'Taiwan's Sherlock Holmes' dies at 84

TAIPEI - Locally renowned forensics expert and scientist Yang Ri-song died yesterday of colon cancer at the age of 84, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said. Yang, sometimes described as "Taiwan's Sherlock Holmes," worked in the field of forensics for almost 50 years and served as a consultant at the Institute of Forensic Medicine after he retired.

A graduate of National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Yang conducted tens of thousands of anatomical dissections and became a local legend by solving some of the country's most bizarre murder cases.

He was instrumental in solving the shocking case of Iguchi Mariko, a Japanese student who was murdered in 1990 while visiting Taiwan, for which he was later conferred an honorary doctorate in forensics from the University of Tokyo.

James Chun-I Lee, head of the forensic institute, said Yang also found justice for naval Capt. Yin Ching-feng, who was about to blow the whistle on his colleagues involved in the Lafayette scandal in 1993, by proving that his death was homicide and not suicide.

He praised Yang as the country's most important pioneer in forensic science.

Yang's family, meanwhile, expressed the desire for a low-profile funeral, according to the bureau.