Chicago police were shocked by the horrific killing of a middle-aged healthcare worker in February 1977. In her 15th floor apartment, Teresita Basa, a respiratory therapist employed by Edgewater Hospital, was discovered unconscious, having suffered a butcher’s knife wound to the chest, having been set ablaze, and having been hidden under a burning mattress.
Police questioned Basa’s family and friends but were unable to identify any possible suspects. Basa was a quiet, intelligent, music-loving woman who had immigrated to the US from the Philippines more than ten years previously. A note in her diary that said, “Get tickets for A.S.” was one of the few hints.
The case appeared to be unsolvable six months into the police investigation. Then a tip materialised, but it was odd.
Dr. Jose Chua, a surgeon, alleged that Teresita Basa had “possessed” his wife Remy, a respiratory therapist at Edgewater Hospital, three times. He claimed that while his wife was abducted, she appeared to be in a daze and was speaking in Tagalog, Basa’s native tongue, which she knew but hardly ever spoke.
Her first words were, “Doctor, I would like to ask for your assistance.” “The assassin who killed me is still on the loose.”
Dr. Chua was unsure of his reaction.
He subsequently recalled this during a pretrial hearing: “I was genuinely surprised and worried when I questioned her name and she said, “I amTeresita Basa.” But she assured me that I had nothing to fear.
Dr. Chua stated that when Basa was in control of his wife, she made the accusation that she had been murdered by Allan Showery, who had first fixed her TV before stabbing her and stealing her jewellery.
Unexpectedly, investigators Lee Epplen and Joseph Stachula took the Chuas seriously. The initials “A.S.” on Allan Showery were the same ones they had noticed on Basa in her diary. However, it went beyond that.
In Adam Selzer’s book Mysterious Chicago: History At Its Coolest, Detective Stachula claimed, “I talk to pimps, prostitutes, and drug users in the Belmont area.” “Dr. and Mrs. Chua are well-educated, wise individuals who reside in a $90,000 home, which is a noticeable change for me. I wished to learn more about this murder. I paid attention and followed their advice.”
Chua and Basa were both acquainted with Showery. Chua and Basa were respiratory therapists at the same hospital where he worked as a respiratory technician. Basa had been paying Showery liberally to complete modest tasks for her in an effort to alleviate his poor financial circumstances.
The detectives went to Showery’s flat, which he and Yanka Kalmuk, his partner who was expecting, shared. They discovered Kalmuk to be in possession of Basa’s jade pendant and pearl ring. She claimed that as a late Christmas gift from Showery, she had received the jewellery.
After being transported to the police station, Showery signed a confession after initially denying killing Basa. He claimed to have gone to Basa’s house, attacked her, taken her jewellery, and started a fire before leaving.
However, Showery then walked back his admission, claiming that police had threatened to detain Kalmuk if he didn’t confess. William Swano, his attorney, demanded that the murder allegation be dropped, claiming that police had only detained him because to the odd behaviour of the Chuas.
While waiting for a new trial to start a month later, Showery abruptly altered his plea from not guilty to guilty. He received a 14-year sentence for killing, robbing, and setting fires.
Was a guy really sent to jail by a voice from the afterlife, or might there be a less supernatural reason? Remy Chua and Showery did collaborate, so it’s possible that Chua learned anything damaging about Showery from the medical centre. Additionally, given that it has been stated that Chua had raised complaints about the calibre of Showery’s work, it is possible that Chua harboured animosity toward her.
In court, Showery’s attorneys reportedly tried to argue that Chua was the real killer since she had sold Showery the jewellery, explaining why Kalmuk had it, and had come up with the “possession” theory after losing her employment at the hospital. Chua was “never actually considered a suspect,” Selzer notes, nevertheless.
The Chuas later collaborated with their friend Carol Mercado to write the book A Voice From The Grave.
Everyone wants to think there is life after death, according to Dr. Chua.
The case was discussed in an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, and Voice From The Grave, a 1996 television movie, was based on it.
According to John Cosgrove, the executive producer of the film, Chua’s life had normalised in the years after the murder and trial.
He informed the Chicago Tribune that “there are no more psychic or paranormal experiences in her life.” “She leads a peaceful life. She detested the spotlight of the 1978–1979 media.”
Just six years after Basa’s passing, in 1983, they freed Showery from prison. He continued to live a tranquil life after that.