In 1999, a 23-year-old woman named Fan Man-yee was abducted by a group of triads in Hong Kong after stealing a wallet. She was held captive in a flat in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon and subjected to torture for over a month before ultimately dying as a result of her injuries. The case, known as the Hello Kitty Murder, garnered significant attention and outrage in the region.
During her captivity, Fan was subjected to a variety of degrading and inhumane treatment, including being forced to drink urine and eat feces, being beaten, and burned. After her death, the perpetrators dismembered her body and cooked it in pots before placing her half-cooked head inside a Hello Kitty doll in the shape of a mermaid. The brutality of the crime and the disturbing manner in which Fan's body was treated caused outrage in the community.
The Hello Kitty Murder Case
In 1997, Fan Man-yee met Chan Man-Lok, a 34-year-old socialite, at a nightclub. Both were involved in illegal activities, with Fan working as a prostitute and drug addict and Chan serving as a pimp and drug dealer. They quickly became associates, with Fan becoming a regular member of Chan's group of henchmen.
In 1997, Fan, desperate for money and drugs, stole Chan's wallet, which contained HK$4,000. However, she did not realize that Chan was someone she should not have crossed, and this act of theft would have severe consequences.
When Chan learned of the theft, he ordered the second and third defendants, Leung Shing-Cho and Leung Wai-Lun, to collect the debt from Fan Man-yee.
In an effort to pay off the debt, Fan continued to work as a prostitute while pregnant. However, the defendants continuously increased the amount of the debt, causing Fan frustration and making it impossible for her to repay. In response, Chan came up with a plan to have Fan continue working as a prostitute until the debt, including interest, was fully paid off.
Fan Man-yee Was Abducted
On March 17, 1999, Leung Shing-Cho and Leung Wai-Lun acting on orders from Chan abducted Fan from a unit in Fuyao Building in Kwai Chung and took her to Chan's third-floor flat on Granville Road. Once there, things escalated quickly, and the three, under the influence of methamphetamine, began a prolonged period of torture.
Fan Was Tortured For A Month Before She Died
Inside the room, Leung Wai-Lun questioned Fan about her refusal to repay the money and her lack of communication, kicking her more than 50 times. The defendants sealed the windows of the unit with wooden planks in order to conceal the atrocities they were committing.
The torture quickly escalated in severity, with the perpetrators splashing chili oil into the victim's mouth and wounds and forcing her to consume feces and drink their urine. On one occasion, the defendants melted a plastic straw and dropped it onto the victim's lap, ordering her to laugh. The victim went into convulsions as a result of the pain. These actions were some of the most heinous forms of abuse the victim endured.
The defendants tied the victim's hands tightly with electric wires for several hours, then beat her with steel pipes. After a few weeks of this abuse, Fan was finally unable to withstand it and fell into a coma.
While in a coma, the defendants burned the victim's feet with a lighter and asked her to move her body. Forensic reports indicated that Fan had also been ingesting methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant that is commonly used recreationally to alter the user's perceptions, feelings, and emotions.
It is believed that Fan Man-yee died in mid-April 1999. At the time of her death, her face was swollen, her gums were heavily bleeding, and her body was covered in blisters, wounds, and pus.
Playing With Fan's Corpse
Upon discovering Fan Man-yee's death, the defendants decided to dismember her corpse. They first moved the body to the bathtub to drain it of blood, sawed the bones, removed the intestines and placed them in a plastic bag, and cooked other parts of the body in hot water in the bathroom. They then put all of the dismembered parts in multiple plastic bags and disposed of them at a garbage station.
Chan also used a kerosene stove and pot to cook Fan's head in the room. In a rush, they disposed of her internal organs by tossing them out of the building onto the canopy below.
The perpetrators cut open a mermaid-shaped Hello Kitty doll and removed some of the cotton stuffing in order to place Fan's half-cooked skull inside it. As they were pulling out the semi-dissolved hair, Chan reportedly said, "Oh, please don't be so depressed, I will help you look good! Don't move, I'll help you dress up!"
Afterward, Chan reportedly ordered the other defendants to feed the cooked meat to the dogs, though it is unclear if this instruction was carried out. The level of cruelty and depravity demonstrated in this case is unimaginable.
A Bizarre Confession!
In addition to the horror of Fan Man-yee's torture, the involvement of a 13-year-old girl in the crime is also disturbing. In May 1999, one month after the murder, this girl reported the crime to the police and played a role in the prosecution of the perpetrators. It is chilling to think that someone so young could be involved in such a heinous act.
The 13-year-old girl, known only as "Ah Fong" (a pseudonym probably assigned by the Hong Kong courts), was in a relationship with Chan Man-Lok, though it is less likely that she was really his "girlfriend" and more likely that this relationship involved her working as a prostitute for him.
