Murder Mystery: Jessica, Mirna and Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Early this year a murder mystery broke out in Indonesian capital, Jakarta. A 28-years-old woman, Wayan Mirna Salihin, passed away after drinking Vietnamese Iced Coffee her friend, Jessica Kumala Wongso, ordered for her.This case got a very wide and intense attention from the Indonesian public, since:

  1. it happened in an elite and hyped shopping mall,
  2. the infamous cyanide is a very rare and exclusive poison,
  3. Indonesian young generation are so familiar with Detective Conan manga where they learned about cyanide and murder mystery cases,
  4. international press like the British and esp. Australian covered a bit about this story too.

It was supposed to be a little rendevouz for the group of four Indonesian young women at Olivier Café, which is located in Grand Indonesia Mall. Jessica, Mirna, Hanie and Vera were students at Billy Blue College in Melbourne, Australia. They made friends as fellow Indonesian students aboard.

Mirna, Hanie and Vera went back to Indonesia after college while Jessica chose to stay in Australia. Just before Christmas 2015, Jessica visited Indonesia and got in touch with her old friends via a messaging app called Whatsapp. Mirna then created a Whatsapp chat group for the four to communicate, which resulted to the little gathering at Olivier Cafe on January 6, 2016.

On July, 13 the second hearing of this case was held with Jessica Wongso as the accused. I’m following this case, because I have a soft spot for crime mysteries and would wanna be a bad ass female detective in boots and trench coat — if I wasn’t an economist.

image source cbsstalker.wikia.

Here is the chronology that I gathered from the news & today’s hearing:

