappeared?”
“I told the police not to reduce the timeline of this case, because who knows, they have been operating for a long time and have a practice of ‘eliminating’ their victims.”
“If it’s true since 2019, you can count, if one victim per month, can you imagine how many?”
Why are there still people who believe in promises of getting rich quickly?
Social observer, Devie Rahmawati, said that basically humans have a tendency to measure happiness from an economic perspective.
This is what encourages people from any educational background to quickly accept the offer of wealth/success in a short and easy time.
This loophole is then exploited by criminals by promising various methods.
What makes people believe, is because the perpetrator succeeds in convincing that he has power or position; riches; fame; and finally authority.
In the Wowon cs case, Devie assessed that the perpetrator used the patronage of authority that he was a “smart person” so that the victim believed the perpetrator’s offer.
“Even though the perpetrator’s methods are actually illogical, if they see the ‘patron’ they will just believe it,” said Devie.
“And don’t be surprised, this has nothing to do with education.”
Source: BBC Indonesia