WHEN Noor Suzaily Mukhtar, 24, boarded an inter-city bus in Kuala Lumpur to head to work at a private medical centre in Klang on Oct 7, 2000, little did she know it would be a terror ride that would lead to her brutal murder.

It would be the last commute to work for the newly graduated computer engineer, who was clad in a baju kurung and hijab.

The bus driver, Hanafi Mat Hassan, then 34, was an ex-convict with criminal records for robbery, rape and criminal breach of trust. He had only started working for the bus company about 10 days earlier.

After all the other passengers were dropped off along the journey, Noor Suzaily was the last on board near Bukit Tinggi in Klang. When the bus diverted from the regular route, she became suspicious.

Hanafi locked the doors of the bus, pulled the vehicle over and the sexual assault began.

Trapped inside the vehicle with no means of escape or defence, Noor Suzaily frantically banged on the windows to attract attention, but there was nobody at the secluded area Hanafi had purposely chosen for his heinous act.

He then drove the bus a little further to a construction site of a residential project in Bukit Tinggi, where he tore off the victim’s clothes, beat her and raped her.

When that was not enough to satiate his beastly lust, he ripped off her hijab, tied her hands with it and sodomised her.

After he was done, he strangled her with her hijab.

Hanafi then threw the woman’s nude and lifeless body out of the bus and drove off.

Four days after Noor Suzaily’s body was found, investigators succeeded in tracing Hanafi. He was arrested soon after and the case was solved.

A post-mortem report revealed that Noor Suzaily had suffered 44 injuries to her body, including a broken neck.

Hanafi was charged for rape and murder weeks later.

On April 26, 2002, the Shah Alam High Court found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to death by hanging.

He was also sentenced to 20 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the rotan for rape.

After exhausting his final appeal against the sentence at the Federal Court on Dec 12, 2006, Hanafi, who remained unremorseful of his crimes throughout his detention, was hanged on Dec 18, 2008 at the Sungai Buloh prison.