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Taipei teenager stabs his elderly grandma to death in bread dispute

A 12-year-old Taipei boy had a bitter dispute with his 69-year-old grandmother before allegedly stabbing her to death Thursday at their residence, police said yesterday.

The young homicide suspect, surnamed Wu, who graduated from a local elementary school two months ago, has a police record of theft.

Wu lives with the killed grandmother Yu Chin-lien, his parents and an elder brother in a department building in Taipei's Neihu district.

The boy and Yu failed to get along well with each other, as she had a habit of bringing rotten bread home and asking her daughter, the boy’s mother, to eat up the bad food.

Wu's mother has once been sent to hospital for medical treatment as she got sick after having the bread, police said.

The tragedy took place at around 805 a.m. Thursday when the suspect had a fierce quarrel with Yu over her habit, before the outraged boy pushed her down to the ground.

Officers investigating the crime said the elderly woman, attempted to flee the apartment whilst her grandson tried to strangle her before slamming her head against the wall.

Yu, according to police, lost consciousness minutes later.

The officers told reporters that Wu later picked up a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her grandma five times in the chest.

The teenager, who remained calm after committing the crime, covered her grandma with a big plastic bag, dragging it to her grandma’s bedroom.

Putting the body on her grandma’s bed, the boy locked the door and fled the scene, the officers said.

Wu’s parents, who returned home Thursday night found the body after breaking into her bedroom. They immediately reported the case to the police, without realizing that their son was the suspect.

The boy soon became the police’s target as he had disappeared following the homicide while there was no sign of a break-in at the crime scene.

Wu was later arrested in Hsichih, Taipei County, while he was wandering on the street.

Although the teenager admitted to the homicide in the police interrogation, he at first claimed that he had lost control of himself when they had the dispute before “accidentally” strangling her.

The suspect declined to provide the officers with the true story until a medical examiner found the knife wounds on the corpse.

The medical examiner, who had conducted a thorough examination on the body, said it was one of the knife wounds in the lung that had resulted in the elderly’s death.

The boy, who expressed regret over what he had done in the police questioning, said he committed the crime after failing to put up with his grandmother’s habit of collecting rotten food.

Wu told the officers that his grandmother had beaten him before he lost control of himself and killed her.

In an attempt to make up his alibi, Wu went to play video games in a nearby Internet cafe after committing the crime, trying to make the officers believe that he had spent the whole Thursday there.

Asked where he learnt to cover up what he had done, the boy said he imitated the acts of the criminals in a Japanese cartoon on television.

In the police station, a sister of the boy’s mother slammed Wu’s father several times blaming him for failing to soundly educate his son.

The father later fell down on his knees when he saw other relatives and begged for their forgiveness.

One of Wu’s teachers, however, was extremely surprised when she was informed of the tragedy.

Describing Wu as a normal boy, she said he had got along well with his teachers and classmates.

The teacher said she found nothing wrong with the boy last week when he went to see her at the school.

It is the second tragedy of the kind to occur within three years in Taipei.

On Oct. 11, 1998, Lin Ching-yueh, who was 18, jolted Taiwan society when he brutally killed his parents at their residence in Linkuo, Taipei County.

They teenage suspect hacked his parents 109 times with a kitchen knife in the house before he tried to burn the bodies.

Taiwan High Court found Lin guilty of parricide last month and handed down the death penalty.

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