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When an American doctor fell in love with a young Malaysian woman, she thought all of her dreams had come true.
Friends described 29-year-old Girly Chew as a self-assured and kind woman who came to the United States in 1992 in search of a better life.
“She loved life in general,” her friend and coworker Kathy Freeman told "Charmed To Death," airing Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen. “Girly was a very small, young lady, but she had a big personality.”
During a visit to the San Diego Aquarium, she caught the attention of another tourist named Diazien Hossencofft. Hossencofft described himself as a doctor who specialized in genetics research. A spark ignited between them. Even after Chew returned to Malaysia, Hossencofft continued to woo her from a distance. It worked, and when Hossencofft invited Chew to live with him in New Mexico, she agreed without hesitation.
Chew and Hossencofft became husband and wife and made a home for themselves in Albuquerque, where Chew took a job as a banker. Years went by, and Chew seemed happy living out her fairy tale.
But then Hossencofft announced he had cancer. Witnesses said he frequently had to get blood transfusions and was seen coughing up blood.
“Some of the things he was saying didn’t quite add up,” said his neighbor Pedro Tirando Jr., whose father became close friends with Hossencofft. Tirando became concerned after his father invested his life savings into a revolutionary medical project Hossencofft was allegedly working on.
“Something about being able to change the structure of human beings to chemistry, somehow from carbon base to some other form,” said Tirando. “It was making him an amazing amount of money.”
More red flags rose when after four years of marriage, Hossencofft brought a baby boy home to Chew. Chew and Hossencofft had tried for years but could not conceive a child of their own.
It was not clear what explanation Hossencofft gave his wife about the origins of the infant, but Chew and Hossencofft began to raise the boy as their own. As time went by, Hossencofft spent less and less time with Chew and the child.
She suspected her husband was up to something and snooped around his office one evening. She found something shocking: Diazien Hossencofft’s real name was Armando Chavez. Chew also discovered that his work trips were fronts to cover his extramarital affairs with other women.
Her suspicions only grew when she caught him loosening the wheel nuts of her car. When confronting him in the act, Hossencofft physically attacked Chew and choked her. She was able to press the garage door opener and escape from his grips.
“She was afraid for her life,” Freeman told producers. “That he was going to kill her.”
By 1998, the abuse escalated. Chew suspected Hossencofft wasn’t even a doctor at all and packed her things to leave him. She felt she had no choice but to leave her adopted son with Hossencofft and alerted her coworkers at the bank about the domestic situation.
All the while, Hossencofft browsed dating websites and found a woman named Julie McGuire of Aztec, New Mexico. Shortly after Chew left home, Hossencofft and McGuire became romantically involved. Hossencofft also proposed a business opportunity to Julie.
“He said, ‘I had a serum out that you inject it, and your skin’s going to change back to the way it was when you were younger,’” McGuire told producers.
He also told McGuire that he was “many, many, many years old.” When McGuire asked his exact age, Hossencofft said he was over 100 years old. He explained it was because he was part alien.
Concerned about her emotional and financial investments, McGuire requested that authorities do a background check on the single doctor. McGuire discovered Hossencofft was married.
“He told me that a friend of his had some people that would take [Chew] away,” said McGuire.
With Chew away from the home, Hossencofft filed the paperwork to place their son for adoption. Then, on Sept. 10, 1999, Chew didn’t show up for work. Coworkers and friends, aware of her domestic situation, called the police.
Upon going to Chew’s apartment, authorities immediately became suspicious. They went to visit Hossencofft at his home, where Chew once lived, and found it vacant.
Later that afternoon, a disturbing piece of evidence came to light.
“A road worker had discovered some bloody items along a highway in Magdalena, New Mexico,” retired police officer John Walsh told producers.
Items included bloody clothing, a tarp, and duct tape with long strands of dark hair attached. Back at Chew’s apartment, authorities also discovered a large amount of blood, which someone unsuccessfully tried to clean away with bleach.
Strangely, cat hair was also found at the apartment, though Chew did not own a cat.
In the course of their investigation, authorities found out the true origins of their adopted son.
“Up in Canada, Diazien had a woman of Japanese descent that he had been having a relationship with," journalist Joline Gutierrez Krueger told producers. “She gave birth to this child, and Diazien convinced her to relinquish the child.”
Police followed up with the recent adoption and found that Hossencofft listed a woman named Linda Henning as an emergency contact. Henning was a successful businesswoman and fashion designer in the area who Hossencofft met at a UFO conference about six weeks before Chew went missing.
“All of a sudden, she is really talking crazy,” private investigator Steven Trusnovec told producers.. “’There is a cryogenic tube at the end of my street. There are markers there for the reptile aliens when they arrive.’ And this Diazien Hossencofft that she met, she thought this was one of the smartest people that she’d ever met.”
In the weeks that they were together, Hossencofft convinced Henning that she was the chosen one who could get rid of the alien queen, Chew. Henning’s appearance and grasp on reality quickly changed, and she isolated herself from anyone who questioned her or Hossencofft’s beliefs.
Trusnovec, hired by one of Henning’s concerned friends, learned that Hossencofft was a complete fraud. He wasn’t a doctor at all.
When police questioned Henning about Chew’s disappearance, she claimed Hossencofft had cancer and that she was simply his caretaker. Investigators began to question whether or not Henning was an accomplice. Hossencofft, however, was still on the loose.
Finally, two weeks after Chew’s disappearance, police caught up to Hossencofft and arrested him in South Carolina. Authorities brought him back to New Mexico, where he went before a grand jury hearing. Henning then admitted that they were romantically involved and together on the night of Chew’s disappearance.
Investigators executed a search warrant for Henning’s home and car.
“We were able to locate a ninja sword in the garage of Linda Henning,” Walsh told producers.
Receipts revealed Hossencofft purchased the sword on the day Chew vanished. They also found that Linda Henning owned many cats.
Lab results from the bloody items found on the side of the highway came back: the blood belonged to Chew.
The results of the blood found in Chew’s apartment also came back.
“Not only was Girly Chew Hossencofft’s blood determined to be at her residence, but also Linda Henning’s DNA from her blood,” Walsh explained.
A grand jury indicted Diazien Hossencofft and Linda Henning for murder.
To avoid a lengthy trial and possible death sentence, Hossencofft pleaded guilty to murder. He was sentenced to life plus 61 years in prison. As part of the deal, he agreed to take authorities to Chew’s body.
Linda Henning, however, refused to make a deal and insisted that she was a victim used to do Hossencofft’s evil bidding.
Henning’s trial began in September of 2002. During witness testimony stating that Henning believed she had to vanquish alien queens, she sketched bizarre drawings of extraterrestrial beings and seemed relatively unbothered by the trial happening around her.
Then, to everyone’s shock, the defense called in Diazien Hossencofft as a witness.
In a chilling recorded testimony, Hossencofft described the murder.
“[Chew] knew she was going to be hunted like the dog she was,” Hossencofft testified. “And yes, she was like a scared rabbit in an open field. She knew.”
Hossencofft also testified that he’d planted Linda Henning’s blood in Chew’s apartment to throw off investigators. But jurors didn’t find him to be a credible witness. They found Linda Henning guilty of murder.
“I don’t think Linda Henning was an innocent party in this at all because I think she participated,” said Chew’s friend, Kathy Freeman. “But I think Diazien, he did something. I don’t know if you call it brainwashed. That’s the only way I can explain it.”
Linda Henning was sentenced to life in prison.
Hossencofft reneged on his plea deal and never disclosed the location of the body to authorities. Girly Chew Hossencofft remains missing to this day.
For more on this case and others like it, stream episodes of "Charmed To Death" here.
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