It’s been a busy and grisly weekend for Hong Kong police detectives. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday different people in different parts of the city committed three separate murders. Each was committed with a knife and in each case the murder scenes were gory.
First on Friday police discovered the dismembered heads of an elderly couple in the refrigerator of a Kowloon flat. The couple’s 29-year-old son was arrested and is believed to have committed the atrocities earlier in March. Police found other body parts in moisture proof boxes. Divers searched a section of the harbour for a missing hand. Also arrested was a 35-year-old man also suspected in the murder.
On Saturday an 18-year-old was arrested for “murdering and butchering” his parents, as reported in The South China Morning Post. The attack started when the boy’s father tried to stop him from playing computer games. The father was declared dead at the scene and the mother is in hospital with severe injuries. Also arrested was a 19-year-old friend.
The reports of this second murder questioned if the son was influenced by the grisly attacks making headlines the day he killed his father.
Then on Sunday another knife murder was committed. In this case a 47-year-old woman stabbed her partner to death. Police reported more than 100 knife wounds to the corpse that nearly beheaded the body. Following the crime the woman jumped to her death from the 77th floor of a luxury high-rise building in Kowloon West. Before committing suicide she phoned her former husband, admitted the crime and declared she would kill herself. Moments later she was dead.
Again in today’s newspaper reports the police question if this third murder was influenced by the previous two. In all cases knives were the weapon of choice, and victims were cut so many times their remains were dismembered.
The rash of murders this weekend guarantees weeks of screaming headlines for weeks to come with more salacious details. What isn’t clear is how the reporting of one murder might influence another person across town. Perhaps the desperate mind grabs for a last straw and lashes out of frustration or rage. And with handguns illegal knives are the weapons of choice.
Whether murder is contagious remains to be seen. What is clear is that it is a black day in Hong Kong.