Transcribe your podcast

Today's story is a good old fashioned, spooky story. It's about a missing person in Taiwan, and it takes a totally bizarre turn. I will say, probably most of you will get the biggest thrill out of the apartment scene. You'll know that scene when you get to it, and that's towards the end of the video. So make sure you stick around if you enjoy being spooked. But before we get into that story, if you're a fan of the Strange, dark, and mysterious delivered in story format, then you come to the right place because that's all we do, and we upload once a week. So if that's of interest to you, the next time the like button is at work, sneak into their house and crawl into their bed, and then open up a Nature Valley crunchy granola bar and very sloppily eat it so crumbs go everywhere. And then without cleaning up, just pull the covers up and cover up your mess and leave. Also, please subscribe to our channel and turn on all notifications so you don't miss any of our weekly uploads. Okay, let's get into today's story. On the morning of February fourth, 1991, a taxi cab driver named Wang was chatting with the taxi dispatcher at headquarters when suddenly, for no clear reason, the dispatcher stopped talking to Wang and just began staring intently at something behind Wang.


And so Wang noticed this, and right away, he turned around to see what it was he was looking at. But all Wang could see was just a window that looked out to this huge fenced-in parking lot that was full of taxi cabs and their drivers. This is where they would go to wait for fares. And where the taxi headquarters were located was right near the airport in a very busy city called Kao Xheung city in Taiwan. And so taxi cabs in this area were really in high demand. And so as Wang looked out at the very busy parking lot full of drivers, talking to potential customers, to Wang, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was just a typical busy day. But when Wang looked at the dispatcher like, I don't really see what you see, the dispatcher just raised his finger and pointed in the direction that he was staring. Wang turned around again. And this time, when he looked in the direction the dispatcher was pointing, he could see immediately why the dispatcher was reacting the way he was. Because the dispatcher was pointing at one of their colleagues, so another taxi driver, whose name was Leo Shuei Cheung.


As Wang looked out at him, he saw Leo was sprinting across this very busy parking parking lot full of all these cabs and drivers and customers. And Leo was clutching this big golden statue of Buddha in his arms as he ran. And so Wang and the dispatcher watched Leo. And what he did is he kept running all the way across the lot until he got to his taxi cab, at which point he practically dove inside of it. He slammed the door, locked every door, and then began looking around frantically like he was expecting someone to show up who had been chasing him or something. But there was nobody around his car, and Wang and the dispatcher scanned parking lot, and they didn't see anybody who seemed remotely interested in Leo. Wang and the dispatcher continued to watch Leo from the window, and they saw eventually, Leo stopped scanning around for other people. At that point, he took that golden statue of Buddha, and he placed it up on the dash of his cab. This was not the first Buddha statue that he had put up there. From Wang and the dispatcher's perspective, it looked like he had at least two or three that were right up there alongside this new one.


Then after Leo placed this new golden statue, to, he sat back in his chair. From Wang and the dispatcher's perspective, it looked like he had closed his eyes and was praying or mumbling something. But whatever he was doing, it just seemed odd. Eventually, Wang and the dispatcher stopped watching Leo, who still just continued to sit back in his chair and mumble or pray or something. Then Wang and the dispatcher looked at each other and they exchanged very concerned looks because they both knew Leo was a weird guy. But from his behavior today, it just seemed like something must be wrong with Leo. There has to be some issue. For context, Leo was this 35-year-old guy who lived alone, and he had this reputation of being very antisocial and just rude. He had terrible manners. But recently, Wang and the dispatcher and other taxi drivers who worked at this company had noticed that Leo's behavior had gone from being awkward and antisocial to being menacing, not even including the weird behavior he was exhibiting now, just like in his day-to-day interactions with people. He was just really aggressive. He always would tell his colleagues at the taxi company how much he hated stray cats and dogs.


A lot of people found these stray cats and dogs in their neighborhood in the city to be a bit of a nuisance. They'd rumage through trash and make noise or whatever, but nobody really paid them much attention. They were just stray animals trying to survive. It wasn't a big deal. But for Leo, he obsessed over hating the stray cats and dogs and how much he wanted them to get out of his neighborhood. And somewhat recently, he had come to work and told his colleagues that he had gone out and gotten a crossbow, and at night, he had begun shooting at the stray cats and dogs, which totally horrified his colleagues. And now, Leo had this weird thing going on with his Buddha statues that he was putting inside of his cab. And also, in addition to those statues, he had begun putting on the windows inside of his cab these things called Fulusus, which are these little strips of yellowagement paper that basically ward off evil spirits. And so Leo had basically transformed the interior of his cab into this weird shrine or temple. In fact, Leo had put up so many of these Fulusus on the inside of the windows, and again, all those statues that sat on the dash that when he drove, he could barely see because his view was totally obstructed.