  • On the given day, Jessica arrived earlier around 3:30 PM at the appointed café while they initially planned to meet earliest at 4:30 PM.
  • Her friends usually had to stay longer at work so they couldn’t tell for sure when exactly they’ll arrive. Vera inform the group, she could come around 6:30 PM due to her work.
  • Mirna asked Jessica via private chat about her whereabout.
  • Jessica answered she was still on the way.
  • Hanie learned from Mirna that Jessica said she was still on the way. (At 13th July hearing we found out that Jessica was already at Olivier’s bar area at that time.)
  • Jessica went to the lounge area of the café and looked for a table.
  • As the CCTV recorded, she studied the area, looked up and even eyed the CCTVs.
  • She chose table 54 and booked it.
  • Just a second later, she went to the shopping mall and bought fancy soaps as gifts for her three friends at Bath & Body Works. They were packed in three medium-sized paper bags.
  • After that little shopping tour, Jessica went back to Olivier around 4 PM.
  • She ordered two happy hour cocktails & one Vietnamnese Iced Coffee, which she paid in cash straight at the bar.
  • The iced coffee is intendedly ordered for Mirna. (At around 1 PM Jessica sent Olivier’s menu to the group chat told them that she want to pay for the drinks. Mirna was the only one who responded, mentioning she likes Olivier’s Vietnamnese Iced Coffee.)
  • The drinks were served when Jessica was still alone in her booth waiting for her friends.
  • A waitress prepared the Vietnamese drip and left.
  • Olivier’s CCTV record shows the three little goodie bags sitting on the table blocking the iced coffee’s glass.
    Jessica did the reconstruction as the accused murderer. Image: Liputan 6
  • No one can’t tell what’s happening to the iced coffee behind the paper bags, but 10 minutes later Jessica cleared them off the table eventually.
  • Jessica finished off the two cocktails alone despite her testimony to the investigator, that she ordered two cocktails for Hanny and her self.
  • At 5:18 PM Mirna Salihin and Hanie Juwita Boon arrived together at Olivier.
  • They quickly greeted Jessica with cheek kisses.
  • Mirna wanted to sit in the middle of the booth and initially went to the right side to enter, but Jessica stood there with her stuff blocking her
  • Mirna went into the booth from the left side followed by Hanny.
  • Being thirsty that she said earlier, she drank the iced coffee.
  • She grasped and shockingly said, “Oh my God, it’s so awful!”
  • “Jess, what did you order?”, asked Mirna to Jessica, while handing out the glass.
  • Jessica didn’t touch the glass and just smelled it from a distance.
  • Hanie carefully tasted a tiny bit of the iced coffee and was really shocked of the funny and spicy burning taste.
  • She pushed away the mustard-colored Vietnamnese iced coffee and suggest Mirna to order something simpler to wash off the awful taste.
  • Hanie and Mirna looked up the menu while Jessica sitting silently and showed no reaction on the whole situation.
  • Mirna was seen to be not comfortable of the weird taste of the pre-ordered ice coffee.
  • She started to wave her hands in front of her mouth.
  • Suddenly she fell back to the sofa with her mouth open and full of foamed.
  • Hanie panicked and asked Jessica to get some water.
  • Jessica ordered water at the bar/cashier and came back with no water.
  • Then the waitresses started to come seeing something must be wrong at table 54.
  • Two out of three waitresses tried a single drop of the coffee and confirmed the funny taste and the burning sensation they got on their tounge.
  • Olivier’s manager came, asked about Mirna’s health condition and history.
  • Jessica stood quietly as she looked up around again.
  • She took a few steps to the right, holding her hand bag and the gift bags closedly.
  • Hanie tried to call Arif, Mirna’s husband.
  • A woman joined in the crowd, offered to help Mirna back to consious, while saying prayers the whole time.
  • Hanie kept trying to reach Mirna’s husband and father.
  • The crowd held Mirna together to be brought to a small clinic inside the mall.
  • The clinic doctor ordered them to take Mirna to the nearest hospital, Abdi Waluyo.
  • Arif arrived and drove his fainted wive and her two friends to the hospital.
  • Jessica was at the front seat while Hanie held Mirna on the mid row.
  • Around 5-10 minutes later, the Abdi Waluyo’s ER doctor examined Mirna.
  • Darmawan Salihin, Mirna’s father, arrived at the hospital.
  • Hanie is examined by a nurse since she told the doctor that she had tasted a little bit of the weird coffee.
  • Mr. Salihin checked on Hanie and asked about the chronology.
  • After Mr. Salihin talked to Hanie, he asked Jessica about what she drank at the café.
  • Jessica’s answer to that was, “Mineral water.”
  • While Hanie was examined beside her, Jessica suddenly panicked and said, “Nurse, asthma… Nurse… Asthma…”
  • By this time, Mirna’s twin, Sandy was there in the ER. She asked Hanie whether Jessica has asthma.
  • Hanie had no idea whether Jessica has asthma.
  • The two and a nurse asked whether Jessica has her inhaler with her.
  • She answered it’s at home.
  • Jessica was still hysteric and looking at Mirna laying in the bed in front of her, while she repeteadly said, “What happened to Mirna? What’s wrong with her? I’m so sorry. I’m sorry…”
  • The doctor had not announced anything yet at this point.
  • Sandy went to the doctor and came back to Jessica and Hanie. She told them both that Mirna has gone.
  • Hanie panicked and cried, Jessica tried to calm her down and said, “It’s ok, it’s not our fault.”
  • Jessica didn’t seem to get asthma attack anymore and was up and about on her feet.
  • She came to Mr. Salihin, smilingly said, “Mirna looks beautiful.”
  • Mr. Salihin got the copy of the Olivier’s bill on his hand. It says one Vietnamnese Iced Coffee and two Happy Hour Cocktails.
  • The next day, family and friends were busy preparing for Mirna’s funeral.
  • Hanie came to the funeral house to pay her respect and condolences.
  • Mirna twin sister, — Made Sandy Salihin — texted Jessica, “You don’t come? She was your friend and you are the one who brought her that coffee.”
  • Jessica then came to the funeral house for around 20 minutes.
  • At this point, she had already left the “Billy Blue” group chat, deleted Mirna’s contact and chat history from her phone.

I list more details on the second post as the hearing will be continued next week.

Image source: Liputan 6.

Last but not least, I want to offer my condolences to Mirna’s husband & family. I wish them strength and hope. May the truth be revealed and justice be served.


3 thoughts on “Murder Mystery: Jessica, Mirna and Vietnamese Iced Coffee

  1. Oh wow this is a very comprehensive post on the case! Thanks! TBH I dont actually follow this news but now that you’ve laid out the facts I became more interested. It’s a sad case, I watched a clip of the hearings where they showed her husband and twin sister 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Christa, thanks for your comment! I was frustated reading Indonesian online news portals, they hack the story into many short articles with almost no content but exagerating titles. So while I was trying to figure out the whole chronology, I thought to my self why don’t I write it up and now I made you curious 😀

      Yes, it’s a sad case. Their hearts must be scattered into pieces.

      I hope they have or will find a BIG FAT evidence so that the killer can’t get away with it.

      PS: I read someone is going to have an engangement party.. Congrats, girl! I like your chosen color 🙂

      – E.


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