In May 1999 a young 13-year-old girl known only by “Ah Fong” walked into the Tsim She Tsui police station in Hong Kong and told police officers there an unbelievable story.
Fong claimed that for the past several nights she was being haunted by the ghost of a young woman. The specter was of a recently deceased 23-year-old Fan Man-yee a waitress, drug addict, and prostitute. Fong told the police that for nearly a month she took part in torturing this woman in a nearby apartment in unimaginable ways. Upon hearing her story, police brushed it off as teenage delusion or perhaps a young teenager experimenting with drugs. In fact Fong already had a record of being associated with gang members after running away from her home the previous year. Regardless, they followed her to the apartment. What they found in the apartment would become one of the most disgusting acts of human depravity and cruelty that has ever happened. Police believed Fong’s story as they opened apartment #31 on Granville Road in Kowloon. Police noticed the putrid smell of rotting flesh hit the officers before they stepped through the doorway.
The apartment owner was a 34-year-old named Chan Man-lok, a known drug lord and gang affiliate and triad leader. Hong Kong in the 1990s was rampant with gang violence. Members of the triads would often hang out at local brothels. It was at one of these brothels in 1997, the Romance Villa in Kowloon, that Chan met 23-year-old Fan Man-yee: a known prostitute and ICE addict. Fan had a troubled life growing up. Her family abandoned her while she was only a child and she ended up at the Ma Tau Wai girls at home. Fan became addicted to drugs at an early age and to pay for her addiction she started selling her body for sex at various brothels and night clubs. She nearly found happiness when she married in 1996 and gave birth to a son. The relationship was rocky, with both Fan and her husband being addicted to drugs, and neighbors complained constantly of hearing domestic abuse in the apartment. After Fan met Chan Man-lok he began paying her for long sex sessions and ice binges together. It was early March 1999 during one of these binges that Fan allegedly stole Chan’s wallet containing a HK$20,000 (US$2,560). Although Fan quickly paid Chan Man-lok back with interest from her prostitution earnings, he demanded more money from her. In his mind Fan had still not paid her debt, and he demanded more compensation. The kidnapping of Fan Man-yee happened during the evening of March 17, 1999 by two triad members Leung Shing-Cho and Leung Wai-lun whom Chan had ordered for her abduction. The group’s plan was to abduct Fan and make her prostitute until she repaid her debt. Chan’s mainly used this five-bedroom apartment for gang-related activities and for reasons unknown the Hello Kitty products made up the entire apartment’s decor. The men high on ICE and crystal meth began mercilessly beating Fan until she lost consciousness. The 3 men continued to get high on ice before they resumed beating her. It was then when they realized that Fan could not make any money on the street as she the three men bruised and beaten her.
The 13-year-old Ah Fong, who was there for most of the crime, detailed for the courts what happened during an entire month the men kept Fan Man-yee alive and in and out of consciousness. First Fong recalls the group tied her up took off her shoes and using plastic straws began melting, the plastic on Fan’s feet causing blistering. The men did this for several hours before getting bored with the straws. They instead began holding the flame to her already blistered feet. Chili oil, vegetable oil infused with different chili peppers poured into her blisters, her wounds, and her eyes. Each night when the gang slept they would hang up their victim by her feet from a hook attached to the apartment ceiling. When the morning came, the men beat Fan with iron bars and a detached water pipe. They would again use the chili oil to maximize her pain. When Fan would drift out of consciousness they would stop torturing her and play video games. Thirteen-year-old, Ah Fong told the court: “They beat her all the time. They beat her when they were bored. They beat her for laughs.” High on ICE the gang threw oyster sauce in her face and eyes, made her drink motor oil. They began urinating in her mouth and beating her senseless if she dared to spit it out. “She was broken and playing with her wasn’t so much fun after that. But we carried on anyway. There wasn’t anything else to do.” Fan was not being fed or given water. The 13-year-old tells police that once she defecated into a shoe box and forced her to eat it. Sentencing the three men to life imprisonment, Justice Peter Nguyen said: “Never in Hong Kong in recent years has a court heard of such cruelty, depravity, callousness, brutality, violence and viciousness.”
On April 15th, the four returned home from the arcade and clubs. It was the evening, so they rested before checking on their victim. When they awoke they noticed that Fan was no longer breathing and her body was cool to the touch. Fan Man-yee was deceased. The group then panicked because police entered the apartment complex one floor below to investigate an unrelated rape case. Chan Man-lok ordered the entire group to work together and dispose of Fan’s body in what Ah Fong recalls, “now she must be destroyed”. They moved the corpse to the bathtub and starting with the head, and Chan began dismembering the body with a handsaw. Once Chan removed the head, he placed it it in a pot of boiling water on the stove. The entire dismemberment took approximately 10 hours to complete. He ordered the other two men to remove the flesh from the corpse’s bones and store the muscle tissue inside the refrigerator.
Leung Shing-cho who was now in charge of cooking the head called Ah Fong to come help, however she told detectives that her fear stopped her from looking inside the pot. That’s when he told her to “pretend you’re watching a television.” During this process the group felt hungry to placing a pot on the hob next to the boiling head, they began cooking noodles. The same spoon was used to still the noodles and the severed head. The refrigerator contained teeth, muscle placed in ziplock bags, and various internal organs. Police recovered Fan’s liver, intestines, lungs and heart from the canopy below the apartment on May 26. Inside a Hello Kitty mermaid doll was the skull, removed of all flesh, sewn inside the head.
The court granted Ah Fong full immunity for her testimony against all three men. During a 6 week trial the trio denied killing Fan, but admitted to preventing her from receiving a lawful burial. They also minimized their own roles in the torture sessions by blaming each other’s of taking the lead roles. The defense team was nearly successful in convincing the jury that Fan died not of torture, but a drug overdose, although Fan’s husband testified that she had stopped using drugs before having their son. The medical authorities could not determine the exact cause of Fan’s death, so the jury refused to convict any of the three men with murder. In December 2000, they sentenced the three men to life in prison with the possibility of parole in the year 2020.