Psychopath on killing spree:
Ghastly murders of old women
The murder of 56-year-old Sellaiyah Mariamma in an estate line room
in Opatha on July 21, 2008 shocked the Kahawatta area. She was living
all alone and was very weak because of her age. She was strangled.
Police investigations initiated brought no results as the criminal had
not left any clue to the surprise of the Police. The people in Kahawatta
area trembled in fear when the investigations revealed that the victim
had been raped by the criminal.
Somehow the Police could not bring the culprit into books. With the
passage of time the public forgot the incident. It was nearly one and
half years later the people in Kahawatta were driven to dread when
48-year-old Baby Nona was killed in Kotakethana, Kahawatta. She had been
killed while she was bathing in a stream near her residence. The
criminal had committed the same crime to the remains after the murder.
Similar feature that the suspect had with the previous one was that he
had not left a clue.
The Kahawatta Police Officer in Charge, Chief Inspector R D
Aluthgamage told the Daily News that it was an embarrassing situation as
the Police had no clues about the criminal. The people were accusing the
Police of inefficiency for not taking the suspects into custody.
The people pressurised the Police by many ways. “I had to go to the
village and talk to a gathering of the villagers to ease the tense
situation,” C I Aluthgamage said. “I promised that the Police would not
allow the culprit to continue this array of crimes.”
When the situation was coming back to normal in the area though the
culprit was not arrested again the people in Kahawatta area were driven
to trepidation when the criminal prayed upon another elderly woman, 80
years old. This time it was after six months later. S M Heen Menika of
Dimbulwela, Kahawatta was murdered on December 21, 2010. Her head was
cut and remains were lying on the bed naked.
“It was an embarrassing situation, I was facing as the Officer in
Charge of the Police” the Chief Inspector said. “It was clear all these
crimes were committed by a single suspect or by the same group. All
crimes were committed in the same manner.”
CI Aluthgamage stated that he was sure that no criminal was perfect
at all times and instructed his officials to find out at least a single
The culprit was so shrewd that he had washed away the blood as well.
No weapon could be found. To our surprise the culprit had left behind
four white local cigars (beedi) in the victim’s room.” Aluthgamage said.
“Well I guessed that it could be of pivotal importance”
Now the villagers in the Kahawatta area was arrested by a fear
psychosis as the murders were committed mysteriously since 2008.
The frequency of the committed crimes was also increasing. In the
meantime the Kahawatta Police Mobile Unit on patrol received a message
around 11.30 pm on January 21, 2011 that a man was attempting to break
into a house in Kotakethana, Kahawatta. The Police Mobile Unit rushed to
the scene and arrested a 29-year-old youth.
He was a labourer working in a tea estate in the area. He was earlier
self employed as a coconut plucker before he joined the tea estate.
He had gone house to house in the area plucking coconuts. “There was
nothing suspicious about him” CI Aluthgamage said. “We thought he was
trying to rob the house until Sergeants Waduge (20883), Piyaratne
(24748) and Karunathilake (30139) found several white local cigars
hidden in a pocket of his underwear.”
He said that suddenly it struck him that there could be an
involvement of this suspect in the array of mysterious crimes.
Then the investigators studied the similarities of those crimes with
this incident. The Police trembled when they found out that partitioned
house was the dwelling place of an elderly woman (62).
That part of the house was separated from the rest of the house where
the other family members were living.
Another matter the Police found out was that the distance to the
houses of the victims from this suspect’s residence was nearly one and
Later on, the Police initiated a fresh investigation. Police said
that the culprit confessed to the crimes upon interrogation. Police said
the culprit admitted that he went to the house of Heen Menika in
Dimbulwela on December 21. He was known to Heen Menika and she gave him
a cup of tea as well. She used to call him “Lamayo (child)”. Police said
that he admitted he cut her head and killed her thereafter. He said that
he washed away the blood stains also. The Police found a knife with
which he is alleged to have committed the crime.
Police added that he also confessed about killing Mariamma. Although
he feared he would be caught nothing had happened. Police said that he
strangled Baby Nona with the rope he used to make a ring to climb
coconut trees. He took away the rope with him without leaving it near
the remains of Baby Nona as he knew people could identify it.
The suspect was born on December 20, 1982 and was unmarried. His
mother had died when he was nine. Then his father had left them for
He was living at the residence of his maternal grandmother. His
mother’s sister was living there with her children as well. Police said
the suspect said that he also had worked in houses where young women
were living but he never had any feeling towards them.
The investigation was conducted by a Police team led by Kahawatta
Police OIC Chief Inspector R D Aluthgamage under the supervision of ASP
Amarasinghe and SSP L G Kularatne under the instructions of Senior DIG S