But despite everybody at the company seeing this totally weird behavior playing out with Leo, nobody went up to him and said, Hey, what are you doing with these statues and pieces of paper? What's going on here? Because nobody wanted to interact with him. He seemed like a menace, and so people just let him do his thing. But now, as Wang and the dispatcher are watching Leo run across the lot and act totally psychotic, they looked at each other and they were like, Maybe we should do something. Wang volunteered to call the police, and as Wang turned to go walk out and make the call, he saw Leo peeling out of the parking lot, nearly smashing into cars and people, just driving like a total maniac. And so Leo really felt like, Okay, yeah, this really is the time to step in. Someone's going to get hurt here. The following day, Wang would contact his friend in the police Department, and he would explain what was going on with Leo. And to Wang's surprise, his friend told him that actually the police were well aware of Leo. And that was because not all that long ago, Leo was actually a suspect in a murder case.


So about 10 months earlier, in April of 1990, a 23-year-old woman from Japan named Mariko Iguchi had visited Taiwan on vacation, and during this vacation, she had gone missing. Now, at the time, the Taiwanese economy really relied heavily on Japanese tourism, and so Taiwan really aggressively marketed to Japan, Come visit, come on vacation here. It was pretty common for Japanese college students to visit Taiwan on vacation to celebrate things like a graduation or a birthday party. That's what Mariko was doing. She was here celebrating, and she was traveling alone. Also, one quirky thing about Taiwanese culture at the time was it was pretty common for taxi cab drivers to open up their own personal homes to their fares, basically saying, Hey, don't stay at a hotel. I'll give you a ride wherever you're going to go. But then at night, you can stay at my house with my family. It was just a thing in Taiwan that people visited and stayed at the homes of their taxi cab drivers. When Mariko came to Taiwan on this vacation, this is what she did. She stayed in the home of the taxi cab driver, and it was during this period time that she went missing.


And so naturally, when the investigation began into her disappearance, the first place police went were the taxi cab drivers. And so first, the police focused on a driver in the capital of Taiwan who said he had given Mariko a few rides. He had brought her sightseeing seeing, and then he had let her stay in his home. But he said after that, she left, and he didn't see her again. He had no idea what happened to her. And the police would actually discover that after Mariko left that particular driver's house, she would send a postcard to her family that was dated waited after she had left. Basically, this ruled out the first driver as a suspect. For a little while, this case went cold because the police couldn't find any other taxi cab drivers that had given Mariko a ride. But then a few months later, the police offered a reward for information about what happened to Mariko. It was then that police got a tip that Mariko had been seen speaking to Leo at the train station before she disappeared. But when police spoke to Leo, he immediately said, Yes, I did give Mariko a ride, but that was it.


She didn't stay at my house. It was just this one ride from the train station into town. After she got out, I have no idea what happened to her. Police would ask Leo dozens more questions, and they would try to get more information from him, but he just didn't have any. Then at the same time, there was this flood of all these new tips that began coming into the police station about this case. But it would turn out a lot of these leads, like all of them, were just terrible tips. People were calling in totally random stuff just because now there was this monetary reward for information, and it was incentivizing people to just call in anything. It was actually making the investigation much harder because now the police had all these bad tips, and so they really weren't getting anywhere. But despite the slow progress the police were making in this case, this case had really been elevated and become a huge international news story, and lots of people all over the world were following it. During this time, when all these people are tuned in to this case, really weird things began happening surrounding this case.


People in the city began receiving all these strange phone calls from this frantic woman speaking Japanese. In Taiwan, people predominantly speak Taiwanese and Mandarin, not Japanese. This is a weird phone call to be getting in Taiwan. Also, at this time, you need to remember that Mariko's disappearance was all over the news. To get these weird calls from a woman speaking Japanese who sounds totally frantic, it made people in the city believe that it was Mariko placing these strange phone calls. But these calls, they didn't make any sense. It was just a woman yelling in Japanese, and then she would just abruptly hang up. Also, there were all these reports of people claiming to have seen Mariko or heard Mariko just in the city walking around. None of it was substantiated, but there was just this eerie quality to the case. When Wang called his friend at the police Department to report Leo for his totally weird behavior, this was at a time when the Mariko missing person case was still totally front of mind in Taiwan and around the world. Also, the police were still actively investigating this case, and frankly, Leo had not been ruled out as a suspect in this case.


