Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mysterious Shooting Incident in Queenstown

Any shooting incident in this little country of ours which has one of the strictsst gun laws in the world is always big news. But what makes the incident that I am about to narrate truly unprecedented and bizarre even is that it happened in broad daylight.

It happened around noon time in Queenstown, 18 September, 1972. A 22-year old seamstress by the name of Cheng Li Zhen (曾丽珍) was walking with her 19-year old sister Li Bao (丽宝) somewhere along Queenstown (I think it was Margaret Drive) when she suddenly gave a scream and collapsed on the ground. Blood was oozing from her chest. It was only after she was sent to the Singapore General Hospital that they discovered she had been shot. She died from her wound without regaining consciousness. She was from a small Malaysian town called Kluang.

I remember reading some criticism being levied against the policemen on the scene for being too shy to examine the wound which on her left breast; and thus not even realizing that it was a gunshot wound.

It was really big news at that time. And it is only recently that I was able to recall more details about this case because a friend gave me a copy of the Sin Min Daily’s 40th Anniversary Commemorative publication, and this was one of the archive items mentioned. I have tried searching for it at the National Library’s Straits Times archives but was not successful. Hope one of you readers can help out and let us have the link to any news articles about this case.

Anyway, X-ray showed that the bullet entered from her upper left chest and hit her heart. Initially, the police classified the case as ‘murder’, and suspected that the shooter was a sniper hiding in one of the high-rise buildings around Queenstown Circus or Stirling Road. Later, they confirmed that the bullet was a .22 calibre round and was probably fired from close distance from a handgun. But the trouble is, there were no witnesses and her sister did not see any shooter.

Another theory was that the round was accidentally discharged from a passing vehicle. Yet another theory that I recalled reading was that the round has gone off a weapon from the nearby Police Reserve Unit in Queensway when somebody was cleaning his weapon.

The case was later re-classified as an accident as the victim did not have any enemies and her family simply cannot think of anyone who would want to harm her.

Thirty-seven years have gone by and the case remains a complete mystery.

33 comments:

Victor said...

>the policemen on the scene for being too shy to examine the wound which on her left breastIf I were the policeman, she might have lived.

peter said...

Not possible for the bullet to travel from the PRU at Queenstown to Margaret Drive. The bullet would have to pass the school and across Commonwealth Drive' someone else would have got the bullet. Question: Was she walking near the library and Queenstown Prison area? There are armed Gurkha guards on the watch tower in the prison compound.

Lam Chun See said...

I don't know where was exact spot where she was shot. The Chinese newspaper only mentioned Queenstown.

I guess that theory about the PRU was one of the more 'crazy' ones.

Icemoon said...

The report says the incident happened at Queenstown Circle near the Jin1 Du1 (literally Golden Capitol) Cinema. The sniper could be shooting from a tall HDB near Stirling Road.

Anonymous said...

The report doesn't say what type of 0.22 ammunition was used. The one I used in the past had a effective range of 25m. At that range, it can't even bring down a falling plate. So, the shooter in this case probably was close by.

Icemoon said...

Correction. Should be Queens Circle (女皇圈) and Golden City Theatre. The other cinema is called Venus, I wonder what's its Chinese name. Venus (the planet) is 金星.

Icemoon said...

Anon has a point. In fact, the report theorized it could be a misfire from a passing vehicle!

Zen said...

I do not know whether this case is still open or not. This unfortunate episode causes great embarassment to our security agencies because the mystery is still unsolved, it may be quietly and conveniently put aside, hoping that it can be forgotten by the public over time. The big question still remains - why should a small town girl of modest background be the target of a ruthless murder? Could it be a case of wrong identity? I believe no one knows. But one thing is certain, the authorities will not hesitate when coming to tighten the screw of gun possession and many high profile politicians are seen avoiding staying near to high rise buildings, fearing that they may be targets of assassination.

Cool Insider said...

OK this is a really really bad cliche, but your story is truly a "blast from the past"! On a more serious note, I hope that her family managed to eventually find resolution over this misdeed. This reminds me of the Winnifred Teo case (she was CJC student) which also went largely unsolved.

Anonymous said...

Stirling Road is really quite far away from Margaret Drive

how can a bullet travel so far ?

Lam Chun See said...

Maybe it was Commonwealth Ave. I cannot remember. That's why I hope someone who can access the Straits Times articles can enlighten us.

The Bakerwoman said...

