Alice Ku

Missing person in Taiwan is the presumed victim of homicide on November 29, 2019.

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Published December 5, 2022

Summary

This case started off as a missing person investigation, in which the victim disappeared in Taiwan on November 29, 2019. I was hired in mid-December 2019 and filed a petition for conservatorship of her estate, according to law. Investigation over the following year revealed that the prime suspect-- the victim's husband-- sent a "proof of life" email from the victim's email account from the hotel where he was staying by himself on the night of the disappearance. The email was supposedly sent from the other side of Taiwan, but we proved that is not the case. The victim's final selfie was at 11:17 a.m. on November 29, 2019, and the initial email that the suspect sent (and then replied to himself from her account) was at 9:11 p.m. that day. This results in a 10-hour window in which the victim died. Investigation in Taiwan revealed that the victim never left Taiwan, among other things. We believe there is no reason for the proof of life email exchange unless the suspect committed this homicide-- similar to the case of U.S.A. v. Brimager, which was a prosecution for overseas murder in which the defendant sent fake emails from the victim's account. As such, I am accusing Dr. Harald Herchen of Los Altos of homicide, and potentially murder of a U.S. national abroad in violation of 18 U.S.C. sec. 1119, as well as potentially murder in violation of the local law of the Republic of China (Dr. Herchen is currently wanted for homicide in Taiwan pursuant to an arrest warrant). The wrongful death case is pending in Santa Clara County, filed in 2021 and likely to go to trial in 2023. The purpose of this web page is to provide a case study and describe how we developed the case to its logical conclusion using legal process and traditional investigative means. Everything posted here is public record, as there have been various filings in the case that revealed this information. I stand behind my findings 100% and will provide this rare look at work product and my thoughts and impressions in the service of missing persons generally. The fact that a suspect can allegedly commit a homicide overseas and then continue to walk as a free man in the U.S. demonstrates the need for extradition between the U.S. and Taiwan, and therefore a resolution of the diplomatic status of Taiwan.

Documents

Here is the complete package of filings that form the basis for this webpage: link. Note in particular the warrant for Dr. Herchen and the declarations of the CIB investigators.

Detail

This material is a copy/paste from my declaration opposing the defendant's motion for summary judgment. Note Dr. Lavian's declaration, which goes into further depth.

I am a lawyer licensed in California (#237990) with my own litigation law firm of three attorneys, one paralegal, and one legal assistant. We are based in Redwood City and we focus on general civil litigation as well as complex, aggressively litigated family law matters. I have attached my c.v. as Exhibit A, which accurately reflects my experience and qualifications.

I also offer private investigation under Business and Professions Code sec. 7522(e) and 7582.2(e), which statutes exempt attorneys from the private investigator licensing law to the extent investigations are conducted in relation to a contemplated or pending lawsuit. The general intention of my investigative services is to offer clients the starting option of pre-lawsuit investigation (or investigation once a lawsuit is pending) before filing a case.

My investigative services specialize in cyber-related matters due to my technical experience with e-mail communications and web applications and associated programming over the last 22 years. I have administered my own web servers since 2004 and email servers since 2017. I also work on web applications and an innovative behavioral science computer vision system based on the use of stereoscopic high resolution industrial cameras to observe patterns of movement on a person’s face and body to detect when the subject is being deceitful. I have a broad base of experience in a variety of legal matters, and I tend to skew toward the technical aspects of my cases due to my interests. My email experience is particularly relevant to this case.

While running my own email servers, I have become significantly experienced in email log files and email headers, which are used for email communications forensics analysis. Based on email logs and headers, it is possible to develop and infer substantial information about emails as well as the senders and recipients. Most importantly, the unique IP address of the network that a sender used to send a particular email is logged and can be discovered (through basic reporting from the email service, in this case Google), without any inference. Other email information and data include (1) timestamp of submission from the sender’s computer, (2) timestamp of transmission from the sender’s email server to the receiver’s email server, (3) size of data transmission, (4) anti-spam and other diagnostic information, (5) time zone setting of the sender and recipient, (6) the software used to send the email, (7) whether there are intermediate email servers or steps in the transmission, (8) whether emails are encrypted and/or signed by the sender, (9) timestamp of acceptance by the receiving server.

