The Mysterious Case Of Teresita Basa, The Woman Who Came Back From The Grave To Solve Her Own Murder

Just when it looked like her case would never be solved, Teresita spoke from the grave.

ghostly woman pointing BR Photo Addicted/ Shutterstock

Murder mystery movies do especially well at the box office and many people find true crime stories and biographies about serial killers particularly fascinating.

But stories about women going about their everyday lives, being targeted for abuse and murder by men who simply can’t stand rejection, give us enough to be worried about without entertaining ourselves with violence on TV.

When a life is taken, if the grieving family is lucky, a suspect emerges right away. Unfortunately, there are times when murders remain unsolved, prompting family members to take matters into their own hands, or new suspects to emerge after a person has been falsely convicted.


A Chicago woman named Teresita Basa was murdered in February of 1977 and is believed to have used her voice from the grave to solve her own killing.

RELATED: Why All Crime (Even Murder) Is Legal In One 50-Mile Area Of The U.S.

Who was Teresita Basa?

As with most women who become a victim of violent crime, Teresita was living a normal existence that gave no indication she was in danger.


An immigrant from the Philippines, Teresita Basa had migrated to the United States a decade before her murder and worked as a respiratory therapist at the Edgewater Hospital.

On February 21, 1977, Basa was found in her 15th floor apartment, naked with a butcher knife in her chest. She was set on fire and left underneath a burning mattress.

The fire department discovered her body after responding to a call around 8:40 that evening about a fire at 2740 N. Pine Grove Avenue in Lincoln Park, and putting the blaze out.

RELATED: Brittany Murphy's Brother Reveals Why He's Thinks She Was 'Taken Out' & Raises Questions About Her Estate


Police proceeded to interview family and friends about the murder but uncovered no one with a motive to murder the educated, music-loving woman.

The only clues they found were a diary entry that read, “Get tickets for A.S.,” a phone call from a friend at 7:10 p.m. that evening regarding the sale of theater tickets, and another call that came in around 7:30 p.m. and lasted for about 20 minutes, ending when an unknown guest arrived.

After investigating for six months, the case seemed to go cold, and it appeared it would never be solved. The case of Teresita Basa was eventually featured on Unsolved Mysteries after it had already been solved.

There, it was revealed that although there seemed to be evidence that she was sexually assaulted, her autopsy revealed that was not the case. That left detectives scratching their heads since there was no apparent motive for the crime.


How did Teresita Basa solve her own murder?

In August 1977, six months after Basa's murder, Dr. Jose Chua, whose wife Remy Chua, also did work as a respiratory therapist at the Edgewater Hospital, stepped forward to say that Basa had "possessed" his wife on three separate occasions.

He claimed that Remy had seemingly been in a trance when her body was inhabited and spoke in Tagalog, native to the Philippines. According to him, she said, “Doctor, I would like to ask for your help. The man who murdered me is still at large.”

According to Jose, when he asked who he was speaking to, the "spirit" that had taken control of his wife’s body replied, “I am Teresita Basa.”

She went on to assure him that there was no reason for him to be scared and that she simply wanted help catching the man who killed her.


The detectives investigating the case, Joseph Stachula and Lee Epplen, actually believed the couple, citing their education and station in life.

RELATED: What New DNA Testing Could Reveal About The Murder Of JonBenét Ramsey 26 Years Later

Who killed Teresa Basa?

Chua told detectives that while Basa had possessed Remy, she said that the man who took her life was Allan Showery, another respiratory therapist at the hospital that Basa and Chua worked for.

Basa had been helping Showery out financially by paying him to do odd jobs for her. They remembered the note in her diary with the initials "A.S." and took the claims of Chua seriously.

Showery had supposedly shown up at Basa’s apartment under the guise of fixing a broken television for her, and instead stabbed her and robbed her of her jewelry before lighting her on fire and fleeing the scene. There had been no evidence of forced entry, leading police to suspect Basa knew her killer.


Investigators went to Showery’s apartment where he lived with his pregnant girlfriend, Yanka Kalmuck. When they searched the place, they found a jade pendant and pearl ring confirmed by family and friends to belong to Basa. Showery had gifted it to Kalmuck as a late Christmas present.

Showery first denied emphatically that he had murdered Basa, but ended up confessing at the police station, admitting to the details Chua had relayed.

Though he tried to retract his written confession later, Showery pleaded guilty to Basa’s murder a month before his second trial was set to start and was sentenced to 14 years in prison for murder, robbery, and arson.

RELATED: The Unsolved Mystery Of The 50,000 Persian Soldiers Who Vanished In The Egyptian Desert 1,500 Years Ago


Showery's trial was labeled "the Voice from the Grave" and centered around the possession of Remy Chua.

Over four days, the jury of eight men and four women heard testimony from 13 witnesses, including the Chuas who, surprisingly, testified for the defense.

Though Showery's attorneys tried to cast doubt on the mysterious voice, prosecutors focused on the evidence uncovered due to the supposed voice of Basa coming through Chua.

But the confession obtained by police was called into question when the defendant took the stand.

Showery claimed that he only confessed to the crime after police gave him explicit details about it and threatened to arrest him and his pregnant girlfriend for murder if he did not admit to killing Basa. He said that on the night of the murder, he was at dinner with his partner and played darts afterward.


The trial ended in a mistrial because the jury was deadlocked, unable to decide what to believe. A second trial was scheduled, but Showery pled guilty before it started; his lawyers advised him not to take the risk that another jury would find him guilty.

After being sentenced to 14 years, he was paroled in July 1983.

As hard as it is to believe that Basa implicated Showery from the grave, there are some key details that cast even more doubt on Remy Chua's account.

It turned out that Remy Chua and Showery did, in fact, know each other and worked in the same department at the hospital. Chua thought Showery had previously made complaints about her work quality.

It even came out that Chua thought the convicted man had made a prank call to her just one day before she first claimed to be possessed. Ironically, or not so ironically, her psychic powers kicked in just hours after she found out she had been fired from Edgewater Hospital.


Not only do people question the timing coincidentally following a series of run-ins between Showery and Chua, but they wonder why Showery confessed when he had a chance of walking free. That question may never be answered.

If still alive, Showery would be in his early 70s, but it is unclear where he is now.

RELATED: Man Shares Bizarre Story Of Touring A House While The Owner Was 'Tied Up In A Carpet... In The Basement'

NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, who shares stories of unsolved mysteries, murders, and occurrences, to build readers’ awareness about what is happening in the world around them.