Today, February 21, 2015, is the 38th Anniversary of the murder of Teresita Basa. Teresita was a 47 year old respiratory therapist who worked at the now defunct Edgewater Hospital. On the evening of that day in 1977 the shrill sirens of Chicago fire engines pierced through the cold winter air in the neighborhood of Teresita’s apartment building at 2740 N. Pine Grove Avenue.
Fire fighters weren’t really prepared for what they saw inside of apartment 15B when they arrived. After putting out the fire they discovered the burned, unclothed body of Teresita with a kitchen knife sticking out of her chest and covered by her mattress.
It quickly turned into a murder investigation and after a couple of months and a few leads the case went cold.
Everything changed when Detective Joe Stachula of Area 6 homicide found a note on his desk to contact the Evanston Police Department about the Teresita Basa Case. He was told by the Evanston Police to contact a Dr. Jose Chua in Skokie.
I can only imagine what Det. Stachula and his partner Det. Lee Epplen were thinking when Dr. Chua told them that his wife, Remebios “Remy” Chua might be “possessed” by the spirit of the murdered girl. Dr. Chua stated that his wife would go into a trance-like almost comatose type state and during these episodes claimed to be the spirit of Teresita Basa! Initially Stachula and Epplen were probably wondering why they were wasting their time. Suddenly, however, Dr. Chua stated that he didn’t believe it either until he demanded proof from the voice. He said that the voice said that it needed help in solving the murder and that the murderer’s name was Allan Showery. It also stated that Showery went to the apartment of Teresita in order to fix a television set and that Showery had stolen jewelry from Teresita’s apartment and that the jewelry was purchased in France as a gift from Teresita’s father to her mother. It also stated that Showery gave the stolen jewelry to his girlfriend.
All of this could have been a guess until the voice gave the names of specific individuals who could identify the jewelry and also the telephone numbers of the individuals! The individuals were Ron Somera, Ken Basa, Richard Pessotti and Ray Kings.
Unbelievably, there was an orderly named Allan Showery who worked at Edgewater Hospital with Teresita. The detectives thought it was worth a shot and initially went to Showery’s apartment at 630 W. Schubert where he lived with his girlfriend, Yanka Kamluk. They asked Showery to voluntarily accompany them to the police department because they thought he could help in the investigation of the murder of Teresit Basa. Showery agreed and Kamluk stayed at the apartment.
While at the police station Epplen and Stachula caught Showery in a number of lies and he actually stated that he went to Teresita’s apartment the night of the murder to fix her television but that she had called him to cancel so he went home to fix an electrical problem.
The detectives decided to go back to the apartment and speak to Showery’s girlfriend. She stated that Showery knew nothing about any electrical problem and said that Showery doesn’t know anything about fixing electrical problems. They asked her if Showery had given her any jewelry lately and she stated that the pendant that she was wearing and the ring she was wearing were given to her as a late Christmas gift. One of the detectives called the individuals on the list that was given them by the “voice” of Teresita and asked them to come to the police station.
Kamluk and Teresita’s relatives showed up at the police station around the same time and the family positively identified the jewelry as having been Teresita’s!
Under the pressure of these new developments Showery caved and gave a full confession.
The trial started on January 21, 1979 and while the defense tried to block the psychic testimony the judge allowed it. The trial ended in four weeks in a mistrial because the jury was hopelessly deadlocked. Amazingly, Showery plead guilty while awaiting a new trial. He was sentenced to fourteen years for the murder and four years each for aggravated arson and robbery. He was released in 1983 after only serving less than five years.
Initially the case sounds fascinating except for the fact that Remy Chua who was experiencing the trances was also a respiratory therapist at Edgewater Hospital with Teresita Basa. There were reports of Remy feeling frightened by Showery while working with him and she also admitted to visiting Teresita’s apartment before for a party.
If Remy had no prior knowledge of Teresita it would have been extraordinary however it turns out that Remy Chua was also a respiratory therapist with Teresita Basa at Edgewater Hospital and was already familiar with both Teresita and Allan Showery. There had been employee reports that Remy was frightened of Showery prior to the murder and other reports where Showery had complained about the quality of Remy’s work.
It seems to me is that Remy somehow became aware of all of the information through other means such as mutual friends, co-workers, family members, etc. and was so frightened of Showery that she had to make up (whether consciously or unconsciously) the trances so that Showery could only blame the spirit of Teresita and not her or her family. She did have a number of months after the murder to acquire the knowledge.
Either way it makes for a very interesting case and story.
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