That must have been a hell of a funeral

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I don’t have much by way of relationship advice to offer–most days I have a hard time figuring out why my amazing wife, who I suspect doesn’t read the blog as often as she used to so I’m testing her a little bit right now, ever married me in the first place. But let me say this to you fellas out there: don’t be like the guy in this story:

Noela Rukundo sat in a car outside her home in Melbourne, Australia, watching as the last few mourners filed out. They were leaving a funeral — her funeral.

Finally, she spotted the man she’d been waiting for. She stepped out of her car, and her husband put his hands on his head in horror.

“Is it my eyes?” she recalled him saying. “Is it a ghost?”

“Surprise! I’m still alive!” she replied.

Far from being elated, the man looked terrified. Five days earlier, he had ordered a team of hit men to kill Rukundo, his partner of 10 years. And they did — well, they told him they did. They even got him to pay an extra few thousand dollars for carrying out the crime.

Apparently Rukundo’s husband, Balenga Kalala, engaged the services of some hired goons…

There’s really nothing like the hands-on touch you only get with hired goons.

to kill his wife while she was in her native Burundi last year, attending her stepmother’s funeral. Only the particular goons he hired didn’t like the idea of killing a woman, and they knew Rukundo’s brother to boot. So they took Kalala’s money and then abducted Rukundo, but instead of killing her they held her for a while before dumping her on the side of a road with a cellphone and plenty of evidence against her husband. She got back in time to confront Kalala at her supposed funeral, then eventually got a recorded confession out of him.

For hiring the goons to kill his wife, Kalala was sentenced to nine years in prison, which seems light to me but OK. Rukundo is now also now a single parent to their eight kids, has been getting threats from some in Australia’s Congolese community (Kalala was apparently a Congolese rebel before he wound up Down Under), and seems, understandably I think, to have a case of post-traumatic stress disorder. Things certainly could have been worse, but damn.

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