Thu, Nov 06, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Alleged MRT killer had ‘fascination with murder’

TESTIMONY:Cheng Chieh’s school friends told of his alleged long-held plans to carry out a large-scale public murder, while victims’ families told of their heartbreak

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Court proceedings this week into the Taipei Metro stabbing spree earlier this year heard key witnesses testifying that Cheng Chieh (鄭捷) had been planning to carry out a mass public murder for many years.

One account came from a man surnamed Lee (李), who was a junior-high classmate of Cheng and said they have maintained contact and remained good friends.

Lee told New Taipei District Court’s presiding judge on Tuesday that Cheng had made a vow in his junior-high school days to carrying out a public killing. Lee said he had tried many times to talk his friend out of the idea.

Family members of Cheng’s alleged victims attended the hearing.

Cheng, 21, allegedly went on a stabbing spree on the Taipei MRT’s Bannan Line on May 21, resulting in four deaths and 24 people injured.

Another witness, a high school friend of Cheng’s, said that Cheng two years ago wrote online: “I will go and kill people on Taipei Metro trains; when it is moving, no one can escape. Even if someone that I care for is standing in front of me, I will kill him without thinking.”

Witnesses testified that Cheng showed no feeling toward fellow human beings and had a twisted mind with a fascination for killing.

Witnesses said that Cheng was into playing video combat games and reading comics with horror themes, including murder, as well as self-centered characters with no regard for human life, saying that these may have been contributing factors to Cheng’s mental state.

The parents of Chang Cheng-han (張正翰), one of the people allegedly murdered by Cheng, attended the hearing carrying a framed, enlarged photograph of their son. Chang, a 26-year-old graduate student, was the youngest of the four killed.

Chang’s parents cried throughout the hearing. His mother handed a letter to the presiding judge, in which she asked the judge to hand down the death penalty, as Cheng had shown no remorse.

She said the court and the public should know of the pain felt by the victims’ families.

“My son met a devil and his life was lost. Who knows the pain and suffering of a mother who has lost a son? Yet why is this devil still sitting here, while my son can never return home?” she said.

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