‘They don’t need to feel sad’: Indonesian woman smiles from ear-to-ear after slitting her children’s throats

KU, 35, smiling in police custody after killing her child. Photo: Video screengrab
KU, 35, smiling in police custody after killing her child. Photo: Video screengrab

An Indonesian woman’s gleeful demeanor after killing her child sent chills down the spine of people in the country. The shocking and horrific news has also prompted calls for her thorough psychiatric evaluation.

According to the police in Tonjong District in East Java’s Brebes Regency, at around 4:30am on Sunday, locals were alerted to screaming coming out of a house belonging to the suspect, 35-year-old KU. 

The locals eventually managed to break into KU’s locked front door and found one of her children, 7-year-old ARK, dead with a slit throat. KU’s other two children, aged 10 and 5, survived similar wounds.

“[ARK] had a wound measuring 12 centimeters in length and 5 centimeters deep on the left side of the neck. The other two has wounds in their necks, jaws, and chests,” Tonjong Police Chief M Yusuf said yesterday, adding that KU used a box cutter to hurt her children.

Following KU’s arrest, a video taken of her in police custody has circulated, in which she seemingly showed no remorse for her actions.

“I want to be loved by my husband, but my husband is often out of work. I couldn’t take my husband being out of contract and out of work anymore,” KU said in the video.

“I want to save my children so they don’t struggle in life. They don’t need to feel sad. They had to die so they wouldn’t become sad like me.”

Police have yet to formally announce charges against KU, who is undergoing an evaluation to determine her mental state. Under Indonesian law, murder of a minor is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, with the sentence potentially raised by a third of its length if the murderer is the child’s own parent/guardian.

There have been several similar shocking child murders in Indonesia in the past, in which economic struggles were cited as the main reason behind the crime. In one especially shocking case in 2006, a woman in Bandung, West Java killed her three children as she and her husband were struggling to even put food on the table.

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