I was doing my interviews with one of the residents today when he showed me his collection of newspaper articles reporting about our estate. I chanced upon this article and was immediately fascinated. This resident, who preferred to be anonymous (due to his/her worry that the killer might be at large), mentioned that this criminal case was considered a "phenomena" during those times.
This shooting or "murder" incident took place on Monday 18 September, 1972, around 38 years ago. There were 2 ladies from Malaysia, namely Zeng Li Zhen and her sister Zhen Li Bao, strolling along Commonwealth Avenue, when Li Zhen screamed in pain suddenly and fell to the ground. Li Zhen was immediately sent to the Singapore General Hospital but was pronounced dead. It was only in the hospital where she was diagnosed to be "fatally wounded" by a gunshot piercing through her left of her chest.
Article from Shin Min Daily
Investigations went under way. The police classified this case as murder. However, as there were no witnesses and no motive for murder (her parents felt that she had no enemies), the killer or the presumed killer remained at large.
Murder cases are pretty rare in Singapore. This article had generated many conclusions then. First, it was believed that a sniper was targeting the victim from a high rise flat at Stirling Road or Queenstown Centre. Second, there were also theories about an accidental discharge of rounds from a nearby vehicle after investigations revealed that the bullet came from a handgun fired from close range. Third, there were beliefs that this bullet was discharged from the handguns from the nearby Queenstown Police Unit.
What that made residents of Queenstown wowed was the nature of investigations where the policeman (a male) refused to examine the victim's wound because it was located at her breast and therefore was unable to concluded that it was a gunshot before bringing her to the hospital.
This case was subsequently classified as a "cold case," I understood. Anyone with any details of the murder case ought to report to the Police.
Featured on Shin Min 40th anniversary booklet