In China, a man and his friend are on trial for the murder of the man’s parents, after which the two men dismembered the bodies before chopping them up, salting them and cooking them, according to allegations heard in the Court of First Instance on Monday, Aug. 4. Prosecutors charge that 30-year-old Henry Chau Hoi-leung, with the assistance of his friend, 36-year-old Tse Chun-kei, plotted to kill Chau’s parents for over three months. Their preparations included purchasing knives, microwaves, refrigerators and a rice cooker.
After he was arrested, Chau confessed to police that he and Tse had murdered his parents, Chau Wing-ki, and Siu Yuet-Yee, on Mar. 1st, which is when “they felt ready.” Police found the organs and heads of the couple on Mar. 15, 2013, hidden in two refrigerators. The bodies had been dismembered, salted and placed in lunchboxes.
Evidence shown in court by the prosecution included a surveillance video recorded on Mar. 1, 2013, of Chau Wing-ki and Siu, 62, in the company of Henry Chau as they entered his building, located in Tai Kok Tsui, China, after accepting his lunch invitation. The video captures the last time the couple was seen alive. Approximately 20 minutes later, Henry Chau is seen leaving the same building on his way to a hospital, where he was treated for cuts on his hands. Prosecutors allege that the cuts were sustained during a struggle with his father, 65.
On Mar. 14, 2013, Henry Chau notified police that his parents had gone “to have fun” on the mainland of China, but had not returned. During his time at the police station that day, he used WhatsApp to send instant messages to a friend – messages confessing to the murder of his parents and claiming that before going to prison for life, he needed more time in which to say goodbye to his friends. He also used the app to tell his friends that he was a psych0path, and blamed his mental illness on his childhood.
Henry Chau and Tse were arrested on Mar. 15. During a search of his apartment, in addition to the bodies of his parents, police found receipts and notes to indicate that plans for the murders began in November of 2012. After being arrested, Henry Chau confessed to police that the pair had murdered his parents together, but claimed that Tse had been the one to dismember them. He said that Tse had run out of room in the refrigerators, so he had salted some of the body parts and placed them in boxes. He also claimed that Tse had cooked the rest of the bodies, describing it as “chopping barbecued pork,” after which he placed the chopped and cooked remains in rice boxes, added rice and then threw the boxes in a dumpster. During a recorded interview with police, Tse denied any involvement in the murders, saying only that Henry Chau had shown him a box in which miscellaneous body parts and a hand were inside, saying that Tse would have a difficult time trying to convince anyone that he had not taken part in the dismemberment.
According to police, Henry Chau said that he had decided to kill his mother and father because he no longer felt an emotional connection to them. Prosecutors believe that his parents were killed after telling Henry Chao that they could no longer afford their current lifestyle, which including supporting their son, saying he would have to find employment to pay his own way.
Prior to the start of the trial, the jury was told by Deputy Judge Michael Stuart-Moore that Henry Chau and Tse had previously confessed to preventing the lawful burial of Henry Chau’s parents. Although Henry Chau pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter due to mental difficulties, the prosecution rejected his pleas and decided to move forward with the trial instead. In court, both Henry Chau and Tse denied murdering Henry Chau’s parents.
By Jennifer Pfalz