Suspect in HK double murder 'clever, socially awkward'
IT ALMOST seems like a case from the American TV series Criminal Minds.
One person describes the suspect as "clever but socially awkward". Another says "he kept pretty much to himself".
Police, meanwhile, are scouring his mobile phone, which allegedly contains some photos and videos of his alleged victims after the grisly killings, including close-ups of their wounds.
But this is real life, not reel life. And the suspect is British banker Rurik George Caton Jutting, who was charged in a Hong Kong court yesterday with the murder of two women whose bodies were found in his upmarket apartment, one of them decomposing in a suitcase.
The 29-year-old securities trader - who until recently worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch - did not seek bail. He was taken to jail to await his next hearing on Nov 10.
Jutting was a pupil at the exclusive English boarding school Winchester College, one of Britain's most famous and oldest private schools, before studying history and law at Cambridge University.
According to people who were at Cambridge at the time, Jutting attended Peterhouse, the oldest college, and was president of the Cambridge University History Society.
Intensely athletic, he was also a cross-country runner and member of the prestigious rowing club.
Former classmates said he excelled academically.
"He seemed like a normal guy, although he kept pretty much to himself," said one former Cambridge acquaintance.
"The thing that stood out about him was that he was, academically, extremely talented," she added, describing him as "very, very ambitious".
One former Winchester pupil said: "He was a tough guy. He had a rower mentality of pushing himself. A classic banker, I guess."
Another Winchester classmate described him as "clever, but socially awkward".
Court documents named one of his alleged victims as Sumarti Ningsih, listing the other as an unknown female.
"There's a possibility that both victims are Indonesian," Indonesia's Consul-General in Hong Kong, Chalief Akbar, told AFP. "We are still waiting for confirmation from the police."
A spokesman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch confirmed that it "had an employee by that name but he recently left the firm".
Bloomberg News reported that an automated e-mail reply from Jutting's work account said that the banker was out of the office "indefinitely" and urged the sender to contact someone who was not "an insane psychopath".
The report added that the automated reply also said: "For escalation, please contact God, though suspect the Devil will have custody. (Last line only really worked if I had followed through.)"
Bloomberg News said it wasn't able to determine if the automated reply from Jutting's account had been written by him, nor whether Bank of America's Jutting and the reported suspect in the case is the same person.
According to Jutting's profile on LinkedIn, he began his career at Barclays in 2008 after graduating from Cambridge. He joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch's London office in July 2010.
A person familiar with the company said he moved to the firm's Hong Kong office in July last year.
REUTERS, AFP, BLOOMBERG, NYT