One of the main focal points of this case is an email that the Defendant claims was sent by the Decedent. The Defendant claims that the Decedent had sent the email after the Decedent’s arrival at her intended destination. In effect, this email serves as a “proof of life” , which the Defendant claims was sent by the Decedent, and which the Defendant is using to claim that the Decedent arrived safely at her parents’ house after the Defendant dropped the Decedent off at a train station. The intention of this declaration is to do a deep dive into the investigation and leave to expert witness Dr. Tal Lavian the technical data and telemetry of the “proof of life” email message, while I discuss the document production from Google in the context of that message as well as the Decedent’s login/logout history, and the deposition of the Defendant as it relates to the digital evidence. In summary, the electronic evidence produced by unbiased 3rd party sources, primarily by Google and its email service Gmail, and the Defendant’s own testimony shows the following facts:

a. The proof of life email was sent from the Decedent’s account on Gmail, using the web interface of Gmail on a device from which the Decedent was still logged into Gmail.

b. As reported by Google, the IP address of the email is that of the hotel Wifi in Hualien, which is where the Decedent’s email account was logged in, as discussed below.

c. The Defendant testified he was staying at the hotel at the time when the email was sent.

d. Further, the Defendant testified that he was alone at the hotel at the time when the email was sent.

e. The Defendant claims that he dropped off the Decedent at the local train station before returning to the hotel.

f. The timestamp of the proof of life email is consistent with most of the other emails that the Decedent sent from Taiwan, in that the device that sent the email was on the Pacific time zone (UTC-8) instead of the Taiwan time zone (UTC+8), as confirmed by the email headers and the Google-produced mailbox file for the Decedent’s email account.

g. There was no subsequent Gmail logout from the device that sent the proof of life email.

Based on email communication telemetry and the Defendant’s own testimony provided while under oath, one can only conclude that the proof of life email was sent by the Defendant because (1) the proof of life email was sent at a time and place when the Defendant testified to have stayed alone, (2) the proof of life email has an unique IP address that corresponds to the Defendant’s location at the time when the email was sent, (3) the IP address of the email is unique and cannot be replicated or otherwise altered, (4) the parents’ IP address is not the IP address of the email, (5) the Decedent had not, in fact, arrived at her parents’ house, (6) the parents’ house is several hours away from the hotel by train or car on the other side of Taiwan. This in addition to the fact that the parents had no idea the Decedent was in Taiwan and were not expecting her. Accordingly, the Defendant, who was staying alone at the hotel from which the email originated (as triple-confirmed by the login/logout history, email IP address, and Taiwan law enforcement) is the only person who could have sent the proof of life email.

In December 2019, I was hired by the family of Alice Ku to investigate her disappearance in Taiwan.

In the course of that investigation, I prepared a significant amount of investigative materials and related matter through a combination of technical analysis, document production, witness interviews, as well as a brief street interview with Defendant himself early in the case. The following summarizes the information gained in the investigation:

Ms. Ku (the “Decedent”, “Alice Ku”, or “Alice”) was a tutor in the Bay Area who worked with students and parents in the Cupertino-Mountain View-Sunnyvale area. On November 29, 2019 at approximately 8 a.m. local time, she went missing from Hualien, Taiwan, ROC. Over the following several days, concerned students and their parents started to notify the tutoring agency and Ms. Ku’s family that Alice had missed several tutoring appointments without notice, which is unusual. Meanwhile, Ms. Ku’s family stopped receiving any communication from her, which is also unusual. From November 26, 2019 to the date of this declaration, there has been no contact between Ms. Ku and her family (two years and eleven months), despite numerous attempts to communicate via phone, email, and SMS text. On December 10, 2019, George Ku, Ms. Ku’s brother, filed a missing person report with the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety due to Ms. Ku’s last-known address being in Sunnyvale. The case was transferred to the Mountain View Police Department.

Ms. Ku was married to Defendant, Dr. Harald Herchen (or “Defendant”), a 62 year-old man with whom she shared an apartment in Mountain View from December 2017 to September 2020, when the Defendant vacated the apartment and put all of Ms. Ku’s belongings in storage. The Defendant was not previously known to Ms. Ku’s family, as Ms. Ku had never mentioned him in conversation with her family and had concealed the marriage in October 2017 from her family.

Ms. Ku’s family has made substantial efforts in the U.S. and in Taiwan to locate Alice. In addition to retaining two attorneys, myself and Todd Davis, a missing person flyer was posted on multiple social media websites on December 11, 2019 and was shared or re-posted over 1,000 times. To date, there have been no leads in response to the missing person flyer, though several of Ms. Ku’s clients (parents of her students) have called to express concern and offer assistance. Ms. Ku’s family has offered $1,000,000 Taiwan Dollars as reward for any news on Alice. Additionally, Alice’s disappearance was reported in major news channels in Taiwan. Ms. Ku’s family contacted the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy, and the offices of U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, to determine options for U.S. citizens missing abroad.

