World

Taiwanese man who murdered sister and pickled her head gets life term

Taiwan's top court on Thursday (April 30) upheld a life sentence handed down to a man who murdered his sister and pickled her head.

Chen Chia-fu, 39, killed and dismembered his sister in 2012 for an insurance payout of around US$200,000 (S$264,000).

Last year, a district court sentenced him to life in prison on the grounds that he had no prior criminal record and grew up in an "abnormal" family with a history of violence and mental disorders.

Prosecutors, who had sought the death penalty, and Chen, who had pleaded not guilty, appealed to the high court and later the supreme court over the ruling.

The courts maintained the previous sentencing.

Head was wrapped in a plastic bag

The case came to light in March 2013 after police in Chiayi county received a note claiming that the body of the woman, who had been missing since December 2012, was in a public toilet near a temple and asking for a "proper burial" for her.

The note led to the discovery of her head, which was wrapped in a plastic bag rubbed with several layers of salt. The rest of the victim's body was never found.

The writing in the note matched Chen’s handwriting.

He was arrested after police found surveillance footage showing him with bags carrying unidentified objects.

The police suspected Chen of taking a train from Taipei, where the siblings lived, to southern Taiwan possibly to dispose of her head in a secure location.

He was found to have bought at least four insurance policies for the 36-year-old woman, according to prosecutors.

Source: AFP

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