Police launch murder hunt after two monks are found dead

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 October, 2003, 12:00am

Officers called to the Tsuen Wan monastery find the victims hacked to death

Police have launched a murder inquiry after two monks were found dead in Tsuen Wan.

A maintenance worker at the Tung Lam Monastery called police when he discovered the body of an elderly monk lying in a pool of blood underneath a staircase of the dormitory at 8.45am on Saturday.

When officers arrived they found the body lying on the floor with a trail of blood stretching 20 metres.

He was later identified as Sik Kuo Chung, 84. The second dead monk, Sik Tai Wan, 53, was a Taiwanese national.

The two were certified dead at the scene and their bodies were removed to a public mortuary.

Police said initial investigations had revealed that Sik Kuo Chung had suffered a broken skull, bruises and lacerations, and several chop wounds on both hands.

Two bloodstained knives were found near his body.

The Taiwanese monk, believed to be the treasurer of the monastery, was found in a bathroom on the other sides of the building with a stab wound to his chest and chop wounds on his left hand. A pickaxe was found beside him.

Police forensic pathologists will conduct postmortem examinations today to determine exactly how they were killed.

The regional crime unit of New Territories South is investigating. Detective Senior Inspector Chiu Chi-wing said there was no ransacking and nothing appeared to have been stolen

Tung Lum Monastery was set up in 1952 and it had since expanded its worshipping areas. It also includes a home for the elderly.

On September 3 last year the monastery's head monk, Sik Ching Chun, 76, died in his sleep. He was found dead on his bed, but monks prevented police from touching the body for eight hours because they said 'the soul of the body would be hurt'.

As there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death police complied with their requests. His body was later removed to a funeral parlour by devoted worshippers and monks.