Twenty years ago, Anu Singh held two dinner parties to say goodbye to her friends. She divulged that she and boyfriend Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Cinque had a suicide pact – except it turned out Joe knew nothing about it.
The twisted crime became notorious for its chilling cruelty, and last night, Anu spoke to Sunday Night in an attempt to explain herself.
“One of the biggest things was, I was suffering from a very, very severe mental illness at the time. If I could have listened to people and sought the right sort of mental help, this wouldn’t have happened,” she said.
On October 26, 1997, the young lawyer spiked her boyfriend’s coffee with Rohypnol before injecting him with a lethal dose of heroin. She called an ambulance 36 hours later and gave the ambulance the wrong address to delay their arrival.
On the program, she gave a chilling description of the moment she injected Joe with a fatal dose of heroin.
“It was me straddling his body and the paramedics saying he’s gone and me not wanting to believe it at all.”
Forensic psychiatrist Professor Paul Mullens, who assessed Singh for the court, supported her claims of her severe mental illness but made sure to clarify she knew the difference between right and wrong.
“This was a grossly disordered woman with a mental illness. She was mad. Not totally mad, she knew what she was doing up to a point. She knew it was wrong up to a point, she could have controlled herself up to a point, but she wasn’t in a normal state of mind,” said Mullens.
In the lead up to Joe's death, Anu was battling a severe eating disorder and blamed Joe for her addiction to the weight-loss drug Ipecac.
"She began telling people, friends, that she believed Mr Cinque had given her something which had poinsoned her and this is why she was now dying of this strange degenerative disorder, of which she thought she had,” Mr Mullens explained.
“She was depressed and disordered”
Detective Sgt Greg Ranse, who worked on the case, revealed that Anu had asked around for where to buy a gun and, when that proved too difficult, procured heroin instead.
Det. Ranse is sceptical of Singh's "diminished responsibility" charge. “She has fooled everyone. Well, she hasn’t fooled everyone -- she certainly fooled the courts,” he said.
“She wants to see herself as the victim in this. She’s the victim. She’ll always be the victim in her own mind, but in reality, it’s the Cinque family that’s the victim in this.”
The program also focuses on the complicity of the friends involved in the dinner parties.
“One of the most awful aspects of the case. I mean, not just indifference, but looking at the evidence, one wonders if they weren’t almost pushing and provoking her. I mean it’s inexplicable,” said Mr Mullens.
“This will sit in the minds of people and the public of how a person could morally justify themselves,” said Det. Ranse.
Now 44 years old, Anu told Sunday Night she’s desperate to “turn back the clock”.
"There are many things people don't understand," she says.
"It's just awful being referred to as a killer, a murderer."
Anu spoke to Sunday Night on the condition they show her apology to Joe's parents, Maria and Nino.
But his parents remain stupefied that despite confessing to the killing, Anu was only sentenced to ten years for manslaughter due to “diminished responsibility” – of which she only served four.
"I would ask her, why you really killed him," a visibly upset Maria says.
“Don’t tell me this bulls-t about… you didn’t know what you are doing because I don’t believe you.
“I never, ever forgive her for as long as I live.
“She better not come near me, I never ever forgive her,” Maria continued.
“I call you the devil and you are the devil. Monster, you have destroyed my family. You have killed the most precious thing I have in my life. I don’t want to see your face anymore - go away.”