Aarushi Talwar was almost 14 when she was murdered in her own bedroom in the early hours of May 15th, 2008. The night before, her parents Rajesh and Napur had given her a camera as an early birthday present. She took a few pictures before they said goodnight, around 10:10 pm.
When it happened, this was called by some US reporters “India’s JonBenet Ramsey case”. You’ll see why in a second.
The Talwars were dentists, from the upper middle class living in Noida, India. Around 6 am of that May 15th, they found the nepali cook of the family, Hemraj Banjade (45), missing. When they tried calling him, the phone was abruptly switched off.
According to their testimony, they then checked their daughter’s room and found a massacre. Aarushi was lying on her bed with a school bag covering her face. There was blood everywhere, and when they removed the bag, they saw she had been hit with something on her forehead, and her throat was cut.
When the police arrived almost an hour later, their obvious suspect was Hemraj. The crime scene was poorly handled, with people coming and going from the apartment, including reporters. Evidence was destroyed, things went missing, including Aarushi’s cell phone. The elders of the family pushed for cremation and after the coroner was done with her body, the girl was cremated around 5 pm on that very same day.
The next morning, May 16th, while Hemraj was still considered a suspect and family and friends kept arriving to the Talwars’ home to offer their condolences, a police officer thought of checking the roof terrace, that had been locked so far. There he found Hemraj, murdered in a similar manner to Aarushi. Because of the heat, his body was already badly decomposed.
Now there were two murder victims and according to the autopsy reports, they had been killed around the same time, between 1 and 2 am.
The CBI (India’s equivalent to the FBI) developed a theory that pointed to Rajesh and Napur Talwar as the killers. They believed that Aarushi and Hemraj had been discovered by the parents having a secret affair, and they had been murdered in an honor killing. A police officer went in front of journalists with their theory, and he talked about the “poor character” of both Rajesh and Aarushi. The girls’ e-mails and personal messages were released to the public in an attempt to support the theory her parents had killed her over her “bad behavior”.
The case eventually changed investigating teams, but the second one still kept Rajesh as their main suspect. The couple was tried in 2013, found guilty and sentenced to life inprisonment. But the whole case is strange and the trial itself was anything but fair: witnesses confirmed on the stand they had been coached by the prosecution, there’s evidence the judge started writing the sentence even before the defense presented their closing arguments and “experts” wouldn’t agree on basic details of the crime scene, like where Hemraj was killed or whether Aarushi showed signs of sexual activity before her death. The prosecution even made an attempt to block the defense from calling any witnesses.
This case is so full of weird little details that it would require a lot more space to describe. I just did a very brief summary on it, but I recommend anyone who is interested in strange murder cases to look more into this one. The Wikipedia page is fairly detailed and there’s a very interesting book that was published this year that explains why the indian police really messed up this one.
I like how in the day in the life videos from 2012 and 2013 they tried to hang out with other people to show they had friends, but in 2014 they didn’t even mention anyone else because they don’t care anymore
I realized the other day that I might not ever get the chance to meet you and say thank you in person, so I thought I would write you a letter on here. I hope that’s okay.
I fell in love with your music the first time I heard it back in 2006. I haven’t missed a song since.
High school was never easy for me. I got good grades and all, but I struggled a lot emotionally. When I was ten, I was sexually abused. It lasted for about 8 months before I finally had the courage to speak up and get out of the situation. After that, I was kind of left to fend for myself. My parents never talked with me or got me help. I had to learn to cope on my own. That was when I turned to music. Keeping all of my feelings inside though, had its repercussions. When I finally broke down and got myself into therapy, I was pretty bad. 6 months after starting therapy, at age 20 years old and on June 6, 2013, I tried to take my own life. It was a dark time for me. They got me to a psychiatrist and when they diagnosed me with severe depression, they told me I had more than likely had it for more than 5 years and they had no idea how I had not broken in half before. While all that was going on, I had 5 surgeries and a terrible boyfriend who asked whether my getting over my past was just a temporary thing and when I would be normal again. Since that time, I’ve had three more surgeries, but got rid of the jerk. Now I’m feelin’ 22.
All of that darkness, but I’m still here to talk about it. That was mainly because of you. Nights are always the hardest for me. I would play your music and things wouldn’t seem so terrible. After I tried to take my own life, I had a lot of rebuilding to do. A lot of people I had been friends with weren’t sure how to be around me. I felt more alone than ever. Then I went to the Red tour. That was the happiest I had been in years. I fell in love with you and your music even more. I started playing my guitar more and write more songs.
I’m still rebuilding and taking it one day at a time. I will actually be seeing you in Pittsburgh on June 6, 2015. Exactly 2 years after that awful day. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate being alive and coming so far. You have been there for me in music and lyrics and interviews and caring about your fans more than anyone else has ever been there for me. So thank you.
Thank you for being there for me when no one else was.
Thank you for caring about your fans.
Thank you for making me believe that there was someone out there that cared about me when I felt alone.
Thank you for giving me something to believe in.
Thank you for being such a wonderful person.
Thank you for allowing me to think I had a friend out there in the world.
Thank you for giving me hope.
Thank you for giving me reasons to keep breathing and living each day.
This is my progress. It took about 6/7 months to lose that weight. The first photo it was taken in 2011 and I kept that weight till June of 2013 when I had the chance to change. The second photo was taken in December of 2013. All my life I tried to do crazy diets and always failed. Last year I entered a entertainment company as an artist and had classes of dancing, singing and acting, everyday. I did a lot of exercises, swim, run, walk, dancing, everyday. But jumping rope it was and still being my little secret. With my weight loss I discover myself and my willpower. I discovered that I can do no matter what people say or what I say to myself. I can do this. I can change myself. And everyone can do this. You just need to find your willpower and your straight. Everyone’s capable. Don’t ever give up. Things are hard but keep focused. Find what you like and move and keep going. Keep dreaming. Don’t you ever stop believing and dreaming.
I think 2013 was one of the best and worst years of my life. I tried to end my life in 2013 and was withering away… but I became best friends with two of the most amazing guys and I miss having them in my life. I started a new friendship with a great girl who was there for me through thick and thin. I also grew incredibly close to my cousin and finally knew what it felt like to have a stable female figure in my life. Most importantly, in 2013 I fell in love with my boyfriend and our relationship began developing and showing me that I was still capable of loving someone else even though I couldn’t love myself. Also, I can’t forget that 2013 is when I discovered my own spirituality, went camping with friends for the first time,began dabbling with magical psychedelics that altered my point of view, and went to my first transformational festival. It was one of the most exciting and emotional times of my life and I miss it sometimes.