Most Hongkongers sleep safe in the knowledge that they live in one of the world’s safest cities. But that doesn’t mean that Hong Kong hasn’t seen its fair share of tragedy. These are the crimes that shook the city to its very core.
Also known as the reason I text my friends the license plates of taxis when I’m going home alone in the early hours of the morning, Lam Kor-wan is one of Hong Kong’s two confirmed serial killers. He was apprehended in 1982 and charged with the murder of four women, who he had strangled after they rode alone in his taxi. He’s often referred to as ‘The Jars Killer’. His moniker came from his decision to store the reproductive organs of his victims in plastic containers. He was arrested after graphic photos of one of his victims were sent for development and the clerk notified the police.
The Braemar Hill Murders
In 1985, British teenage couple Nicola Myers and Kenneth McBride went for a walk around the Braemar Hill countryside after school. It was there that they met their tragic fate, as a group of five triads aged between 16 and 24 committed heinously violent crimes that resulted in robbery, assault, and the couple’s eventual murders. A nationwide search began for the assailants, and more than 10,000 people were interviewed. All five were apprehended and charged after an anonymous triad provided the name of Pang Shun-yee, said to be the group’s leader. He remains in prison today, serving a life sentence.
Hong Kong’s only other confirmed serial killer wreaked havoc on the Tuen Mun and Hung Hom communities for more than 16 months in the early 1990s. He was arrested in 1993, and later convicted of the rape of 10 women and three murders. He was caught thanks to the bravery of his last living victim, who arranged to meet him in a public space, with police lying in wait. He is currently serving 11 consecutive life sentences. Wow.
The Hello Kitty Murder
In 1999, Nightclub hostess Fan Man-yee was abducted by three men and taken to an apartment on Tsim Sha Tsui’s Granville Road. It was here that she was held for one month while being repeatedly beaten and tortured for what her assailants later described to be an issue relating to an unsettled debt. After Fan’s death, her body was dismembered and her head stuffed into a giant Hello Kitty doll. Prosecutors were unable to charge the three men (aged between 21 and 34) of murder owing to a lack of evidence. All were sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter.
The Milkshake Murder
Investment banker Robert Kissel was murdered in his Parkview home by his wife, Nancy, in November 2003. Kissel asked one of her children to pass their father a milkshake, which she had laced with drugs. A sedated Robert was bludgeoned to death. His body was hidden in a rug before being transported into a storage facility in the Parkview compound. Stories of the ‘Milkshake Murder’ swept through the city and it quickly became one of the most high-profile and widely reported cases in Hong Kong history. In a tragic twist of fate, Robert’s brother Andrew was murdered in his home in Connecticut three years later. The brothers’ murders later became the subject of a TV movie, The Two Mr Kissels.
The Microwave Murders
Glory Chau and Moon Siu were victims of one of the city’s most gruesome murders to date. In 2013, their youngest son Henry (then aged 28), alongside his friend Angus Tse, stood accused of murdering his parents and dismembering their bodies. Parts were found stored in containers in the fridge and were said to have been cooked and disguised as char siu. Chau eventually confessed to his friends via a WhatsApp group after being questioned by police. He was later convicted of murder, though Tse was cleared of both charges.
Wan Chai’s red-light reputation took on a sinister spin in 2014 when British investment banker Rurik Jutting stood accused of the murders of two Indonesian women – Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih (known as Jesse Lorena). Lorena was found on the floor of Jutting’s Wan Chai apartment, badly beaten and wounded, and Ningsih’s remains were later found by police in a suitcase on the balcony of his luxury apartment. In August of this year, Jutting’s appeal was dismissed by the Court of Final Appeal, after just eight minutes of deliberation.
The Yoga Ball Murders
Populating the papers in recent months is the tale of a university professor who murdered his wife and youngest daughter in 2015. Khaw Kim-sun has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison, for placing two leaking yoga balls (filled with toxic carbon monoxide gas) in the trunk of his wife’s car. The victims were found by a passing jogger near the Prince of Wales Hospital, where Khaw worked. His motive is said to stem from an affair that began with a student, and he had intended to solely inherit properties held jointly with his wife.
The Suitcase Murder
The most recent murder to shock the city involves 53-year-old professor Cheung Kie-chung. Cheung’s wife, who had been reported missing at the end of August, was found in a suitcase in his office at the University of Hong Kong. The suitcase was reportedly hidden in a wooden box in Cheung’s office. He has been remanded into custody pending his next hearing, which has been scheduled for November 22.
Read more! Explore the rest of our Local History stories on Localiiz.