Prostitute Stabbed by a Man in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

One of the things you may notice about Taiwan is that the discourse of decorum often glosses over society’s darker sides. Spatially, this translates into an urban structure where status symbol architecture marginalises neighbourhoods which the outsider is not supposed to see or know about. 

Narrow alleys, hidden streets, parallel worlds that are allowed to be there as long as they remain discreetly out of the spotlight. This is the realm of illegal business, of criminals and prostitutes; “special” massage parlours, KTVs, and hairdresser’s shops, where you get more than the signboards promise. That’s where crime happens, unreported on world media, interested only in geopolitics and economic data. Perhaps these things aren’t newsworthy, perhaps they only satisfy scandalmongers’ basest instincts. But they are a part of society.

Mr. Su is a 42-year-old truck driver. On October last year he went to a “hairdresser’s” in the port-city of Kaohsiung, in Southern Taiwan. “Hairdresser” is one of the many euphemisms used in Taiwan to cover up a business of prostitution. Girls wear tiny, low-cut dresses that expose much of their body; a 90 minutes’ massage costs 1000 NTD; for masturbation you have to add 500 NTD (note). There Mr. Su met a 33-year-old woman surnamed Zheng. She worked in the shop. He liked her and began visiting her often. 

On April 2014, they went out to eat some ‘midnight snacks’ (宵夜), when a quarrel broke out between them, and he beat her. The woman reported him to the police. He was summoned to the police station for questioning. Mr. Su was furious.

On May 6th, Mr. Su phoned the hairdresser’s to make sure Zheng was at work. Then he took a folding knife and went to the shop. He talked with her about what had happened and asked her to withdraw her statement. She refused. Enraged, he took out his folding knife and stabbed her 6 times.

Some of Zheng’s co-workers witnessed the quarrel. The situation was grotesque. As Mr. Su was stabbing Zheng, her colleagues did not try to stop him, but one of them recorded the whole scene with her phone.

Zheng fell on the floor, bleeding. The man immediately ran away. People called an ambulance. But she died before she could reach the hospital.

The following day the man, accompanied by his older sister, went to the police station of Ligang, in Pingdong, and gave himself up to the police. In his confession, he stated that Zheng not only had cheated him out of his money and deceived his feelings, but she had also quarrelled with him and turned him over to the police. At that point, he began to plan her murder. 

(see Apple Daily report)


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