Meanwhile, the Defendant recently testified under oath that he has taken no steps to locate his wife, contrary to an email the Defendant sent to George Ku on January 9, 2020 (shortly after Ms. Ku was known to be missing), in which the Defendant falsely represented that he “spent considerable sums in getting Alice to come back” in searching for the Decedent.

At his deposition, Defendant claimed that Ms. Ku left his side to visit her parents in Taiwan, and that she sent him an email message stating she arrived safely at her parents’ place. However, digital evidence produced by Google revealed that the email was actually sent from Defendant’s hotel on the evening when he states he was alone at the hotel – and not from where Ms. Ku purportedly arrived. In any case, as will be discussed herein as well as Dr. Tal Lavian’s declaration, Defendant is the only person who could have sent the “proof of life” email.

A number of third parties were subpoenaed for documents.

Apple’s production showed that there were no successful iCloud logins from any of Ms. Ku’s devices after her disappearance. Chase produced bank records showing there was no activity in Ms. Ku’s bank accounts after her disappearance. Copy Factory produced information showing that Defendant paid for an order with Ms. Ku’s credit card after Ms. Ku’s disappearance.

Google produced Ms. Ku’s login/logout history for Gmail, which shows the last logins were on November 28, 2019 and the last logout was on November 29, 2019 after which Ms. Ku never logged in again (there was one login still active at that point). The logins and logouts during the trip were as follows:

+-------------------------+----------------------------+--------+
| Time                    | IP Address                 | Type   |
+-------------------------+----------------------------+--------+
| 2019/11/29-02:51:38-UTC | 1.162.249.198              | Logout |
| 2019/11/28-23:10:00-UTC | 1.162.249.198              | Login  |
| 2019/11/28-22:53:59-UTC | 1.162.249.198              | Login  |
| 2019/11/28-00:48:45-UTC | 218.164.49.174             | Logout |
| 2019/11/28-00:07:17-UTC | 218.164.49.174             | Login  |
| 2019/11/26-00:37:47-UTC | 220.134.173.80             | Logout |
| 2019/11/26-00:26:32-UTC | 220.134.173.80             | Login  |
| 2019/11/25-21:49:51-UTC | 59.127.149.47              | Login  |
[five consecutive logins from 114.35.248.209]
| 2019/11/25-21:40:19-UTC | 114.35.248.209             | Login  |
| 2019/11/25-11:41:43-UTC | 220.134.173.80             | Logout |
| 2019/11/25-05:06:25-UTC | 60.250.199.217             | Login  |
| 2019/11/25-05:02:31-UTC | 60.250.199.217             | Logout |
| 2019/11/25-03:53:15-UTC | 125.227.14.51              | Login  |
| 2019/11/24-23:32:53-UTC | 125.227.14.51              | Logout |
| 2019/11/24-22:13:47-UTC | 125.227.14.51              | Login  |
| 2019/11/24-20:53:52-UTC | 125.227.14.51              | Login  |
| 2019/11/24-14:41:54-UTC | 125.227.14.51              | Logout |
| 2019/11/24-00:18:49-UTC | 38.98.37.135               | Login  |
[snip]

The IP address 1.162.249.198 is the hotel WiFi of the hotel in Hualien where the parties stayed on the 28th and Defendant stayed on the night of the 29th: 麗霽大飯店有限公司 which apparently translates to the Radisson (the hotel may be a subsidiary or affiliate). This IP address traces to the network of HiNet, which is a Taiwanese internet service provider.

In response to a subpoena, Google produced the originating IP address of the proof of life email, as shown in this screenshot:

The public IP address of the device that sent the proof of life message was 1.162.249.198. This means the device that sent the message was on that Wifi network at the time the message was sent. As indicated, this is the IP address of the hotel Wifi in Hualien, which also matches Ms. Ku’s Google login/logout history for the two days preceding her disappearance. In other words, the message could not have come from the other side of Taiwan where Ms. Ku supposedly was, and it could not have come from anyone except Defendant, who was staying at the hotel that night and apparently was still logged into Ms. Ku’s Gmail account on his computer. There is no corresponding logout for one of the final Google logins. Dr. Lavian’s declaration goes into greater detail of the technical aspects of the proof of life email.

Google also produced email headers showing metadata and subject lines for messages in Ms. Ku’s Gmail account. Those messages show that the proof of life email was sent from a device that was not on the Taiwan time zone.

There are other emails in the Google production that were sent from devices that were on the Taiwan time zone. From this, we conclude that Ms. Ku’s phone sent those emails, but that the proof of life email was sent from Defendant’s laptop computer-- if his testimony claiming that Ms. Ku did not bring her laptop to Taiwan is to be believed.