He was not considered a primary suspect by any means, but he wasn't ruled out yet. And so the police are hearing that Leo is acting really funny, and it made them think, Hey, maybe we should reinvestigate this guy and see if he really is connected to the Moriko missing person case. And so ultimately, after Wang hung up, his friend in the police department got in touch with the lead detective on the Moriko case and told him about what was going on with Leo. And this lead detective, whose name was Lin Shiawji, decided he would just put Leo under surveillance to see what he was doing. Last year, my wife and I decided to do some home renovations. However, we didn't really have the cash to pay for it, so we knew we would need a loan. But when I began looking into getting a loan, it was obvious there were lots of opportunities to be taken advantage of by predatory traditional lenders. So I decided I would seek out the funds in another way, and that was to leap into the ocean and see if any of the various sea creatures out there would be willing to give me the money.


And luckily, after being in the ocean only for a couple of minutes, I spotted a very suave-looking 13-foot long mako shark in a leather jacket smoking a cigarette who quickly flagged me down and said, Yeah, I'll happily lend you the money. No problem. I was thrilled. That is, until I got home and checked my bank account and I could see very clearly that that very cool shark was no good Samaritan. He was a predatory loan shark, and he was already drastically hiking my rates. I knew I would have to consolidate my debt ASAP if I ever wanted to extract myself from this evil shark's grasp. That's when I found PDS Debt. Pds Debt provides options that consolidate your debts into one low monthly payment. They're also a top-rated company on Google, and they have an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. Pds Debt has customized options for anyone struggling with credit cards, personal loans, collections, or medical bills. It'll help you save thousands of dollars in interest and fees, and it'll help you pay off your debt in a fraction of the time. Pdsdebt is offering a free debt assessment. It only takes 30 seconds.


All you got to do is head over to pdsdebt. Com/misterbaulin to get your free debt analysis today. So starting sometime in the middle of February of 1991, Detective Lynn and a few of his colleagues began taking turns, trailing Leo basically 24/7. And so the police just kept their distance, and they followed Leo all around the city as he picked up his fares, and the police never got out to talk to any of the fares to get insights into whatever Leo might have been saying inside the cab. They just watched from a distance and just wanted to see if there was any obvious red flags. Detective Lynn figured if Lea was somehow involved in whatever happened to Mariko, let's say she was killed, and let's say Leo was responsible for killing her, maybe if they followed Leo long enough, he might drive to an area that was connected to her murder, maybe her gravesite or the place where he killed her or something. Going to strange random locations without affair would likely be an indication to police that that was a place of interest. But as the police tailed Leo, that's not what he did. Leao basically never, ever left his cab.


Leao basically just picked up a passenger, drove them where they needed to go, and then repeated over and over and over again all day long. And then at the end of the night, instead of going home to his apartment that police knew he had, he would just sleep inside of his cab, just like in parking lots and stuff. The only times he would go into his apartment appeared to be just so he could go to the bathroom or maybe shower or something because they would see him through the window. But whenever Leao went into his apartment, he went through the same totally weird ritual every time. He would be in his cab, parked out front of his apartment, and the police are parked far enough away that they can watch this. And Leão, at some point, would begin frantically looking all around him as if he was looking for somebody who was trying to hurt him or who was spying on him or something. And then after making sure the Coast was clear, Leão would open up his door and sprint absolutely as fast as he could into his apartment building, and he'd only be in there for a couple minutes before he'd come bombing back out and practically dive into his cab, and he would shut all the doors, lock all the doors, and then he'd clutch his golden statues, and he'd rub his Fulus that were taped all over the inside of his cab, and he'd continue frantically looking around.


