HONG KONG, CHINA — In 1999, Fan Man-yee, a 23-year-old married nightclub hostess and mother of one, was kidnapped by three men, held hostage, and tortured for a month.
Her abductors, 24-year-old Chan Man-lok, 27-year-old Leung Shing-cho, and 21-year-old Leung Wai-lun, took her to an apartment at No. 31 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, where she was beaten daily over a reported debt dispute of HK$20,000 (approximately $2,560 in U.S. dollars).
After a month of imprisonment and torture, she was killed and dismembered. Investigators later recovered her skull, one tooth, and some internal organs — but the rest of her body parts had been discarded. Bizarrely, her skull was discovered stuffed inside of a large Hello Kitty mermaid doll.
The murder and its horrific details quickly became a sensational story in the media.
After the killing, a 13-year-old girl went to the authorities to confess that she had witnessed the murder because she had been suffering from nightmares due to what she had seen. The teen, known only as “Ah Fong,” had been dating 24-year-old Chan and also participated in the horrific abuse.
According to Ah Fong, who was granted immunity for testifying, the men had tortured Fan by melting straws and dripping the scalding hot liquid plastic onto the soles of her feet, suspended her from the ceiling using electrical wire, urinated in her mouth, and beaten her with metal pipes and table legs.
After the murder, the men cut Fan’s corpse into multiple pieces and decided to cook them, in hopes of preventing the stench of decay. Reportedly, the men cooked the victim’s remains on the stove right next to food they were preparing for dinner, and used the same utensils.
The three men were tried and convicted of manslaughter and unlawful imprisonment — a lesser charge than murder because prosecutors could not determine exactly how she died. The judge said, “Never in Hong Kong in recent years has a court heard of such cruelty, depravity, callousness, brutality, violence, and viciousness.”
Psychiatric reports described the three, members of a secret triad gang society, as “remorseless and pitiful.” The perpetrators were sentenced to life in prison, and could be eligible for parole in 2020.
For 13 years, the site of the gruesome “Hello Kitty” murder remained abandoned. According to The New York Times, in Hong Kong many people believe that living in a place where someone committed suicide or was murdered can bring bad fortune. Residences where tragedy occurred can be discounted up to 50 percent — more if the death was gruesome. But even at a discounted price, no one would rent or buy the apartment, as it was said to be haunted. In 2012, the entire building was finally demolished.
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Main photo: No. 31 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui [Wikimedia Commons]