A woman has been arrested in Taiwan for dismembering her husband’s body, and then collecting his benefits. The 41-year-old woman reportedly cut up the man’s body into small pieces after he died of an illness at home on November 15th. She then boiled his head, hands and feet to get rid of any evidence before putting the remains in plastic bags and disposing them away. Police found out about the crime when she went to collect $4,000 worth of pension benefits that were owed to her dead spouse, but was denied because authorities could not find a death certificate or any other proof that he had died. Police then arrested the woman, but have not yet released her name.
Taiwanese media reported that the man, who was not identified, had moved to the US in 2005. He later remarried and divorced before meeting with his Taiwanese wife. It is believed that he died of natural causes on November 15th after coming home sick five days earlier. Relatives of the woman had seen the man lying in bed on November 13th, but did not see him again before his death. The woman then took out life insurance policies for both her husband and herself with monthly benefits totaling 2.83 million Taiwanese dollars $80,000, according to media reports.
Taiwanese police said that on Sunday, several days after the man’s death, his wife went to a bank where she was told that there were insufficient funds in her dead spouse’s account. As police began their investigation into the case they found out that the woman had visited other financial institutions to inquire about her husband’s pension benefits. Authorities then searched her home and discovered parts of the dismembered man’s body.
Police said that the woman had also contacted her husband’s family and told them about his death, but authorities were unable to find any proof that he had died before revealing their concerns and launching a formal investigation. The woman reportedly confessed to killing her husband during questioning, saying she cut up the corpse with a saw because it was too heavy to carry, according to Taiwanese media. She also said she planned to use the money from his life insurance policies to pay off her debts and settle down in Taiwan.
Police said the woman had been charged with murder and could face the death penalty if convicted. The woman is being held at a detention center as prosecutors decide whether they will file charges.
Taiwan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, but recently families have been involved in several high-profile criminal cases. Earlier this year, Taiwanese authorities arrested three women for killing two children and attempting to murder a third. The mothers said they were frustrated by trying to care for their children according to traditional Confucian values. The three women, who were also charged with attempted murder, confessed during questioning and were arrested after police found suspicious injuries on the children’s bodies.