Ahmad Suradji 

Ahmad Suradji was a well-respected 48 year-old witch doctor in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, many trusted the man for guidance on matters such as love and money and health. However when the doctor was arrested by police for the murders of several local women, people began to wonder about the medicine man's true powers. 

Suradji claimed that he would bury young women in the sands near his sugarcane plantation. Suradji would then strangled the terrified women and drink the saliva that dribbled from their mouths. 

The ritual supposedly increased the man's powers so he could help clients heal all manner of problems, from poverty to illness to love. After the sacrifical ceremony was completed Suradji would dig the dead bodies out of their murderous trench and rebury them closer to his house. All of the victims were buried in a specific pattern facing the witch-doctor's house.

Suradji may have gotten away with the murders for many more years had it not been the vigilance of one father, whose suspicions ended in the witch-doctor's arrest on May 2, 1997 and that of his three wives, who are sisters.

After the father of one of the victims reported the disappearance of his daughter  who went to see Ahmad the police set eyes on him. The police found the body of one of the victims in a field close to his house. The police began a thorough search of the plantation and found 41 additional bodies.

Suradji confessed to the murders of 16 women over a five-year period, hoping that once police had found that many buried superficially around the property that they may stop looking, however the found evidence of at least 25 women, including clothing and jewelery and watches. So with the mounting evidence Suradji changed his story. He told police that over eleven years he had murdered 42 women, ranging in ages from 11 years old to 30.  Many of the victims had been prostitutes as well and so their disappearance was not immediately noticed. However since 42 bodies have now been exhumed another 80 families have come forward with reports of missing women, giving rise to fear that perhaps there is many more victims to be found.

Most of the women who had hired the doctor had required him to cast magic spells to ensure the faithfulness of their husbands or boyfriends. Neighbors said that many women sought the sorcerer's help believing they would make themselves richer, healthier and more sexually attractive to men. 

Suradji's method was to charge each victim according to their needs the price was usually around $300. Then he would take them to a sugarcane plantation near his home and bury them in the ground up to their waist, he would tell the women it was a part of his ritual. Once in the ground he strangled each woman with electrical cable. Then he drank their saliva, undressed their corpse and reburied them with their heads pointing to his home so to enhance his magical powers. 

According to Suradji  he had a dream in which the ghost of his father told him to kill 70 women and drink their saliva so he could become a "dukan", or mystic healer, he said.

During their trials, both Suradji and his senior wife Tumini denied the slayings. They claimed they confessed under torture by the police. However their forced confession defence fell on deaf ears and on April 27, 1998, the witch-doctor was found guilty by the three-judge panel of Indonesia's worst killing spree. Suradji has been sentenced to death by firing squad. Those in court cheered as the sentence was read out.


 

Bibliography:

 

Yahoo World News 

Daily Telegraph 

 

 By Korey Sifuentes.
Copyright 1999 by [The Crime Web]. All rights reserved.
Original Written: 2 April, 1999

Last Revised: 24 Feb 2002 18:18:34 -0800 .

 

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