To make sure nobody was there to hurt him or something. Then after a little while, he'd calm down, he'd put his statue back on the dash. He'd make sure his fulus were all in place, and then he would drive away. Of course, Leão's behavior, from the police's perspective, was totally bizarre. But in Detective Lin's mind, it didn't really seem like the behavior of a murderer. It seemed more like the behavior of someone who had lost their mind. Finally, on March 4, 1991, Detective Lin decided that he just needed to speak to Leao, which required basically ambushing Leao. So, Detective Lynn coordinated with his officers who were out surveilling Leao, and he had them tell him when Leao was at his apartment, going in to use the bathroom. And When they called in to Detective Lynn that, Hey, he just got to his apartment. He's about to run inside. Detective Lynn and some other officers raced to the apartment, and they were already outside for whenever Leao came running back out to dive back into his cab. They were going to intercept him. Now, Detective Lynn and his colleagues didn't really know how Leia was going to react to having all these police standing there ready to grab him.


I mean, was this guy going to be hostile? Was he going to be aggressive? Was he going to be scared, sad? They had no idea. It just seemed like Leao was totally unstable, so they all had to be ready for whatever reaction he was going to have. However, the way Leao ultimately reacted to this was not the way any of the officers suspected. When Leao came bombing out of his apartment after a very short bathroom break, he began charging down the stairs towards his cab and then seemed to realize there were all these detectives and police officers all standing in front of him, literally getting ready to grab him. And Leao just collapsed to his knees and began sobbing and thanking them over and over and over again. Now, Detective Lynn had no idea what this was. He didn't really understand what Leia was thanking them for, but he didn't waste any time trying to figure out what was going on. Instead, Detective Lynn just went up to Leia and said, Hey, we need to speak to you at the station. Will you come with us? And Leia was like, Of course I will. Of course I will.


And so Detective Lynn drove Leia to the police station. When they got there, Leia was saying things like, Oh, I wish I could just stay at the police station with you all. This is where I'm safe. I want to stay here. Now, Lynn didn't really respond to this. He just said, Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. Then they went inside together to head towards the interview room. As they're walking there, Leia was saying over and over again to Detective Lynn and any of the officers he passes by, Thank you so much. You're my savior. Thank you. Now, the police had no idea why Leia was treating them like his saviors, because to them, they're like, Dude, we just ambush you and brought you to the police station to question you about potentially being involved in a murder, so I don't know how he saved you. But it would turn out Leia had a really compelling reason to believe they really had just saved him. Because it would turn out, Leão had this absolutely terrifying thing happening inside of his apartment. Just several minutes earlier, when Leão had run into his apartment, so right before he charged back outside and police grabbed him and took him to the station, when he was still inside of his apartment, he stepped inside and The apartment was totally dark.


All the lights are off, all the shades are drawn, and immediately Leão felt his heart starting to race. He looked around his apartment, and it was totally silent, but then he heard it. He could hear on the far side of his apartment in a room that he couldn't quite see into the sound of breathing. But Leao lives alone. There shouldn't be anybody here. He has no pets, there's nobody here, but he hears breathing in another room. But Leão knew there was nothing he could do. The only thing he could do was just try to get in there, go to the bathroom, and get out as quickly as possible. And so very slowly, Leão began tiptoeing across the living room floor, making sure to stay out of eyesight of the doorway that led into the room where the breathing was coming from. And as soon as he got past an area where he could be seen from the doorway. He ran the rest of the way down the hallway. He cut into the bathroom and shut the door and locked it. And then, as quickly as he could, he did his business. He used a washcloth to clean himself because he didn't have time to take a shower because of what was going on inside of his apartment.


Then once he was all done, he took a deep breath, and then he opened up the door. This time, the apartment was absolutely silent. There was no more breathing. So Leao, thinking he had this opportunity to get out of here without being caught by this thing inside of his apartment, he turned and just started running towards the door. As soon as he did, he began to hear a voice, a horse, female voice, screaming at him from the other side of his apartment, preaching, Why, why, why? As When Lea is just about to get to the door, he turns and he sees Mariko, the missing woman, running with her hair all nodded and matted, hanging over her face, sprinting towards him from that back room. And Lea, he only managed to barely get out of his apartment and shut it and lock it before she ran into the door, and then it went silent again. This is why Lea was acting totally crazy because he was terrified of what he believed was this demonic entity inside of his apartment. He didn't think that was a person. He thought it was the spirit of Mariko or something, and she was hunting him.


