Indonesian Man Beheads Father with Machete Fearing Witchcraft

In this file photo, a Guadalcanal guard sharpens a stake with his machette near the abandoned village of Vilu, Solomon Islands 20 June 1999 after the area was cleared of Malaitans by the Guadalcanal Liberation Army. (Torsten Blackwood/AFP via Getty Images)
Torsten Blackwood/AFP via Getty Images

A man on the Indonesian island of Sumatra reportedly beheaded his father with a machete on Monday after allegedly hearing an “occult whisper” that his father was preparing to cast a spell on him.

After reportedly killing his father, the suspect placed the man’s severed head in a sack and paraded it around his village of Sendangrejo, in Central Lampung, via motorbike. The action alarmed Sendangrejo’s residents, who alerted local authorities to the incident. Police arrived on the scene shortly afterward and arrested the suspect, identified as Kukuh Warsito, 31. The victim was identified as Selamet Riyanto, 67.

“Kukuh admitted that he wanted to protect himself from his father,” the Police Chief Superintendent of Central Lampung, Popon Sunggoro, said at a press conference on Tuesday. Kukuh claimed he heard “[a] magical whisper … that his father wanted to send witchcraft to him.”

“In essence, he admitted to getting some kind of whisper or something, he said his father wanted to seduce him. So why did he chop off his father’s head? Because his father wanted to seduce him. So he was beheaded by his father,” Sunggoro said when asked for further clarification of the incident by Detik.

“The suspect is believed to have mental issues. But we are confirming that,” the police chief added.

“The … suspect committed the murder … because the suspect felt that he was going to be bugged by the victim (his father). Instead of the suspect being chased by the victim, the suspect killed the victim by using a machete,” Iptu Edy Suhendra, the police chief of Kalirejo regency, located within Central Lampung, told reporters on Tuesday.

Detik revealed on Wednesday that the suspect “apologized to his father before killing him,” adding that Warsito allegedly killed his father as the victim sat “casually in the house” that they shared together.

Warsito is currently undergoing a 14-day psychiatric evaluation at Soul Kurungan Nyawa Hospital [RSJ], a provincial mental health facility, according to the Indonesian news site Detik.

“The police are still waiting for the results of observations from RSJ regarding this case. Kukuh is now contemplating when he is being observed at the RSJ,” Detik reported on Wednesday. “He is always contemplating, a lot of silence,” a public relations officer for Soul Kurungan Nyawa Hospital told the news site.

“Premeditated murder is a crime punishable by the death penalty in Indonesia, though it’s likely that KW [Kukuh Warsito] may plead insanity in this case,” Indonesian news outlet Coconuts Jakarta noted on Tuesday.

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