In February 2012, René Lindhart Larsen, a 55-year-old Danish man and the owner of Michel Apartment located in Mabini Street, Malate, Manila, was declared dead on arrival at Manila Doctors Hospital after stabbing himself and jumping from the 9th floor of his flat.
Long before the rise of multi-storey residential apartments in post-war Manila such as in Makati, there were already numerous apartments that were as elegant, if not, more elegant, than those of today's, in pre-war Manila. Manila, being the capital of the prosperous Philippine Islands, was once home to many expatriates of different nationalities, such as Spanish, American, British, and German. And within the confines of the modern residential section of Ermita and Malate lies the Michel Apartments, one of the city's top residential apartments.
At some time, the Michel Apartments was the tallest apartment building in the City of Manila.
Shockingly, as soon as the authorities investigated Larsen's flat, they found a lifeless body of a woman that belonged to his wife, Maria Petronilla "Cookie" Chanco Syquia-Larsen, and a German Shepherd named "Uzi."
The Syquias are a prominent family who was among the original Manila 400. The 400 was a list of Manila's oldest society families, all of whom possessed wealth, education, prominence, and pedigree.
According to reports, Larsen shot his wife and their beloved German Shepherd. Both immediately died due to two shots to the head. Before the incident, their housemaid, Jorlyn Caballero, heard the two arguing.
Caballero told the authorities before the gruesome killings happened, Larsen asked her to purchase a soda from a nearby store. As soon as she left, Larsen quickly locked the door.
With the lack of witnesses, investigators could only assume that Larsen first shot his wife with a 9mm pistol as she lay on a recliner at their house. He then went to their bedroom, where their dog was shot while lying on the couple's bed.
Larsen then went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and stabbed himself in the chest. Though after noticing that he's not going to die quickly, he decided to jump off his room's terrace.
Unfortunately, there are no reports about the real reason why Larsen would do such horrific acts. The couple had no child and treated their pet dog as part of the family.
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