Psychiatrist: Russian composer’s classical piece could have driven HK parent killer to act

A psychiatrist assigned to asses a Hongkonger accused of murdering, dismembering and cooking his parents told the court a piece of classical music may have driven the defendant to kill.

Dr. Chung Ka-fai told the Court of First Instance on Monday that 31-year-old Henry Chau said he listened to “Ver La Flamme” (Towards the Flame) by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin every night for a month before killing his father Chau Wing-ki, 65, and his mother Siu Yuet-yee, 63, on March 1, 2013.

Here’s what it sounds like. Listen at your own risk: 

The SCMP reports that Dr. Chung described feeling “tense and wound up” himself after listening to the piece just once.

The doctor claims Chau told him he saw flames around the time of the killings and was convinced the world would be consumed by fire.

“The music intensified the images of fire and flame in his mind. He believed the world was going to end and he could not get away from it.

The music was like repeating the words to him every day,” Chung told the jury. He also claims Chau described touching a woman’s tights on a bus and feeling as powerful as god.

The psychiatrist diagnosed the defendant with bipolar disorder, personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but said he is not a psychopath.

Chau is accused of two counts of murder along with his friend Tse Chun-kei, 38, who allegedly helped him kill and dismember the couple, whose body parts were found cut up and partially cooked in Chau’s kitchen.

Both have pleaded not guilty, although Chau previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The trial continues.

Photo: Bada Bing via Flickr

Related Stories:

Son who killed and cooked parents ‘angry about TV volume and losing face with girl’

Hong Kong son confessed to killing and sawing up parents, friend tells court

Hong Kong court: Son who dismembered, refrigerated and salted parents was after their money


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