February 21, 1977 will go down as one of the more unusual murder cases in Chicago. The morning began with the sounds of roaring fire engines speeding toward apartment 15B at 2740 N. Pine Grove Avenue in Chicago on a cold winter morning. A maintenance man had called to report a fire.
The local fire department arrived at the apartment to find a dead woman on fire. She also had a knife in her. Furthermore, she didn’t have any clothing on so it was assumed she was sexually assaulted. After the fire department put out the fire, Chicago P.D. investigated the crime.
Someone had murdered Teresita Basa, a 47-year-old respiratory therapist who worked at a local hospital. Police didn’t know why anyone would have killed Basa. She had no enemies so there wasn’t a motive.
So who killed her?
The case went as cold as a typical Chicago winter. The case, however, would soon heat up after Detective Joe Stachula received a notice to call the Evanston Police Department for information about the homicide. Detectives Stachula and Lee Epplen followed up on information provided by the Evanston police and contacted Dr. Jose Chua in Skokie, Illinois for details about the crime.
Doctor Chua said his wife Remebios “Remy” Chua claimed the spirit of Teresita Basa haunted her. The doctor said he didn’t believe his wife at first but soon changed his mind. He said his wife named Alan Showery as the man who had murdered Teresita Basa. The detectives were shocked.
Remy also provided a motive for the murder. Showery was there to fix the television. Instead, he killed Basa, stole her jewelry and arranged the apartment to look like a sexual assault. The jewelry was purchased in France and once belonged to Basa’s mother. To give the story more credibility, Remy also provided phone numbers and contacts of four men who could identify the jewelry.
How did Remy know who killed Basa? It didn’t seem possible. But the doubtful detectives thought they would see if there was an individual named Allen Showery.
Detectives located a man named Allen Showery who worked at the same hospital as Basa. The police interviewed Showery and asked if he knew Basa. Showery admitted he was supposed to fix Basa’s television, but said she canceled, so he never went to her apartment.
Police then spoke to Snowery’s girlfriend who confirmed receiving Basa’s jewelry from him. The case went to trial and Snowery received 14 years. He only served five and was released in 1983. After the murder investigation, authorities learned there was history between Basa, Remy Chua and Snowery.
Remy was also a respiratory therapist and worked at the same hospital as Snowery and Basa. Remy also had a direct connection to Snowery. He once reported she wasn’t performing her duties satisfactorily. Remy had also been to Basa’s apartment in the past. Remy also knew Snowery was supposed to fix Basa’s television. Remy didn’t reveal this to authorities because she feared Snowery.
Had Basa communicated through Remy Chua? If not, how did Remy know so many details about the homicide? Besides, Remy and Snowery weren’t friends so it’s unlikely he would admit to her that he killed Basa. Some skeptics think Remy may have overheard Snowery discuss the murder.
Had Basa’s spirit returned to name her killer? I don’t know if I believe Remy but I consider it a possibility. Regardless, it didn’t seem that Snowery paid for his crime since he only spent five years in prison. The case remains unusual and some people still think Basa did name her killer through Remy.
Marc is a grandparent and longtime resident of Clermont County. Visit his author page at http://www.lifewithgrandpa.com. He also wrote Just Bite Me: A Guide to Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Walking Nightmares, which is available on Amazon.com.