The murder of 16-year-old Christine Silawan was so grisly that many demanded the death penalty be reinstated for her killer.
Christine Silawan, 16, was nervous to meet the enigmatic boy who had — only one day before — messaged her privately on Facebook. She found it odd that ‘CJ Diaz’, 17, had recently created the account but, she assumed, it explained his lack of photos or friends. He had many of the same ‘likes’ as her though; he listened to the same music — especially the Bangtan Boys, which she was a huge fan — and even watched the same anime as her. Plus, she told herself, what could really happen? If this guy ‘cat fished’ her (the act of pretending to be someone different online), and she met him in public, then she could just walk away, right?
Curiosity seekers viewing Christine Lee Silawan’s lifeless body from a distance may have perceived the sight as a person resting in the fetal position. Unfortunately, the 9th grade Maribago High School female hadn’t passed whilst in a peaceful dream state, but forced to endure an excruciating rape slaying.
Moving in a little closer shows Christine is nude from the waist down. Her body is positioned on her right side, and resting on top of her blue jeans, which are inside out — a sign that someone jerked them from her legs. The burgundy shirt she is wearing does little to cover her, but is remarkable at disguising the blood stains made from the 20 stab wounds, which are also visible.
Finally, looking closer, you can then truly see that pure evil had taken Christine’s life. The uncensored photo (extremely graphic image) is almost beyond comprehension, and, for my reader’s sake, I will not further delay the details. Her facial skin that once covered the right side of her skull is obliterated; her flesh torn completely from the face. Much of her hair on the right side, along with her scalp it once rooted itself too, is also absent, leaving nothing but the millions of empty follicles behind.
Perhaps it’s a coping mechanism to say that her body — at least from a distance — looks peaceful, because in reality it is too painful to admit that there was no peace for Christine; she had died a violent and harrowing death.
The grisly murder of Christine Lee Silawan sparked a nationwide outrage, not only about reinstating the death penalty in the Philipines but also about the safety of women. Filipinos wanted justice — rightly so — and called on the National Bureau of Investigation (NIB) to make an immediate arrest.
This murder would not go unsolved, the public would never allow that.
That arrest came with the ex-boyfriend ‘John’ — his real name is court sealed, and the detectives had a strong reason to believe that he fit the killer’s profile.
Christine and John were dating since 2018, and seemed happy. However, as minor arguments grew and occurred more frequently, Christine became increasingly despondent. So on February 28, 2019 — ten days before her murder — she broke up with him.
Soon after, detectives surmised, John spotted Christine with one of his friends and became jealous. An argument broke out and they each said some regretful words, neither aware they were being recorded by CCTV.
John was now prime suspect number one, and he and Christine had planned a meetup on March 10th — the day she was murdered.
John’s situation wasn’t looking so great, but he swore he was innocent and pleaded with anyone who would listen.
Detectives made the arrest, but just as quickly cleared him of the murder when it was suggested to look through her recent Facebook conversations.
John may have been the jealous type, but he wasn’t Christine’s killer.
A 17-year-old boy named CJ Diaz and had sent Christine a Facebook message shortly before her murder.
CJ was really a 43-year-old pervert named Renato Llenes, and Christine — not knowing his true identity — had planned to meet him after she left the Sacred Heart Parish Church where she often worked as a collector. Llenes, who eventually confessed to murdering Christine, was also spotted on CCTV near the church shortly before her death.
According to Llenes’s confession, she had immediately noticed he catfished her, so she walked away, never expecting the maniac would chase after her. He began chasing her because she “refused to get intimate” with him.
She ran from him, but he ran faster, catching her in a vacant lot in Barangay Bancal, where he began stabbing her. She suffered twenty stab wounds and had nine defensive wounds, and, according to the crime laboratory director Superintendent Benjamin Lara, MD, was missing several of her internal organs.
The missing parts are trachea, tongue, and esophagus.” Lara said. Lara also said portions of the victim’s neck that were flayed were also still missing, which included Silawan’s right ear.
The murder weapon was a dull pair of scissors, which police found in Llenes’s possession; Christine’s DNA was present on sheers.
When asked why he removed the skin from her face, he said that he was high on drugs, and that the ‘Momo Challenge’ inspired him — a bizarre internet meme/hoax that is alleged to make kids kill themselves.
Drugs and internet hoaxes aside, an actual explanation exists, which he wanted to make the victim unrecognizable so that he could save his own skin — pun intended.
The murder of Christine Silawan was so devastating that many Filipinos called for a reinstatement of the death penalty, or at least to make an exception for the attacker. Unfortunately, the Silawan family never received due justice, as her killer took his own life shortly after his arrest.