Nanjing, the provincial capital of Jiangsu province, China, the ancient capital to six different dynasties, witness to countless historical atrocities, is today one of the largest city in Southern China, on par in terms of GDP to Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Shanghai.
Eerily similar to our story about Dao Aiching, our story begins with a beautiful young female being carved into many pieces …
At Nanjing’s famous Toulejia Food Street, cleaning staff noticed something strange. Over a period of three consecutive days, enormous amount of cooked meat was discarded in the industrial-sized common garbage dump. Given that the location was a food street, clustered by dozens of restaurants, many of which would throw out hundreds of pounds of processed food in a single day, strange it may be, but still within bounds of reason.
However, within the cleaning staff was Mr. Gao, a Vietnam war veteran.
According to Mr. Gao:”I have seen thousands of corpses. I have seen people being hacked, burned, and maimed. And when I saw the meat inside the bag, I just knew it was human.”
The large plastic garbage bag containing the cooked meat had loose seams and a piece of it fell out out of the bag. It was a large chunk of well-cooked meat, with ketchup smeared all over the smooth surface. As Mr. Gao picked it up and was about to toss it back into the bag, he paused and said to the other staff: ”What kind of meat is it? It’s not chicken. It’s not pork. It looks like a human thigh.”
As the realization shocked Mr. Gao, he immediately called the police.
The police arrived within a few minutes and confirmed that they were indeed human flesh.
In total, police recovered two dozen garbage bags all filled with hundred pieces of human flesh. Forensic examination indicated that flesh has not only been cooked, but also frozen prior to being cooked, and might have been frozen and cooked, frozen again, and then cooked again.
“The entire process would have taken at least ten days,” according to the police report.
Putting the pieces together, forensic investigators identified the remains of a young female in her early twenties. No human head was recovered. Her body was white and smooth. Her breasts were buxom and her nipples perky. Her hips were wide and rotund.
The perpetrator seemed to have no knowledge of human anatomy. Much of the cutting was done by brute force with no particular skill.
Surveillance camera revealed a person in dark clothing, wearing a baseball cap and a mask over his face, throwing those plastic bags at the garbage dump.
There was one piece of fingerprint on the rope tying the bag, but a search for the fingerprint returned no result, indicating the perpetrator did not have any prior criminal history.
The police focused on the fact that remains had been frozen, and searched for all transactions involving freezers. However, given the mega-city status of Nanjing, it was impossible to trace every single buyer of freezers over a period of several months. It lead to nowhere.
Particularly puzzling was the fact that no human head was recovered anywhere.
And who is the young female? No one reported any young woman missing that fitted the description of the victim.
The case became cold for two years.
October 2016, a couple in their late forties came to Nanjing from Yanchengshi, the rural area of Jiangsu, and reported that their daughter, Hee Chingching, has been missing for two years. After identification, the remains indeed matched that of Hee Chingqing. At the time of her death, Ching was 20 years old, and was working in Nanjing as a prostitute in an unamed high-end KTV club.
According to the mother, Ching has stopped called home two years ago, and instead would send a few text messages stating that either she wanted to move to a different city or she had no mood to talk. When the couple tried to call their daughter, her phone would either be deactivated or no one would answer. The father said that “Ching has always been a very stubborn child. She never listened to us, and did whatever she wanted.”
During the two years, Ching’s parents continued to make efforts to contact Ching, but she never responded, only sending text messages once in a while. Fearing some ill-foreboding, the parents traveled to Nanjing to look for her. In Ching’s apartment, the parents found that while all her furnitures were still inside the room, her expensive jewelries, bank cards, phone, and laptop were all missing. At the time they still thought that their daughter was traveling or “eloped” with someone.
The father said, “When Ching came home, she wore very revealing luxury-brand clothes and had all kinds of jewelries and fancy stuffs, so we sort of knew what kind of job she did in Nanjing. I forbade her to go back to Nanjing, but she wouldn’t listen. She said she will go back to Nanjing even if I break her legs. We have no control over her.”
As early as January 2015, the couple had tried to report their daughter’s missing to the police, but rural province is very different compared to big cities such as Nanjing. The police there are very lax and won’t even make a police report. “If you make a police report, then you have to solve the crime. So they often talk you out of making police reports.” The father said, “They told me because my daughter was still sending me text messages, so she was not missing. We had to wait for two years before we can officially declare her to be missing.”
For more than a year, the middled-aged couple had been living in Nanjing searching for their daughter.
Due to the two year gap, police investigation became very difficult. Surveillance do not keep record for two years. Also trying to reach Ching’s former friends have now become difficult. Since she worked in high-end KTV clubs, most of her associates were either fellow prostitutes or johns, many of whom are very shy around the police, to say the least.
Eventually, they were able to track down a former prostitute-friend of Ching who lead the police to investigate Mr. Chiao, a senior level industrial engineer working in a large state-owned enterprise.
Mr. Chiao came from a well-educated family. Both his parents are college professors. Mr. Chiao is mild-mannered, slightly chubby, and spoke in a soft and submissive voice. Initially the police was suspicious whether he was indeed the murderer.
A lengthy confession and the gathering of material evidence sealed the case airtight.
After becoming a senior-level industrial engineer, Mr. Chiao was frequently invited to high-end KTV clubs by wealthy clients and he became acquainted with Ms. Hee Chingching. Enamored by her beauty, Mr. Chiao kept her as his concubine, secluded her in a luxury apartment in the wealthiest district of Nanjing for his own enjoyment. However, at the time Mr. Chiao is already married and has a daughter. Ms. Hee not only demanded large sums of money from Mr. Chiao but eventually started to demand that he divorce his current wife and marry her instead. Whenever she was not getting what she wanted, she threw tantrums and threatened to reveal their affairs to his wife and parents. Mr. Chiao is by nature docile, submissive, and cowardly, and caved in to her every demand but, as her demand became more and more outrageous, Mr. Chiao reached a tipping point. One night, after a particular grisly fight between the two, Mr. Chiao strangled Ms. Hee.
He kept her remains inside the bathroom, brought a freezer from a local store, had it delivered to her apartment. The delivery man was inside the living room while Ms. Hee’s corpse was in the bathroom. After the delivery man left Hee’s apartment Mr. Chiao dragged her corpse out of the bathroom and stuffed it inside the freezer and then went and brought a set of butcher knives and several large pots in preparation to dispose the body by cooking her. However, realizing that the smell of cooking human flesh might be too strong and invite suspicions from neighbors, he decided to do it at a different location. He rented a vacation house in a remote country area outside of Nanjing metro area and had the freezer along with Ms. He’s corpse inside delivered there via a rental mini-van. Then he started the process of cooking her. He dismembered her in a total of two hundred small pieces. Cooked each piece for over a day. Then fried. As he was cooking her flesh, he added in soy sauce, and ketchup, and other ingredients to make it appear like KFC-styled chicken meat. The entire process took him fifteen days to complete. Then he had her remains shipped back to her apartment, inside the same freezer, via the same rental mini-van. And later dumped her remains in separate garbage bags in the nearby Toulejia Food Street.
Regarding the missing head.
Mr. Chiao testifies that he had boiled Ms. Hee’s head until nothing was left except for the skull and her brain. He then carefully took her brain mass out of the skull, dumped it into the sewer, and locked the human skull in a safe, along with her ID, bank cards, and clothes. The safe, whose password is only known to Mr. Chiao, was then given to a work-associate. Mr. Chiao told the work-associate that it contained some very important work-related documents and cannot be opened without his permission.
He later sold the freezer that was used to store Ms. Hee Chingching’s remains to a local restaurant at the Toulejia Food Street.