During one of her visits to Chan Man-lok's apartment, Ah Fong witnessed him kick Fan Man-yee 50 times in the head. She then joined in and hit Fan in the head herself.
After Fan's death, Ah Fong began to have nightmares about the sadistic torture that she and the three gang members had inflicted on the young mother.
Feeling that Fan's restless spirit was haunting her, the 13-year-old believed the only way to free herself was to confess to the police. She went to a Hong Kong police station and revealed the details of Fan's month-long suffering and eventual death.
At first, authorities found the teenager's account so disturbing and unbelievable that they nearly dismissed it as a bizarre fantasy. However, they decided to search the flat recently vacated by the three men and discovered evidence that supported the teenager's allegations.
The specific details of the extent of the torture inflicted by Ah Fong were not made public as part of her plea deal, but it is likely that they were significant. She provided details of the indescribable torture inflicted on Fan Man-yee by the three men and when asked about it, stated, "I had a feeling it was for fun."
All three defendants were arrested and prosecuted following the discovery of the crime. Ah Fong was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against her boyfriend and his two accomplices. Although the three men denied killing Fan, they admitted during their six-week trial to preventing the young mother from receiving a lawful burial, a criminal offense in Hong Kong.
Chan and Wai-Lun both pleaded guilty to the charge of false imprisonment, while Shing-Cho denied it. During the trial, the three men accused each other of being responsible for torturing Fan and minimized their own roles in the abuse she suffered during the final month of her life.
The defense attempted to persuade the jury that Fan may have died from a drug overdose. While it was true that Fan had used methamphetamines before becoming pregnant with her son, her husband testified that she had stopped using drugs years earlier upon learning of her pregnancy.
Due to the manner in which the three men disposed of Fan's body, medical authorities were unable to determine the exact cause of her death. As a result, the jury declined to find the men guilty of murder. They were instead convicted of manslaughter in December 2000 and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years.
In issuing a sentence of life imprisonment for the three men, Justice Peter Nguyen stated: "Never in Hong Kong in recent years has a court heard of such cruelty, depravity, callousness, brutality, violence, and viciousness."
The Hauntings Of The Hello Kitty Murder Case
The brutal nature of the torture and killing, in this case, received widespread attention from Hong Kong society and extensive media coverage. After the incident, there were many unusual occurrences that were perceived by the public as supernatural.
In 1999, before the details of the case were made public, a female inspector named Feng Xiaoyan received a report from the public about a bad odor emanating from the unit where the incident took place. Feng Xiaoyan visited the scene and searched the abandoned corridor but did not find anything unusual. In September 2000, she burned charcoal at her residence and prayed for the peace of Fan's soul.
The forensic doctor in charge of the case revealed that when the court presented evidence including Fan's skull, the Hello Kitty doll, and the clay pot used to cook her body, the entire courtroom was filled with the smell of a corpse, regardless of where the evidence was presented.
During the trial, when the defense lawyer argued that the defendants had only illegally handled the body and that there was no need to discuss it further, the lights in the courtroom flickered intensely and everyone present was stunned.
Judge Ruan Yundao stated that he had encountered many cases in his career, but none had involved such unusual events as this case. Defendant Leung Shing-Cho also reportedly told detention center guards that all the women he saw in the courtroom looked like the deceased Fan Man-yee.
There were also strange occurrences reported in the building where the murder took place. A woman who was unaware of the murder occurring in the building rented a flat on the 4th floor with one of her friends. She and her female friend reported frequently hearing the crying of women at night in the empty unit. They also claimed to have experienced ghostly touches while sleeping.
The woman and her friend later revealed that the previous occupants of the 4th floor, Mr. Huang, his wife, and children, had encountered a female ghost on the stairs of the building while helping the police identify the victim. This scared the family and they quickly moved out of the building.
Some readers informed the media that staff at the hair salon on the first and second floors of the building had found mysterious Hello Kitty dolls in the morning. When they reviewed the CCTV footage, they noticed that after the salon was closed for the night, there was a shadow following the man in charge of the salon as he walked.
A well-known woman in Hong Kong claimed that while she was relaxing in a bar on Granville Road, she saw a woman's head staring at her from the unit across the street. It was only later that she learned that the unit was the location of the Hello Kitty Murder case.
The Apartment Building Was Demolished
After the extensive media coverage of Fan's torture and death, no one wanted to buy or rent the apartment where she had suffered such horrific abuse. As a result, the flat sat empty for years. Eventually, people also decided they did not want to live in any of the other apartments in the building on Granville Road.
In 2012, an investor purchased the vacant apartment building, which many people believed to be haunted by the spirit of Fan, and had it demolished.
If you have finished reading about the Hello Kitty Murder Case, consider reading another true crime story on Junko Furuta, the girl who was raped, tortured, and murdered in 41 days of her terrible ordeal!