He had no idea what to do. He didn't know who to tell, and he just began living out of his cab instead of dealing with whatever was going on in his apartment. When Leia charged outside after this latest encounter with Mariko, he sees the police, and Leia is just overwhelmed with relief. Hopefully, he's thinking they can get rid of her and his life can go back to normal. But as overjoyed as Leão appeared to and now having the police on his side, finally being able to deal with whatever was going on, when push came to shove, Leão actually did not feel comfortable immediately giving up details of whatever was going on with Mariko inside of his apartment. But as Lea was brought by Detective Lynn to the police station to tell them what was going on with how Mariko was in his apartment and she was haunting him, it seemed like it was the ghost of her or something. As Lea was having that conversation, other police officers were sent to Lea's apartment to go see if maybe Mariko really was in his apartment. Maybe that's where she had been this whole time. Maybe she broke into this guy's apartment and was just squatting there and harassing him.


That was the mystery. That's where she's been. But when police went into Leão's apartment, there was no sign whatsoever that anybody else besides Leão was living in that apartment. There was no sign of a break in. I mean, there was nothing. It was just Leão's apartment. This made police really suspicious of Leão because his story was so outrageous. Also, he's talking about a person who's actively missing, Mariko. The police really pressured Leão to, Come forward, give us more information. Why did you say this is Mariko in your apartment? Because there's nobody in your apartment. Tell us what's going on here. And so finally, after four days of intense questioning of Leao, Leao did finally admit to police that there was more to this story. It would turn out Leao really did pick Mariko up at the train station when she arrived in Taiwan for her vacation. So he did give her a ride just like he said he had. But Leao had lied about what happened after that. It would turn out after giving her this ride, Leao stayed with Mariko and they went sightseeing together. And then Leao invited Mariko to stay with him at his apartment, which again was customary in Taiwan.


And so Mariko said yes, and she went to his apartment in the evening. And while they were there, Leao did proposition Mariko, and she rejected him. And at first, Leao just let it go. But then after Mariko fell asleep that night, he got his crossbow that he used to shoot dogs and cats, and he went into her room, and he shot her four times with the crossbow and then cut her head off. Lea would bury her body the following night. But that same night was the first time Lea began hearing the breathing in his apartment. He couldn't quite place it. Then, not long after that, the head of Mariko, the severed head, would chase him all around his screaming, Why, why, why? At him. Basically, Mariko's Severed Head began haunting Leão incessantly to the point where he moved into his taxi cab and put up all those Fulu papers to protect him from evil spirits and also put up all those statues of Buddha for the same reason. I mean, he was living in his cab to protect himself from what he believed was this evil spirit. When people saw Leiau in his cab sitting back and muttering to himself, that was him praying that he would live to live through whatever was going on with this head.


Leão would tell police where he buried Mariko's body, and he would tell police he buried her entire body in one location, including her head. But when police dug her up, it was only her lower half, her head was missing. Leao was convicted of murder, and to this day, he is still in prison. Many people in Taiwan believe that this case was ultimately solved because of Mariko's spirit, that she played a big role. Her head haunting Leao, This is what drove him crazy to the point where he admitted to police what he did. Then also people in Taiwan think all those strange phone calls they were getting from that woman who was speaking Japanese and acting frantic and then hanging up, they say that was Mariko's spirit, too, that that was maybe one of her attempts just to keep people engaged with the story so that it wouldn't fade and become a cold case. In fact, even some of the police, including Detective Lynn, say they do believe Mariko's spirit played a role. In fact, Detective Lin said at one point when he inside of Leão's apartment, he was by himself and he felt someone push him on the back.


When he turned around, there was nobody there. So he was convinced that Mariko's spirit was inhabiting that apartment. Our newest podcast out of Ballon Studios is already a major hit. It's called Runful, and it's hosted by horror icon and master storyteller Rodney Barnes. In every episode, Rodney weaves together these totally unsettling and terrifying stories about witches and demons and monsters and ghosts. And so far, the feedback we're getting on this show is that Rodney is so good at slowly ratcheting up the fear in the episode. And so when you get to the end of the show, you're genuinely terrified. And if that wasn't enough to at least pique your interest in the show, well, then you should tune into it just to hear the sound design. Rodney and his team, they built these super creepy soundscapes, and it's just unlike any other show I've listened to. So please go follow and start listening to Runful on any podcast platform. So that's going to do it. If you enjoyed today's story and you're looking for more strange, dark, and mysterious content, be sure to check out all of the Balin Studios' podcasts. We have the Mr.


Balin podcast, Mr. Balin's Medical mysteries, Runful, and Bedtime Stories. You can find all those shows simply by looking for Balin Studios on whichever podcast platform you prefer. Okay, that's going to do it. Until next time. See you. Wait, don't go anywhere. If you're looking for more Strange, dark, and mysterious videos, click here.