Wife crashes her own funeral after husband paid to have her killed
As though to make sure that she was real, reached out to touch her shoulder. When he found it was solid, he clutched his head in horror, and started screaming
Don’t be surprised if her life story is commissioned to be made into a Hollywood film, because hers is better than half of the films that have been made.
Noela Rukundo’s husband ordered her killed. Unbeknownst to him, she survived, and on the day when her “remains” were to laid to rest, she sat patiently in a car outside her house in Melbourne and waited for the last of the guests to leave.
Finally, after the last of the mourners filed out of the house, his husband Balenga Kalala emerged. She stepped out of the car and made her approach.
Kalala’s eyes bulged, and as though to make sure that she was real, reached out to touch her shoulder. When he found it was solid, he clutched his head in horror, and started screaming.
“Is it my eyes?” he said. “Is it a ghost?”
It was neither.
“Surprise!” Noela replied. “I’m still alive!”
“Rukundo had met her husband 11 years earlier, right after she arrived in Australia from Burundi,” reports said. “He was a recent refugee from Congo, and they had the same social worker at the resettlement agency that helped them get on their feet.”
A year later they married, and Noela soon found about his husband’s violent history. She also learned that her husband had fled a rebel army that had ransacked his village in Congo, killing his wife and young son.
“I knew he was a violent man,” she told the reporters. “But I didn’t believe he can kill me.”
But during a trip to her native Burundi, she found that he could. She was in a hotel one night when he told her to go outside the balcony and get some fresh air.
The moment she stepped outside, a man pointed a gun at her.
“Don’t scream,” he said. “If you start screaming, I will shoot you. They’re going to catch me, but you? You will already be dead.”
Blindfolded, she was ushered inside a car.
Minutes into their ride, the car stopped and she was pushed inside a building and then tied to a chair. There were a few men in the room.
“You woman,” one man said. “What did you do for this man to pay us to kill you?”
“What are you talking about?” she replied.
“Balenga sent us to kill you.”
She told them they were lying. The men laughed.
“You’re a fool,” they said, and then dialed a number.
A male voice came through the speakerphone—her husband’s voice. “Kill her,” he said. Noela fainted.
Click on the next page to find out how she survived
When she regained consciousness, the men told her that because they didn’t believe in killing women, and because they knew Noela’s brother, they weren’t going to kill her.
They would keep her husband’s money, however, and tell him she was dead.
Two days later the men set Noela free on the side of a road, having given a cellphone, recordings of their phone conversations with Kalala, and receipts for the $7,000 in Australian dollars they allegedly received in payment.
Before the men drove away, one of them said: “We just want you to go back, to tell other stupid women like you what happened.”
Shaken but determined, Noela sought the help from the Kenyan and Belgian embassies to return to Australia, and plotted her next move.
“Meanwhile, her husband had told everyone she had died in a tragic accident and the entire community mourned her at her funeral at the family home,” said reports.
Although Kalala denied Noela’s accusations, she got him to confess his crimes during a phone conversation that was secretly being recorded by the police.
“Sometimes Devil can come into someone, to do something, but after they do it they start thinking, ‘Why I did that thing?’ later,” he said, begging her to forgive him.
He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to nine years in prison by a judge in Melbourne.
But Noela’s ordeals don’t end there. Immediately after her husband was sent behind bars, she had gotten backlash from Melbourne’s Congolese community for what she did.
She kept receiving threatening messages, and at one point returned home to find her back door broken. She now has eight children to raise alone and has asked the Department of Human Services to help her find a new place to live.
The memory of her brush with death still lingers. Every night she still hears her husband’s voice in her head. Kill her, kill her, it said. “Every night, I see what was happening in those two days with the kidnappers.”
But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, or in her case, the ashes of a marriage gone haywire, she embraces the newfound life. “I will stand up like a strong woman,” she said. “My situation, my past life? That is gone. I’m starting a new life now.”
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