This week Hong Kong was rocked by two tabloid sensations which snowballed into one fever-pitch screaming headline. The story had it all – guns, blood, sex and celebrities.
First, Thai-Chinese director Oxide Pang was sprung having an affair with a nubile model. His wife – the widely popular star of his classic horror film “The Eye” – was splashed across magazine covers looking distraught. So far so typical for the incredible invasive HK tabloid press.
But meanwhile across town in Kowloon City, another story was emerging. A lone gunman – a disturbed middleaged man – shot his neighbour dead and then held court at a televised siege of his apartment block ,which had been hastily evacuated and surrounded by police SWAT teams and circling news helicopters. The man clambered onto his balcony before the TV cameras and waved his gun about wildly, before going back inside to shoot himself in the head.
Both of these stories were big in their own right, but what made them especially eyecatching was the bizarre coincidence (?) uncovered by tabloid reporters from the Apple Daily who followed the gunman’s family to the morgue where they were to identify the body. They noticed a striking resemblance between the dead man’s daughter and the model who had been at the centre of the Pang scandal – a development which electrified the city, leading to a paparazzi chase that tailed the grieving family of the gunman right through the New Territories until they were forced to cross the border into China to lose the news cameras.
The man has since been confirmed as the father of Pang’s “other woman” and now speculation is rife, and rabidly fanned by the gutter press, over whether the revelations of her indiscretions had been the deciding factor which tipped her father off the deep end.