Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, the young woman who, along with six men, were charged with this week’s grisly murder of a 31-year-old man at Orchard Towers, has apparently become internet famous.
Despite the horrific nature of the crime that Siow stands accused of, the 22-year-old has been amassing a fan base online ever since news outlets revealed the identities of those involved in the murder.
Across local online forums and social media groups like Hardwarezone and Legit Singapore, people have been expressing support and admiration for Siow, with some even calling for her release.
One Hardwarezone forum user, for instance, wrote: “Release Natalie… freedom and justice for Natalie!!! She is innocent, pure and chio.” For those unfamiliar with the Hokkien word “chio,” it’s used to describe a woman who is pretty and attractive, with some sexual connotation added to it.
“+1 support Natalie Siow… please give her probation only” another Hardwarezone user wrote.
Siow, along with six men between the ages of 22 and 27, allegedly killed the victim on Tuesday, July 2 a little after 6am at the entrance of Orchard Towers.
The alleged perpetrators were caught on CCTV camera approaching Satheesh Noel Gobidass, the victim, then fleeing the scene following a brief physical scuffle. Following the incident, the victim was found lying unconscious in a pool of blood and sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later.
The Hardwarezone forum has even opened threads such as the “[Official] Natalie Siow Yu Zhen Fan Club” to gather Siow’s growing fan base in one conversation, in which personal photos from her social media accounts where shared.
One of her fans, using closed-circuit television footage (CCTV) of the crime, even made a GIF of Siow fleeing the crime scene, captioned with: “red hot chilli pepper.”
It’s twisted AF, yes, and apparently part of a rather common phenomenon in which high profile murderers and convicts attract admiration — especially if the perpetrator(s) in question are conventionally attractive. Notorious serial killer and cult leader Charles Manson got engaged behind bars; Ted Bundy, who confessed to the murder of over 30 people, got hitched and even fathered a child in prison.
Experts believe that social media and the quick, easy spread of information of the internet makes it easier for criminals to develop a fanbase.
Siow, along with the six other suspects, will return to court on July 11, and is currently being remanded at the Central Police Division for investigation without bail, according to Today.
Following that, they will be put through a three-week psychiatric evaluation at the Complex Medical Centre in Changi Prison, during which they won’t be permitted to speak to anyone. They will then be remanded at Changi Prison until the High Court takes over the case.
If convicted, they will face the death penalty.