Night of terror on Wennapuwa estate | Sunday Observer

Night of terror on Wennapuwa estate

7 March, 2021

The lady doctor would visit the hospital along with her family each Sinhala and Tamil New Year to partake in a traditional breakfast of milk rice and sweets.

This was an annual happening for the middle-aged doctor and her family for several years.

The year was 2014 and the Sinhala and Tamil New Year had dawned and the staff at the local Government hospital laid out a traditional spread for breakfast where everyone present was invited to partake, and this also included the patients.

However, during this year a notable absence was the doctor and her family and everyone who knew them were surprised and to some extent even concerned since they never failed to show up.

The staff let the matter rest for the day assuming that the doctor and her family were visiting relatives or attending to an urgent family obligation so they did not wish to disturb them on the phone.

However, the next day the hospital staff began to be concerned since telephone calls made to the mobile devices of both the doctor and her husband had been switched off and there were no recorded messages.

Staffers from the hospital decided to visit the doctor’s home after several telephone calls made to their landline also went unanswered.


On arriving at the doctor’s home on a coconut plantation in down-town Wennapuwa a small group of hospital employees were surprised to find that the windows and doors of the house and the garage were wide open and the lights were on with no sign of any occupant.

The group cautiously advanced towards the house and stared in shock as they noticed that the house had been ransacked and littered all over the floor were files, clothes, shoes, papers, pieces of smashed cutlery among many other items.

What became even scarier was that there were no signs of the hired hand and his female partner that occupied a small abode at the far end of the plantation some 500 metres away from the doctor’s home.

Fearing the worst and wasting no time the police were quickly alerted and a search for the missing persons began.


It did not take the police, aided by sniffer dogs to stumble on to a gruesome finding for in a shallow pond filled with coconut husks were four dead bodies and the search for the doctor and her family had ended and an island-wide alert was sounded off to trace the hired hand and his female partner.

It took a little over 48 hours for the couple to be traced in a tiny village situated in the outskirts of Kandy and the gruesome story was unfolded.

Investigators found out that the suspect couple had been employed on the victim’s plantation for barely a month and needed extra cash for the oncoming Avurudhu Festival and so towards this end they came up with an evil plan.

The couple assumed that their boss was loaded with cash and other valuable items and they intended to make a break in to their home but first their victims would have to be silenced.

So on this fateful day the suspects waited until dusk had fallen and turned off the power supply to their employer’s home, a simple task since the main switch was located in the couple’s abode.

As the darkness increased the doctor’s husband told his wife that he would check on the power supply and left home heading for the abode occupied by his hired hand.

As he reached the house he was attacked from behind with a huge Manna knife and died instantly in a pool of blood.

When he failed to return and with the power outage continuing the unsuspecting doctor went in search of her husband and she faced the same fate.

The doctor’s 16-year-old son was the third to be killed in a similar manner when he went in search of his parents.


The suspects later turned on the power, shut the main gate to keep out visitors and headed for the employer’s home to be confronted with a terrified and trembling 14-year-old girl who was the doctor’s daughter.

Ignoring pleas from his female accomplice the male hired hand went on to sexually molest the helpless child before strangling her to death with a chord.

Having done that the couple began to ransack the home but all they could lay their hands on was a single gold ring, the little girl’s necklace and Rs. 2,000.

Seething with what they had found and scared to their wits the couple made a hasty retreat only to be apprehended by the police, some two days later.

It was later reported that the male suspect was shot dead by police while he made a futile bid to escape from custody.

The suspect had led investigators to a river bank to retrieve the suspected murder weapon when the incident took place.

The woman was thrown into jail and faced multiple murder charges. The sad incident prompted a senior police investigator to say at that time: “Some hired hands come cheap, but it could cost one dearly as was the case on that coconut plantation in Wennapuwa.