Highly paid Brit accused of killing two women in Hong Kong had an erratic lifestyle in an unreal world.
Rurik Jutting lived in a small, precise and unreal world. Each working day he would move between two skyscrapers, his home and his office, just three minutes apart by taxi.
When he returned to his apartment building, a tall sliver of grey stone and blue glass, he could swim in the rooftop pool, smoke in the cigar room or eat in a Michelin three-star restaurant, all without stepping outside. But often he would walk for exactly four minutes to his local pub, The Old China Hand, a dimly lit wood-panelled room seemingly transported from an English suburb to the heart of Hong Kong. A Union flag flies outside the door, there is sport on the television, Tetley's bitter on tap and roast beef on the menu.
The 29-year-old would pop in a few times a week and order a bourbon and Coke or a pint of bitter. He might cut loose with a group of his friends from the bank, racking up bills of at least 500 ($997).
Stepping out from the pub, it takes less than a minute into another world again, to the New Makati nightclub where young girls in Lycra dresses buzz around expats, searching for those who want to pay for company.
Jutting's year in Hong Kong, from when he arrived in the summer of 2013, unfolded in an area smaller than one square mile. But it was an alienating life underneath the island's neon towers. To the locals, expats in Hong Kong are "gweilo", or ghost people, so-named because of the whiteness of their skin. But the nickname also sums up how foreigners drift, rootless, through the city.
The tatty red light district of Wan Chai is far less desperate than the saunas of Macau, where human-trafficking is rife. But it is a playground for the ego, where rich bankers can feel like demigods.
"Their life is kind of sad and boring," said one former investment banker. "Fourteen hour shifts, no friends, no transferable skills, empty homes, no relationships, lots of abuse and control coming on to them, a boring job that they cannot explain, and no idea what is going on because they do not even have the time to read the newspaper. That explains all the drugs and hookers," he said.
"Both [sex and drugs] are super common but of course they don't like to talk about it. It is a weird culture. One of the reasons why they are so comfortable with sex service is that they work 14 hours a day and they would never be able to maintain a relationship. Society here looks away so it is easier for them to misbehave."
For a while, Jutting did have an attachment, to a woman known as Yanie, whom he met in Angeles City in the Philippines, whose far sleazier nightlife draws weekend sex tourists from Hong Kong. "He fell in love," said one of their mutual friends. But "Yanie" ended the relationship over the summer. "Based on what he said, she split with him," the friend said.
After that, his behaviour grew increasingly erratic. He would vanish for days and then arrive at the Old China Hand, wolfing down several meals at once, eating fish and chips and a steak and kidney pie at the same time. He would roam the bar picking up other customers' drinks. "If you let him bully you a bit then you could be friends. He would say: 'Oh, is that your drink?' And he would grab your drink and drink it," said a bartender.
And he would seek out women at the New Makati, where he eventually found one of two alleged victims last week. According to the police's timeline of events, he may even have returned to the pub for a pint after allegedly killing his first victim, 25-year-old Sumarti Ningsih, whose body was found in a suitcase on his 31st-floor balcony. By the time he was arrested, pallid, unshaven and bloated, he was almost unrecognisable from photographs taken in the years before he arrived in Hong Kong.
Those showed him as a smiling schoolboy, with a tousled mop of chestnut hair, in his prep school uniform, or as a slim athletic undergraduate, dashing in a blue shirt.
He grew up in Surrey, and his mother ran a nursery class in Chertsey before opening up a milkshake bar in Woking. His father is an engineer who installs machinery. From 4 to 8 years old, Jutting went to the now-closed Wallop prep school. "It was very small, more like a local village school, not pretentious or anything like that," says one former classmate. "Rurik was a quiet boy."
Then he went to Abberley Hall, a boarding school in Worcestershire, and on to Winchester College, where he won a scholarship. Here, his friends say he embraced its ultra-competitive environment, shaving off his hair and adopting the nickname "killer", derived from "Kirur" his name spelt backwards, and joining the school rowing team.
One Winchester contemporary, who went to Oxford University and is now based in Sydney, says: "The rowers were usually the guys who were quite introverted and would go out there and really punish themselves. They were difficult to talk to.
"They did have a bit of a reputation as being a bit mental and you weren't really sure about them.
"There is a lot of ego around the school. It is a very difficult school to get into it and a lot of focus around achievement.
"Getting a job that pays an extremely high amount of money was seen as the main achievement in life."
He won a place at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, in 2005, where he also joined the rowing club and was the secretary of Clio, an undergraduate history society.
Photographs on his Facebook page show him punting with two female friends down the Cam and enjoying lavish formal dinners by candlelight in Peterhouse's 700-year-old wood-panelled hall. He was also a member of the cross-country team.
In 2008, after graduating, he joined Barclays, where he worked in the structured capital markets (SCM) team, an exotic branch of finance that can be lavishly paid. The 100 or so members of his unit had to devise complex tax arrangements on behalf of extremely wealthy customers and companies. The division, which was said to have been wound down in February 2013, was criticised by former British Finance Secretary Nigel Lawson - Lord Lawson - for engaging in "industrial-scale tax avoidance".
"They are all very specialised in a kind of very esoteric tax," one source said of the tight-knit group. "It is a very nerdy area but there is a way to make a lot of money in it and they all specialise in that."
As a member of the SCM unit, Jutting would have been earning "upwards of half a million dollars" the source said. In Hong Kong - where he performed a similar role for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch - he is likely to have been paid even more.
With more money than he could spend, a high-pressure job, a series of broken relationships and a red-light district on his doorstep, he seems to have spiralled out of control in recent weeks, turning up at his local pub and shouting that he was a psychopath. One friend became increasingly concerned about his mental state and urged Jutting to seek help. "He didn't even consult the doctor," they said.
Jutting has been charged with the murders of Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih, 29. He has been remanded until November 24 while two psychiatric reports were produced to determine "the defendant's fitness to plead".
Additional reporting Ellie Ng