The Woman Who ‘Solved’ Her Own Murder

Madeline Moran, Editor-In-Chief & Features Editor

Teresita Basa: A Filipina immigrant, born in 1929, who lived a quiet life in Chicago Illinois. She worked at Edgewater Hospital as a respiratory therapist and taught piano lessons from her apartment. She was in school to get a doctorate in music, and all-in-all, she led a very quiet life.

On the 21st night of February 1977, Teresita’s neighbors from down the hall made a call after smelling smoke. When firefighters arrived, they found that the smoke was coming from Teresita’s apartment. They soon, however, found out that the fire was lit intentionally.

Teresita’s body was found in her 15th-floor apartment, under a burning mattress, naked and stabbed in the chest with a butcher knife.

After interviewing those who were close to Teresita, the police were left stumped and without a single lead. According to Vernieda Vergara, a writer for The Lineup, one of the only clues that the police had was a note in Teresita’s Diary stating “Get tickets for A.S.”(TLU) After six months of investigation, the police still had not made many advancements…until a surgeon named Dr. Jose Chua and his wife came forward with information that shocked everyone. 

Dr. Chua was married to a woman named Remy, who worked with Teresita as a respiratory therapist at Edgewater Hospital. Remy Chua and her husband claimed that she began dreaming of Teresita. In her dreams, “…Teresita would beg her to go to the police and tell them what happened”(TLU). They believed that this was Teresita’s attempt to help solve her own murder. 

Remy also began speaking in her sleep to her husband who believed that Teresita was the one truly speaking. It was said that Teresita would even speak through Remy in her native language, Tagalog, which she was familiar with but did not speak often. It should be noted that Remy was also of Filipino descent. 

In her sleep one night, Remy spoke that the man who killed Teresita Basa was named Allan Showery, and apparently, on the day of her death, he had come to her apartment to repair her television. Showery was a man who also worked at Edgewater Hospital with Teresita and Remy. When she awoke, Remy said that she could not recall any of what she said in her sleep.

Dr. Chua was reluctant to bring this information to the police because there was no proof or evidence to corroborate what he had learned. According to an Australian News site, MamaM!a, Teresita again spoke to Remy’s husband in her sleep saying that Showery had stolen her jewelry and given it to his girlfriend. Teresita continued to urge him to go to the police.

When Remy and her husband finally went to the police with their information, they were understandably skeptical of the situation. Although one thing seemed to strike them: the name Allan Showery. The original clue that the police were left with was Teresita’s diary entry stating she had to “Get tickets for A.S.” A.S being the initials of Allan Showery. Whether or not that was a coincidence was not yet certain. Considering that this was the only potential lead the police had to go off of, they brought Showery in for questioning. 

Showery admitted to going to Teresita’s apartment but claimed he did not stay as he did not have the right tools to complete the television repair. The police were not convinced and proceeded to speak to his girlfriend, Yanka Kalmuk. She said she had recently received jewelry from Showery as a late Christmas present, which later was confirmed to have belonged to Teresita.

Showery denied even being involved in Teresita’s murder, but when he was brought back to the police station, he signed an official confession. He was soon charged with the murder, but at his trial, he pleaded not guilty. Showery’s lawyer, William Swano, argued that Showery’s arrest was built solely on the story of Remy and Dr. Jose Chua. The initial case ended in a hung jury, meaning that the jury had not come to a clear verdict, even after their long deliberation. The Judge decided that Showery would be held in prison until his new trial began. 

A month after the initial trial ended, he changed his mind and pleaded guilty. Ultimately, Showery was sentenced to 14 years in prison for murder, robbery, and arson. 

The story of Teresita Basa’s murder spread throughout the United States, being featured on television shows and in books, including one titled Voice From The Grave, which was written by the Chuas.

Teresita Basa’s case remains a mystery to this day. Was the supernatural involved? Did Teresita truly solve her own murder? The many unanswered questions surrounding Teresita’s death will forever remain an unfortunate mystery.