From Popstar To Murderer: The Story Of The “Witchcraft Killer”

She seemed happy to have attention, even for the wrong reasons.

After spending time in the public eye, singers sometimes leave the stage behind to do something else. Sometimes, these are not too far off, like ex-Teen Top member Lee Byung Hun (L.Joe) focusing on his acting.

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Lee Byung Hun (right)

Other times, singers go in an unexpected direction, earning fame for horrible actions, the woman who earned the nickname the “Witchcraft Killer.”

Born on January 1, 1956, in what was then known as the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia), Nur Maxnah binti Ismail began singing and dancing early. She eventually took on the stage name Mona Fandey, releasing her first album, Diana, in 1987.

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Mona Fandey

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Her husband, Mohamad Nor Affandi Abdul Rahman, funded her career, which, unfortunately, did not take off as expected. After this failure, the couple turned to practicing witchcraft, and Mona became a bomoh. 

Bomohs are Malaysian shamans and were popular with the rich and famous, claiming to act as the middle person between spirits and gods.

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A practicing Bomoh | THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Mona’s wealth grew as she provided services to wealthy clients, allowing her to own luxury cars and multiple mansions.

In 1993, a politician named Mazlan Idris sought the couple out for their services, hoping they could help him secure a position as the head of government in Pahang. After partially paying for their services, which included a talisman made of things owned by the first president of Indonesia, Mazlan was reported missing.

Mona reportedly went on a massive shopping spree and got plastic surgery on her face.

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Mazlan Idris

The couple’s assistant was arrested and questioned on July 13 over an unrelated charge, eventually leading police to discover Mazlan’s dismembered and partially skinned body buried in a pit covered with cement at one of his properties.

Also discovered at the scene were an altar, statues of deities, knives, and an ax.

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A diagram of Mazlan’s body.

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In August, the couple and the assistant were arrested and charged with Mazlan’s murder, and Mona was suspected in multiple other murders where occult items were allegedly found.

The trial proceeded, and ultimately, all three were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.  One of the things that stood out the most from the trial was Mona’s behavior: she seemed to channel her previous career, dressing extravagantly and regarding those drawn to the trial as “her fans.”

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On November 2, 2001, three were hanged; with it being reported Mona’s final words were, “I will never die.” In 2006, a movie, Dukun, based on Mona’s life and crimes, was filmed but was not released until 2018

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| Astro Shaw

Mona’s failed career might have led her to seek wealth the way she did, allowing her to be in the spotlight one last time as she faced the consequences of her crime.