Defendant produced a number of documents at his deposition, including the complete proof of life email with all headers and contents. He also produced photos from the Taiwan trip. The last photo of Ms. Ku was a self-portrait at 11:17 a.m. local time, in which she was applying makeup in a hotel room.

United Airlines produced flight information showing that Defendant changed Ms. Ku’s return flight from Taiwan at the ticket counter at the Taipei airport on the morning of December 1, 2019 just before he left Taiwan.

Verizon produced call metadata showing Ms. Ku’s call history from the Samsung Galaxy around the time of her disappearance. She made her last two phone calls the evening of November 28, 2019 from a Wifi network. The calls were to tutoring clients, whom we spoke with and who noticed nothing unusual. After the disappearance on November 29, 2019, there was a single voicemail from Defendant on December 7, 2019 but no other calls from him. There were no outgoing calls from Ms. Ku’s phone after her disappearance.

Wells Fargo produced bank records showing no activity in Ms. Ku’s bank accounts after her disappearance.

Wright Apartments in Mountain View produced lease information showing Defendant’s personal references and financial information around the time the apartment was acquired in December 2017. In September 2020, Defendant vacated the apartment and placed all of Ms. Ku’s belongings in storage.

Defendant’s previous wife, Melissa Yu, died on June 3, 2017. The autopsy report shows that Ms. Yu had several unexplained injuries on her body, however, an informal review of the report by a local expert physician indicated that the death appears to have been of natural causes, specifically sleep apnea.

Defendant testified at his second deposition that there was some overlap between his marriage with Melissa Yu and his relationship with Ms. Ku. By November 2017 Defendant had married Ms. Ku and a month later moved into the Mountain View apartment with her in December 2017.

On September 23, 2020, my assistant investigators and I attempted to interview Dr. Manoj Pillai and Dr. Tad Armstrong at Bloom Energy. These individuals were listed as longtime personal references of Defendant in his rental application for the Wright Avenue apartment in Mountain View, and they are also co-inventors on several patents with Defendant. Dr. Pillai never responded to the interview request. Dr. Armstrong ultimately spoke with us on October 16, 2020, and he related that Defendant claimed to have broken his arm in Mexico while rough-housing with his brothers. He also told us that Ms. Yu died in her sleep, which led to us obtaining the death certificate and autopsy report. Dr. Armstrong had no idea that Defendant was married to Ms. Ku because Defendant does not talk about his personal life.

On October 20, 2020, my assistants and I conducted neighborhood investigations in Palo Alto and Los Altos.

In Palo Alto, neighbors were aware of the missing person investigation but had no information for us.

In Los Altos, a neighbor stated that Defendant already has a new girlfriend who is a petite Vietnamese woman , and he had been with her for at least several months. The other neighbors either had no information or were unaware of Ms. Ku’s disappearance. Defendant’s tenants at the Lundy Lane property did not have any relevant information.

In September 2020, Defendant placed all of Ms. Ku’s personal belongings in a storage unit that he rented in Sunnyvale. When I opened the storage unit with family member Monica Ku on October 3, 2020, there were several envelopes waiting for us containing electronic media and personal documents. I went through the electronic media in the envelopes. The media, consisting of a memory card and two DVD’s, were private sexual pictures of Ms. Ku in the 2013 time frame, possibly with the Defendant; a professionally produced adult video from the 2002 time frame; and a pirated copy of Microsoft Office from approximately 2003. The other envelopes contained a car registration and similar papers for Ms. Ku’s vehicle, which the family took possession of.

On November 29, 2020, Monica Ku retrieved clothing and personal effects at the request of the Taiwanese CIB, to be used by cadaver dogs in Taiwan. Monica also retrieved Ms. Ku’s Apple laptop.

The investigation started with no awareness of Defendant or his contact information. Defendant was found through a visit to the Wright Avenue Apartments in Mountain View, which were located through a search of utility company service records under Ms. Ku’s name. Neighbors provided Defendant’s name and also discussed his and Ms. Ku’s relationship. Defendant reportedly lived at the apartment part-time.

Ms. Ku and Defendant married in late 2017, shortly after Defendant’s previous wife’s death. Ms. Ku started a LLC in California in December 2017 using the name “Alice Herchen,” which was about two months after she married Defendant.

I briefly interviewed Defendant on December 18, 2019 when I had a chance encounter with him outside the Mountain View apartment as I was serving a subpoena on the rental office. Defendant was loading a few small items into his van. He stated he was Defendant. I identified myself as an attorney investigating his wife’s disappearance and provided my business card. He agreed to answer a few questions.

