Yuan Ching Road deaths: Picture emerges of killer as solitary man

Yuan Ching Road deaths: Picture emerges of killer as solitary man
Mr Ken Ong being wheeled out of an apartment block at Parkview Mansions in Yuan Ching Road to an ambulance on 30 January 2015.

Lonely, angry and seemingly disturbed.

This was the picture painted of the man who stabbed his wife, his maid and then himself last Friday.

Ken Ong, 37, allegedly stabbed Madam Koh Siang Hua, 39, at their home in Park View Mansions in Yuan Ching Road, before attacking the family's maid, Ms Jamelarin Jasmen Corpuz, 37.

On Facebook, he had 418 friends.

He befriended complete strangers, many of whom are young, pretty bloggers.

Former The New Paper New Face finalist turned blogger and model, Holly Jean Aroozoo-Clarke said Mr Ong was one of her Facebook friends, "but I don't actually know him well".

"Even though it looks like he added loads of girls on Facebook, I don't think he was the creepy kind, who bugged the girls," she said.

DISTURBING MESSAGES

But in November and then in December last year, Mr Ong posted two disturbing messages on his Facebook page.

Both suggested he had sinister plans.

Ms Aroozoo-Clarke said she saw those posts but did not think much about it until the news about his death broke.

As his wife was bleeding, Mr Ong uploaded a long Facebook post entitled "Final Note" detailing his hatred for everything in his life, including his wife, the maid and his in-laws.

The only person he appeared to care for was his son.

It was his longest posting, unusual because his usual Facebook postings were short.

Two minutes later, he e-mailed the same note to government and media offices with the subject line "Jurong Murder", while his wife lay dying.

"It's tragic. If only someone had intervened.

But how would people know? There are lots of emo people on Facebook," Ms Aroozoo-Clarke added.

Another of Mr Ong's Facebook friends, who wanted to be known only as Ms Wang, went out with him for drinks a couple of times.

"He seemed like a nice guy. I actually didn't know he was married," she said.

"I saw the note he posted only after (the news) and was shocked.

I didn't really pay attention to his previous postings."

Speaking to Lianhe Wanbao from his bed at the Singapore General Hospital, Mr Ong's 69-year-old father said his son has been estranged from him since he moved out 10 years ago.

"He visited only twice and each time he would lament that I didn't bring him up," said the senior Mr Ong.

He did not even know that his son was married. And he did not know of his son's troubles.

Online, there were few pictures of Mr Ong with friends or family, even though he shared videos and befriended strangers, the same people he poured out his emotions and troubles to.

He claimed his marriage was over and he was headed for divorce. He felt alone.

Mr Ong and Madam Koh died in hospital on Friday.

Madam Koh's family claimed her body from the mortuary yesterday. She will be cremated today.

As for Mr Ong, even in death he is alone. His body remains in the morgue - unclaimed.

Depression clouds judgment, says doc

Only a small percentage of depressed people want to end their own lives.

And an even smaller number want to end the lives of those who caused their unhappiness, said psychiatrist Adrian Wang.

Dr Wang said a build-up of emotions can cause a depressed person to snap.

"Apart from being depressed, he also feels humiliated by a loss of respect. This is usually combined with a sense of hopelessness.

"And when a person feels there is no way out, that is when his judgment gets clouded."

KEEPING UP

Doctors and counsellors said those in the prime of their lives are finding it hard to bear up under the pressure of increasing competition in the workplace

and keeping up with the material success of their peers.

When asked why a cry for help on social media like Facebook can go unheeded, Dr Wang, who is in private practice, said not all Facebook friends are close friends.

"They do not catch the nuances when someone is trying to reach out.

"Also, there are a lot of attention-seekers out there on Facebook and on Twitter.

"This often makes it difficult to suss out what is a genuine distress call."

himjuditht@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Feb 1, 2015.
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