Hello Kitty murder to the Jars Killer: five of Hong Kong’s most gruesome crimes

From the Jars Killer to the Braemar Hill murders, the Hello Kitty murder and more recently the parent killer, the city has witnessed some shocking and gruesome deaths

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 September, 2015, 5:43am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 August, 2017, 2:49pm

Hong Kong is known as one of the safest cities in the world, but it has had its share of sensational crimes. Here are five cases that have seized public attention since the 1980s.

1. Jars Killer

Also known as the rainy night killer, night-shift taxi driver Lam Kor-wan murdered four women in the 1980s after picking them up as passengers on wet evenings. He strangled them, took photos of their nude bodies, dismembered them and preserved the parts in containers at home. Lam was arrested in 1982 when a photo technician noticed a severed breast among the images Lam sent to be developed. His death sentence was later commuted to life in prison.

READ: Inside the mind of Hong Kong serial killer known as the Jars Killer, 35 years after his arrest



2. Braemar Hill murders

Two students from Island School were tortured and killed in Tai Tam Country Park in 1985 when a gang tried to rob the pair, who had just HK$1 between them. In a brutal frenzy, the five males raped and beat Nicola Myers, smashing her jaw and inflicting about 500 cuts on her body. Her boyfriend, Kenneth McBride, who suffered more than 100 injuries, was strangled. Three of the attackers were sentenced to life in prison; the other two, who were underage at the time, were released after serving decades in prison.

READ: How the Braemar Hill murders shook Hong Kong 32 years ago

3. Big Spender kidnappings

Released in 1994 after his conviction for a HK$167 million security van robbery was overturned, Cheung Tsz-keung, nicknamed Big Spender, went on to commit several high-profile kidnappings. In 1996, he abducted Li Ka-shing's elder son Victor Li Tzar-kuoi and reportedly got away with HK$1.38 billion in ransom. The next year, he kidnapped Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, former chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties, who was released after a HK$600 million ransom was reportedly paid. Cheung was arrested in Guangdong province and executed in 1998.

READ: How Big Spender abducted two of Hong Kong's tycoons

4. Hello Kitty murder

Fan Man-yee, a nightclub hostess reportedly involved in a debt dispute, was kidnapped in 1999 by three men, who held her in a Tsim Sha Tsui flat and tortured her for more than a month until she died. Police discovered a bag of her decomposed organs on the building canopy while investigating an unrelated case. Her skull was found stuffed inside a Hello Kitty doll. The rest of the body was never found, but the then teenage girlfriend of one of the trio gave graphic testimony about how they subjected Fan to daily beatings. All three were sentenced to life in prison.

5. The parent killer

Henry Chau Hoi-leung killed his parents in their Tai Kok Tsui flat in 2013, and got a friend to help cut up and cook their bodies. After reporting their disappearance to police, Chau was caught when he sent texts to friends admitting to the killings. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in March.

READ: Hong Kong man who murdered and cut up parents' bodies told police of plan to be serial killer