THE parents of a Newcastle man that was drugged and killed by his girlfriend in 1997 will speak about their tragic loss in a televised interview this weekend.
Maria and Nino Cinque, of Charlestown, will appear on Sunday Night to talk about the unfathomable grief that followed the death of their son, Joe, and the tragic circumstances surrounding the case.
Joe Cinque died after he was drugged with Rohypnol and then injected with a lethal dose of heroin by his girlfriend, Anu Singh, at their Canberra flat 20 years ago.
Singh was studying law at the Australian National University, and had developed a plan to kill the young engineer, and herself, after hosting a “send off” dinner party with friends and acquaintances.
But while people at the table that night knew of her intentions, none of them warned Joe.
No one stopped Singh.
She had two attempts at killing Joe. When the first one failed, she organised a second dinner party to try again.
But this time she was successful in killing Joe.
Singh served four years of a 10-year sentence in prison for manslaughter – not murder – due to “diminished responsibility.” During this time she completed a masters in criminology.
The story was told in Helen Garner’s 2004 book, Joe Cinque’s Consolation, of which the film adaptation was released late last year.
Promotions for the Sunday Night program, set to air on Prime7 at 8.30pm, suggest Singh will reveal the “full truth.”
In a preview, Maria Cinque says, “I would ask why you really killed him?’” and, “You are the devil.”
Joe Cinque attended high school at St Francis Xavier’s College, where Singh was in the year below.
His friends describe him as being a late bloomer, even a little bit “goofy.”
He was someone who was kind, and funny, and endeared himself to all who knew him.
On the release of the film, Joe’s childhood friend – Matt Harris – told the Newcastle Herald there was no “light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Even with the book and with the movie, it’s not a scenario where we know there is some justice that can come from it,” he said.
“Four years … that’s as close to getting away with it as you can get.
“His family’s life grinded to a halt that day.”