CRIME of passion. This is how the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 described the gruesome killing of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan in the hands of her ex-boyfriend. The mystery surrounding the death of Silawan, which was almost muddled by police investigators, has been initially solved with the arrest and the filing of criminal charges against the culprit. The credit goes to the NBI for its expertise, which includes digital applications and open source intelligence (OSINT) investigations.
NBI investigators were able to trace the link and establish the relationship between the suspect and the victim through social media, especially on Facebook. The NBI was also able to produce CCTV footage that would support its theory that, indeed, the suspect was the last person seen together with the victim in the premises where the victim’s mutilated body was found the following day.
Although all of these are circumstantial evidences because, so far, as of this writing, there is no witness or witnesses that can pinpoint that the suspect really killed the victim. However, the suspect cannot easily deny or refute that he is the person in the CCTV footage. Although, sometimes it can be altered but photos and videos don’t lie. It was not only one photo or video but a series of events.
As what I have said, nobody witnessed the killing. Only the suspect can tell why and how he killed the victim. That is if he will admit that he was the one who did it. We can only speculate that the suspect was overzealous and outraged. Why did he stab Christine 30 times? Why did he skin the victim in her face? Why did he slash the throat and remove the tongue and right ear? Did he rape the victim? Was he high on drugs when he committed the crime? Was he alone? These are the nagging questions that need to be answered.
Was it a case of murder? Was there a premeditation, which is one of the elements of murder? Did the suspect plan everything or was it only an impulse on his part? Again, we don’t know the whole story. If we base our observation on the CCTV footage, there was no resistance on the part of Christine. She went voluntarily with her ex-boyfriend until they were last seen in the footage near a subdivision. They were seen walking and nicely talking. What happened in their “dating place,” that we don’t know. Did they quarrel? Breakup and heartbreak, are those enough reasons to kill someone you love? Or is this a case of “Too much love can kill you?”
Crime of passion, in popular usage, refers to a violent crime, especially homicide, in which the perpetrator commits the act against someone because of sudden strong impulse, such as sudden rage rather than as a premeditated crime. A crime committed because of a strong emotional feeling especially in connection with a sexual relationship. The defendant’s excuse for committing a crime due to sudden anger or heartbreak in order to eliminate the element of “premeditation” to lessen the offense and the corresponding penalty.
I am afraid that the accused might use this definition on “crime of passion” as a defense to bargain for a lesser offense or plead guilty for a lesser offense of homicide. If this case will fall into homicide, the accused can post bail and serve a lesser penalty once convicted.
Okay, maybe we can consider this case as partially solved with the identification, arrest and prosecution of the suspect. But then again, I would like to remind our authorities that investigation, the filing of the case in the prosecutor’s office and in the court and the trial on the merit of the case are of different stages.
The NBI should not be complacent and they should gather more evidence, enough to convict the accused and pay for the heinous crime he committed.