‘Surprise! I’m still alive:’ Woman crashes her funeral in murder-for-hire plot

MELBOURNE, Australia– An Australian woman showed up at her own funeral, terrifying her husband, who police say paid to have her killed.

Noela Rukundo, a mother of eight, was visiting her native country of Burundi in January 2015 for her stepmother’s funeral when she was kidnapped, according to The Washington Post.

Her husband called her while she was resting in the hotel room and urged her to go outside and get some fresh air. It was a trap. A man pointed a gun at her and forced her into a car.

While tied to a chair, Rukundo listened to her kidnappers talk to her husband, Balenga Kalala, over the phone.

“Kill her,” he told the gunmen.

The Washington Post reported Kalala paid the kidnappers $7,000 to murder his wife, but they did not believe in killing women. They kept the cash, but set Rukundo free and gave her evidence to incriminate Kalala.

Five days later, Rukundo stepped out of a car outside her own funeral and approached her husband.

“Surprise! I’m alive!” she said to the father of three of her children. He screamed and asked her if she was a ghost.

Kalala was sentenced to nine years in prison. Chief Justice Marilyn Warren told The Washington Post his main motivation was “unfounded jealousy, anger and a desire to punish Ms. Rukundo.”


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