Hong Kong socialite Abby Choi’s headless body was found in a village house at Tai Po, a suburb in the city. Parts of the 28-year-old’s dismembered body were cooked, with some kept in the refrigerator, according to local media reports.
Here are five other gruesome murders that made headlines in Hong Kong over the decades.
1. The jars murderer or the butcher (1982)
In the 1980s, taxi driver Lam Kor-wan picked up four women, aged between 17 and 31, and strangled them. He then took the bodies to his flat, where he mutilated them with an electric saw. Lam later stored their sexual organs in jars with formaldehyde, a substance found in embalming fluids, earning him the moniker, “the jars murderer” or “the butcher”.
Lam, now 67, also reportedly took pictures and videos of his victims. He was arrested in 1982, after a photo technician realised that a severed breast was among the images Lam had sent to be developed. His sentence of death was commuted to life imprisonment.
2. Braemar Hill murders (1985)
Two local British teens Kenneth McBride, 17, and Nicola Myers, 18, were murdered by five gangsters at Braemar Hill, an upscale hillside residential district east of Midlevels. The five men, aged between 16 and 25 at that time, initially attempted to rob the pair. However, they raped Ms Myers and killed both teens, after they found that the victims had only HK$1 (S$0.17) on them.
The men smashed Ms Myers’ jaw and inflicted about 500 cuts on her body. Mr McBride suffered more than 100 injuries and was strangled.
The five men were: casual worker Pang Shun-yee, 24, security guard Tam Sze-foon, 20, Mr Cheung Yau-hang, 17, and Mr Chiu Wai-man, 25, both waiters, and Won Sam-lung, a 16-year-old cook.
Won confessed and being underage at the time of the crime was detained “at her majesty’s pleasure” without standing trial, reported South China Morning Post. This meant he was put in prison and kept there until it was deemed safe to release him. Won was released in 2004.
The other four men stood trial and were found guilty of murder. Pang, Tam and Chiu were sentenced to death, but their sentences were later reduced to life imprisonment. Cheung, who was also underage, was also detained at her majesty’s pleasure, and freed in 2007.
3. Hello Kitty murder (1999)
Three Hong Kong men kidnapped nightclub hostess Fan Man-yee, reportedly over a debt dispute. They tortured her in a flat in Tsim Sha Tsui for a month by beating her with steel bars and pouring hot plastic on her limbs. The 23-year-old died sometime between April 14 and 15, 1999.
The men disposed of her body by dismembering it and boiling the pieces. Her skull was stuffed inside a giant Hello Kitty doll, which became the name of the case. Local police found a bag of Ms Fan’s decomposed organs on the building canopy while investigating an unrelated case. Only her skull, one tooth, and the bag of organs were found.
In 2000, the three men – Chan Man-lok, 34, Leung Shing-cho, 27, and Leung Wai-lun, 21 – were found guilty of manslaughter and unlawful imprisonment by a jury.
They were sentenced to life in jail. However, Leung Shing-cho successfully appealed his conviction, and was later sentenced to 18 years in jail following a re-trial. He was released from prison in 2011 but went back into jail in August 2022 for indecently assaulting a 10-year-old girl.
4. Killing the parents (2013)
Pianist Henry Chau Hoi-Leung invited his parents to his flat for a meal. Little did Mr Chau Wing-ki, 65, and Ms Siu Yuet-yee, 63, have any idea of what was in store for them.
The couple were killed by having their throats cut. Chau’s friend, Tse Chun-kei, helped to dismember the bodies. The two men chopped them up, then salted and cooked them. They attempted to make the flesh look like barbecue pork and refrigerated the remains in lunch boxes. Chau later confessed his crime to a WhatsApp group.
SCMP reported that Chau had planned the murders six months in advance. He claimed he hated his parents and that his failures in life and love were all due to them.
Chau said his father refused to turn down the television volume when he was trying to study.
He was angry with his mother for humiliating him in front of the girl he loved on his 24th birthday. He also blamed his mother for forcing him to learn piano and showing him a sad face when he failed to make any contribution to the family.
Chau told psychiatrists that he wanted to achieve something important before he was 30. He then planned to commit suicide as he felt he would fail to do so. Chau also alleged that after he told Tse his plan in September 2012, Tse inspired him to think of killing his parents instead.
In 2015, Chau was found guilty of two counts of murder. He was 31.
Tse was acquitted of the murder charges, though he admitted he had unlawfully dealt with the couple’s bodies. The judge sentenced him to one year in jail, as his role was a comparatively minor one. Tse was released from prison in 2015 as he had already served two years in remand.
5. Yoga ball murders (2015)
Khaw Kim Sun, a Malaysian doctor living in Hong Kong, killed his wife, Ms Wong Siew Fing, 47, and daughter, Lily Khaw Li Ling, 16, with a yoga ball filled with carbon monoxide in their car. The pair were found dead by the roadside in a yellow Mini Cooper driven by Ms Wong.
Prosecutors charged that the inflatable yoga ball had been placed in the car’s boot by Khaw, whose colleagues saw him filling two yoga balls with carbon monoxide.
Khaw told his colleagues that he planned to use the gas on rabbits in an experiment. However, he later told police that it was meant to get rid of rats at home. Khaw said he put the two balls in the car and deflated one of them the next day as it was leaking. At that time, prosecutors alleged that Khaw was having an affair with a student but Ms Wong refused to divorce him.
Khaw was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2015. In 2022, Khaw, who was 57, appealed against his sentence but was rejected by the Court of Appeal.
6. University professor murdered wife (2018)
A well-liked professor who was trapped in a marriage that had soured, murdered his wife and stuffed her body into a suitcase. For doing so, former Hong Kong University professor Cheung Kie Chung, 56, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2020. Cheung had admitted to killing Madam Tina Chan, 53, in 2018 at their residence at the university’s Wei Lun Hall, where he was the warden.
Cheung strangled his wife with a cable wire while they were in bed at night. They had reportedly argued, with Madam Chan berating Cheung for not sticking up for her during a disagreement with their daughter.
He then hid the body in a green suitcase and left it on the balcony.
As the body would soon start to smell, Cheung bought six wood planks and created a “coffin” to hide the body. He later moved the “coffin” to his university office.
Chueng made a report that his wife was missing. However, the police became suspicious after they found CCTV footage of Cheung transporting a large wooden box from the dormitory to his office in the university.
Officers later raided his office and found the bloody and foul-smelling suitcase in the wooden box. - The Straits Times/ANN