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Prostitutes on guard as killer strikes

Hong Kong police are investigating the murder of a third prostitute in three weeks and are looking into the possibility a serial killer may be targeting the women.

A 38 year-old Thai prostitute who worked out of a so-called “one-woman brothel” was found Saturday night after neighbors in the apartment building where she worked called police and reported a robbery in progress. The woman was found unconscious on the floor and rushed to the hospital with head injuries. She was later declared dead at the hospital.

Two other prostitutes were killed in different districts on Jan. 10 and on Jan. 11.

Under Hong Kong law, prostitution is legal, but “living off the proceeds of prostitution” by running a brothel or providing services to a prostitute, like security, is illegal. This makes the women vulnerable because they have to work alone. The operators of a web site that carried advertisements for prostitutes were convicted in 2008 of living off the proceeds of prostitution.