Cool Insider....Yes, I remembered the Winnifred Teo's case. She was my friend's cousin.

To-date, her parents were still devastated by her freaky death. Winnifred was a pretty girl.

There were many mysteries still unsolved!!

Lam Chun See said...

That must he the rape-murder case that happened in Old Holland Road which I blogged about here. My friend Chuck told me that the year was 1985 because it happened around the time his dad passed away.

By the way, that area; the huge open piece of land near MGS - I think they are going to develop it soon. I saw some bulldozers clearing the trees at the sharp bend in Blackmore Drive.

KSSim said...

I just moved in Blk 27A in 1972 when this incident happened. The two sisters were walking along Queensway (Tanglin Halt) when one was shot. At that time rumours has it the shot came from C'wealth 16th storey, but with such small calibre it has to be much nearer.

peter said...

Blk 27A was very near and same side to Queenstown Police Station.

Lam Chun See said...

Thanks KSSim for clearing that one - for me at least. But is your block 27 or 27A? I don't see any Block 27A in any of my old street directories.

So that means they were walking near the present underpass right? Opp the mosque?

KSSim said...

27A, with Q'town MRT at doorstep.
If memory serve me right, the 2 girls
were walking to Tah Chung, and were
shot at the side where the now CC is.

peter said...

If I am not wrong when we did our Special Constabulary NS in 1972, we were attached to the Queenstown Police Station, there was a room inside the police station for off-duty PC to discharge the Smith & Western revolver rounds issued to all policemen. There was also a small 25m range inside the Police Reserve Unit (now the Special Ops????) where we did our practice. Not sure if the round came from the revolver.

Anonymous said...

She was the only one dress in red
within proximity.Is it a coincident?

Anonymous said...

Note that nothing is done by the government to check on the source of bullet. Every bullet has its batch number which can be traced. The theory that a police accidentially fire a shot blindly and unfortunately hit the girl sound very convincing , even more so with when nothing enquiry about bullet source.

sinplyme said...

hi, i'm interested to know more about the rape-murder case of winnifred teo... tried searching the net but to no avail. =)

Lam Chun See said...

Winnifred Teo was a CJC student who was raped and killed while jogging along Old Holland Road in 1985. My friend Chuck may be able to give the exact date becos his dad passed away aroung that time, and he saw her orbituary alongside his dad's.

SM said...

Info on the Winnifred Teo case can be found on http://www.crime-library.org/

Just search for her name

sinplyme said...

thanks! =)

Alex said...

This case has brought up more questions than answers. 37 years have passed and yet there is no closure?! I am sure family of the decease would like to know what is going on. But as far as the Singapore public is concerned, the case has been long buried and forgotten - sad, very very sad!

There is one more unexplained phenomenon case which happened in Sembawang during the late 60s or early 70s. It was reported in The Straits Times, coffee cups and items flying around in the coffeeshop. The reports went on for days in papers. Can anyone recall???

Anonymous said...

As for the shooting case, the approximate location was oppsite the present MDIS towards about 150
meter down the road, there used to have a bus stop....I was staying at Forfar Sq. back then when the new hit our area.It is a real sad and tragic news to the ppl in Q'stown.

ramzie said...

Dear people.
Have you guys ever heard of a missing person case of a young female jogger somewhere in holland road?It happened somewhere in early 2000 sumthing.
i need help for some information.
please email me at meow_loco@hotmail.com if anyone have know such story.

Lam Chun See said...

Ramzie.If you are referring to the case of the CJC student, you are about 20 years off. That incident took place in 1985 and everything I know - which is quite little - is found in my earlier post here.

Hussain said...

Yes i remember abt the shooting but what a pity until today the police is unable to solve the case. In the U.S.A. the cold case get solve wonder is there such cold case unit in Sgp to solve this particular shooting.

Hussain said...

I was 21 years old and use this stretch of road frequently with my vespa .....I used to stay in Margaret Drive Blk 126 but we moved to Shepherd's Drive which is off Stirling Road.

Hussain said...

I don't know if this blog can help me to locate my good friend Ms Hazel See Siew Beng who used to live in Forfar Square guess it was block 42 or 43 My h/p nbr is 90289630.

The last time i heard from her was in 1985 after my father's demise. I would love to meet up with her.
Thank you.

Lam Chun See said...

here's Straits Times report on this case.

Anonymous said...

horrible....why she so unlcky...life is unfair...