Greater Tainan prosecutors yesterday requested the detention of a man in connection with two seemingly random attacks that resulted in one person being killed and another severely injured on Sunday.
According to investigators, at 9:45pm on Sunday, an elderly farmer, Yan Chiang-hsiung (顏江雄), who was inspecting his farmland in Taikang Borough (太康) in Greater Tainan’s Liouying District (柳營), was stabbed 41 times by a stranger and died on the spot.
About 25 minutes later, a Tainan National University of the Arts graduate student, Chang Yen-kai (張彥凱), was assaulted and stabbed 12 times in the back by an unidentified man near his home, which was approximately 2km from the first crime scene, investigators said.
Chang, who dabbles in kendo, managed to fight off his attacker.
The short distance between the two crime scenes and the fact that the victims had nothing in common led investigators to believe that the two cases were the result of random acts of violence committed by the same person.
Following the lead given by Chang, who had memorized part of the license plate number of the motorcycle that the culprit used to flee the scene, police were able to track down the vehicle’s owner — 36-year-old Tu Chia-wen (涂嘉文).
Police said they found Tu sleeping in his boxer shorts and his feet stained with blood when they raided his residence at about 11pm on Sunday, where they also discovered three 30cm-long steel knives in his room, living room and a stockroom.
Traces of blood were also found on his motorcycle, helmet and slippers, as well as in a trash can, police added.
Police said Tu has a history of addiction to sniffing glue, adding that judging from the violent content of a Japanese suspense novel found at his premises, he could have imitated the plot of the novel and committed violence while under the influence of superglue.
Investigators said Tu sounded vague when questioned and claimed that a wound on the palm of his left hand was sustained at work.
However, the blood stains found at his home and on his feet matched the DNA of the two victims, investigators said.
Based on the findings of the preliminary investigation, the Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday morning filed a court request to detain Tu.
Meanwhile, the blood traces found at Tu’s home also matched the DNA of 70-year-old Wu Chun-hsin (吳俊信), who was severely injured after being stabbed five times by an unknown man on March 10 near the Chishui River (急水溪) in Liouying’s Bawong Village (八翁), police said.
Police said Tu had admitted to the attacks involving Yan and Chang, but denied any involvement in the assault on Wu.
Additional Reporting by Wang Chun-chung, Hung Jui-chin and Cheng Shu-ting