[The television screen slowly fades in, displaying a tall, middle aged, grey haired man standing in a dimly lit studio.]
Dennis: “Hello. My name is Dennis Farina, and welcome to another chilling episode of ‘Women Who Kill.’”
|Photo made using Canva|
Dennis: “This week we will explore the gruesome story of the woman known as the Jealous Wife, who intended to murder her sister-wife’s child, but instead made a grave error. On May 18, 1995, Kenan Sudi prepared to embark on his biannual sixth month journey to trade. He would leave behind his two wives, Naki and Iman, and their young sons.”
[Naki appears on the screen. The clip is obviously from a pre-recorded interview. She is wearing a blue, longed sleeve shirt and a yellow, silk covering over her hair. She is seated in front of a dark cloth background. Her dark, almond shaped eyes look sadly but matter-of-factly into the camera as she speaks.]
Naki: “I remember like it was yesterday. Iman and I always dreaded Kenan’s trips out to the bush to trade, but they were necessary, especially after the birth of our sons. My son, Zere, had just turned eight, and Iman’s son, Edet, was ten. I remember them crying, begging their father to stay. Kenan left us a month’s worth of food, but when we ran out, Iman and I had to take turns going out for two or three days to fish; we couldn’t take the kids, it was too harsh for them. Iman went first, so I stayed behind to care for Zere and Edet.”
[Dennis reappears on the screen, still in the studio]
Dennis: “Iman returned after three days with plenty of fish, so it wasn’t until late July when Naki had to take her turn fishing at the river. She had done this a few times before with no complications, and she did not expect this time to be any different”
[The clip from Naki’s interview resumes.]
Naki: “I left for my trip early on a Sunday morning. I kissed both boys goodbye, and waved to Iman. I had gone through this ritual several times in the past, but I still hated to leave my son. I missed him every second I was gone.
Zere was an exceptionally bright boy, whereas Edet was a little slower - we thought it may have been due to a developmental issue. Of course we never spoke of it. We loved both boys, or… at least - *quiet cough* at least I did. Sometimes I felt like it bothered Iman - that my son was smarter than hers - but she never said anything about it, so I thought nothing of it.”
[The camera is back on Dennis in the studio.]
Dennis: “Naki had no idea of Iman’s intentions… but the day after Naki left, Iman put her plan into action. She sharpened a razor blade, and crept into the boys’ shared room. She approached the place where Zere usually slept, and began violently slicing the boy all over his body. The autopsy report indicates the boy was cut over 60 times; the deep gash in his neck proved to be fatal. As she attacked the boy she thought was Zere, the other boy ran out of the house and took refuge at a neighbor’s house, who called the police.”
[A police officer appears on screen, in a similar looking room that Naki was shown in. He is a middle aged man with a thick brown mustache; only half of his mouth seems to move when he speaks.]
Officer Dabir: “It had been a slow day at the station, so when we got the neighbor’s call – about a young boy possibly being murdered – we weren’t prepared for what we were about to encounter. Eight other officers and I kicked down the door, guns and flashlights extended. We heard a noise in the back bedroom, and went inside. We found a woman, who turned out to be Iman, crouching over a small body; her clothes and the carpet were soaked in blood. It was awful… the boy hardly looked like a human. It was a sight that’ll be burned into my memory forever.”
|The Crime Scene. Courtesy of Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons|
[Dennis reappears on the screen.]
Dennis: “Iman intended to kill Naki’s boy, but mistook her own son for Zere."
[Naki reappears. She is in the same setting, but is now sobbing.]
Naki: “Wh-when I came back… I- I just couldn’t believe it. I am so fortunate that Zere is still with me, but I mourn every day for Iman and the loss of Edet… Jealousy turns people into monsters.”
[The studio reappears.]
Dennis: “Iman was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and after confessing, she was sentenced to death. She was executed on April 13th, 1998, but the horror of her crime will never be forgotten. We reached out to Kenan, who has since divorced Naki and moved to South Africa. He refused to be interviewed or to comment on the case.
That’s all for this week’s episode of Women Who Kill. Goodbye and sleep tight.”
[A soft, eerie song plays as white credits roll over a black screen.]
Author's Note: This story was inspired by The Jealous Wife from Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort by Richard Edward Dennett, 1898. I kept my version fairly true to the original, which tells the story of a wife who is extremely jealous of her "sister-wife's" son, because he is so much brighter than her own son. While the other wife is out fishing, she attempts to kill the boy with a razor blade during the night. It is dark in the room, so she accidentally ends up killing her own son. The evil woman is killed at the end of the story, when the husband finally believes that she is the one who killed the boy. I wanted to keep the same grisly story, but give it a "true crimes" essence, instead it feeling more like a fable. I also wanted to bring it a little more into the future, but not too recent to where the characters would have cell phones or anything like that. I also wanted to ensure that I illustrated an immoral quality, which is jealously, in case I want to include this story in my portfolio.