Saturday 6 August 2022 07:25 AM Inside the apartment where two Saudi sisters were left decomposing for a month trends now
The 'luxurious' apartment where two young Saudi sisters lay decomposing for a month is open for inspection with a $40 rent hike - but there's little the real estate can do to mask the acrid stench of death.
Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, died a month before their bodies were found in separate bedrooms of their Canterbury apartment, in Sydney's south-west, on June 7.
Two months' on from the grisly discovery, their deaths remain a mystery.
No one has been arrested and police still aren't certain how two seemingly healthy young women died in the same place at the same time and lay there, undetected, for a month.
Their remains were only uncovered during a police welfare check - conducted because they owed the landlord about $5,000 worth of unpaid rent, having failed to hand over their weekly $480 since mid-March.
Unable to recoup the hefty financial loss, the owner gave the unit a fresh lick of paint, lay new floorboards, increased the price to $540 per week, and opened it up for public inspection on Saturday morning.
Crime scenes normally cause price reductions, but the real estate agent said most prospective tenants were interested because surrounding units cost about $580 per week.
Pictured: Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and her younger sister Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, who were found dead in their Canterbury unit on June 7
Before entering the property, prospective tenants received the same verbal disclaimer from the realtor - 'some people died in there but it's all been cleaned and it's all OK'.
'I just have to tell you that.'
The news didn't come as a surprise to anyone - most weren't interested in signing the lease.
Upon entering the unit on the relatively warm winter's morning, sun beamed through the large balcony doors and bounced off the tiles, white walls and laminated kitchen cabinets - filling the open-plan living space with light.
However, there was a curious smell that became increasingly difficult to ignore.
At first, it was easy enough to brush the smell off as chemical residue left over from the crime scene, or perhaps Pine O Cleen and Windex from the post-investigation cleaning blitz.
It's understood bottles of chemicals, such as bleach and other substances, were discovered beside their bodies found in separate bedrooms - leading detectives to suspect the pair planned to take their own lives.
Interim toxicology results showed traces of the substances found in the bedrooms also inside the women's bodies, but the cause of death has still not been confirmed.
But even with fresh air streaming into the unit via the large balcony doors on Saturday morning, the aroma was present - particularly in the two small bedrooms - and it didn't smell like bleach or cleaning products.
In fact, the acrid smell that had initially been difficult to pinpoint was suddenly, unmistakably, one of death and decay.
According to the online advertisement, the property has 'spacious balconies' that allow 'airflow'
'Unsettling' was an understatement and 'eerie' wasn't the right word. It felt like despair.
The front bedroom had its own balcony door overlooking Canterbury Road - a busy thoroughfare where trucks, buses, cars and people stream past at all hours.
Thousands of unassuming people would have passed by between when the Alsehli sisters died in May, and when they were found in June - completely unaware of the heartbreaking situation that lay behind a few inches of plaster.
In the real estate listing, the unit was described as a place that 'ensures a life of seamless and luxurious comfort'.
In reality, the bedrooms were cramped and awkwardly-shaped - trying to squeeze a double bed in either would be a challenge, though one did have an ensuite and both had built-ins, albeit, small ones.
The kitchen was, indeed, equipped with stainless steel appliances and, as the listing promised, there were 'reconstituted stone benches, mirrored splashback, and subtle leaf motif details keep the lines clean yet natural for a timeless contemporary look'.
'Marble-look tiles' and 'frameless showers' could also be seen, though whether they were 'paired with elegant detailing carrying through the easy, layered mood' was questionable.
The mood was definitely layered, but perhaps not in the way the owner intended.
While there was a disclaimer on the listing that said the sisters' deaths was 'not a random crime and will not be a potential risk for the community', it's difficult to imagine living there and sleeping soundly.
Not due to any fear the new occupant would succumb to the same fate, but because it simply felt like tragedy inside.
At the very least, the new tenant would probably suffer headaches from the smell alone - stepping into the fresh air after the viewing was a relief.
The smell will undoubtedly cease to linger as time wears on - at which point, it might even be a nice place to live.
A new theory has emerged two Saudi sisters found dead could have feared persecution for their sexuality after it was revealed they attended a queer event.
A woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she met the sisters at a girls-only queer event in January, The Guardian reported.
She claimed police believe one of the sisters identified as queer and are unsure of the sexual orientation of the other one.
The woman described the sisters as 'shy' and said they were reluctant to talk more about their personal lives in Saudi Arabia.
'They mentioned that they were from Saudi Arabia, and we talked about what it is like to be queer there,' she said.
'They said women live in fear of