One of those involved individuals of the Orchard Towers murder case has apparently become internet celebrity, as the female accused by name Natalie Siow Yu Zhen has garnered a massive fan base online ever since the news outlets revealed the identities of those alleged culprits.
Despite the horrific nature of the crime, across the local online platforms such as Hardwarezone and Legit Singapore, people have been expressing their support for Zhen and some of them also calling for her release.
As reported one Hardwarezone forum user wrote that "Release Natalie... freedom and justice for Natalie!!! She is innocent, pure and chio." It should be noted that the word "Chio" is usually used to address a woman who is pretty and attractive, with some sexual connotation added to it.
There was another Hardwarezone user, who stated that "+1 support Natalie Siow... please give her probation only."
Zhen was among those six men and one woman who were arrested for their involvement in the Orchard Tower case and were charged with the murder of the 31-year-old male victim on Thursday, July 4.
The 22-year-old Zhen and other alleged criminals, Joel Tan Yun Sheng, 26, Tan Sen Yang, 27, Chan Jia Xing, 26, Loo Boon Chong, 25, Ang Da Yuan, 26, Tan Hong Seng, 22 were charged with common intention to murder the man, Satheesh Noel Gobidass.
A CCTV footage showed that the offenders were intercepting the deceased at the entrance, near the escalator, before attacking Gobidass. Later, Shin Min Daily News reported that the fight started over a woman and one of the alleged culprits took out a knife and slit the victim's throat. The man was pronounced dead after he was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
However, the sympathizers of Zhen, opened threads on Hardwarezone forum such as the "[Official] Natalie Siow Yu Zhen Fan Club," while one of her fans using the CCTV footage of the crime scene, as well as made a GIF of Zhen escaping the scene, captioned it "red hot chilli pepper."
Previously experts stated that the reach of social media and popularity of internet platforms make it easier for even criminals to develop a fan base.
It should be noted that as per court's order Zhen and other suspects are asked to return to court on July 11. All of the involved individuals are currently remanded at the Central Police Division for investigation without bail.