One note is that Defendant stated that he and Ms. Ku stayed at the Sol Hotel, but he left out the fact that they only stayed there one night (and he did not say where else they stayed). Defendant also left out the fact, since confirmed by the local police in Taiwan, that he returned to Taiwan on December 7, 2019 for one night. The local police confirmed that Defendant entered Taiwan on December 7, 2019 with a broken arm. I did not notice a sling or cast on Defendant’s arm on December 18, contrary to neighbor reports that he broke his arm (see below). However, it is possible that the long-sleeved jacket he was wearing covered up any cast he may have had. In any event, he was not in a sling and appeared to have the use of both of his arms. Defendant stated that there was activity on Ms. Ku’s credit cards after her disappearance. However, subsequent document production revealed that only a charge from Copy Factory for some promotional materials was made—and Defendant made that payment using Ms. Ku’s credit card.

On December 19, 2019, Defendant emailed Mr. Ku and referred all further inquiries to his criminal defense attorney, Jim Reilly, Esq. Defendant indicated that Mr. Reilly is his “longtime family attorney.” Mr. Reilly did not respond to my initial inquiry attempting to establish contact with him. Mr. Reilly played a cat-and-mouse game for the first three to four weeks, and only spoke with my co-counsel Todd Davis, Esq. on one occasion without revealing anything new.

On December 18, 2019, I served a subpoena on the Wright Avenue Apartments rental office seeking production of the lease and other materials for Defendant and Ms. Ku’s apartment. I also tried to interview the apartment manager, Bruce Trott. He stated essentially that he could not confirm or deny anything pending the response to the subpoena, due to privacy concerns. However, he invited me to interview Glenn Dodd in #70, who he indicated was a retiree who was enthusiastic about this matter and may also have security camera footage from his front door. Mr. Trott stated that he did not have security footage beyond two weeks, therefore it was unlikely that Ms. Ku and Defendant would have been captured on video around the time of Ms. Ku’s disappearance. Mr. Trott provided his phone number and his business card.

I tried to interview Mr. Dodd, but there was no answer at the door when I tried (December 18, 2019). However, Mr. George Ku has spoken with Mr. Dodd and relates that discussion in his own declaration.

Ms. Ku’s car, a dark red Honda Civic (CA tag no. 6HGU542), was still parked in its stall at the complex when I visited in December 2019, and it was caked with a thick layer of dust. The windshield had a thinner layer of dust, but still thick enough that the car had not been moved in at least a couple of months. Tutoring books were visible in the back seat, and the brakes appeared rusty from lack of use.

As previously indicated, Google produced a login/logout history as well as a data file showing the IP address from which the proof of life message originated.

The login/logout history shows the following:

+-------------------------+----------------------------+--------+
| Time | IP Address | Type |
+-------------------------+----------------------------+--------+
| 2019/11/29-02:51:38-UTC | 1.162.249.198 | Logout |
| 2019/11/28-23:10:00-UTC | 1.162.249.198 | Login |
| 2019/11/28-22:53:59-UTC | 1.162.249.198 | Login |
| 2019/11/28-00:48:45-UTC | 218.164.49.174 | Logout |
| 2019/11/28-00:07:17-UTC | 218.164.49.174 | Login |
| 2019/11/26-00:37:47-UTC | 220.134.173.80 | Logout |
| 2019/11/26-00:26:32-UTC | 220.134.173.80 | Login |
| 2019/11/25-21:49:51-UTC | 59.127.149.47 | Login |
[five consecutive logins from 114.35.248.209]
| 2019/11/25-21:40:19-UTC | 114.35.248.209 | Login |
| 2019/11/25-11:41:43-UTC | 220.134.173.80 | Logout |
| 2019/11/25-05:06:25-UTC | 60.250.199.217 | Login |
| 2019/11/25-05:02:31-UTC | 60.250.199.217 | Logout |
| 2019/11/25-03:53:15-UTC | 125.227.14.51 | Login |
| 2019/11/24-23:32:53-UTC | 125.227.14.51 | Logout |
| 2019/11/24-22:13:47-UTC | 125.227.14.51 | Login |
| 2019/11/24-20:53:52-UTC | 125.227.14.51 | Login |
| 2019/11/24-14:41:54-UTC | 125.227.14.51 | Logout |
| 2019/11/24-00:18:49-UTC | 38.98.37.135 | Login |
[snip]

The top three lines are the most important. They show two logins and one logout on the hotel Wifi IP address. Thus, one login remained active at the hotel and one login did not. The last logout was at 10:51:38 a.m. local time, which is shortly before the Decedent’s final self-portrait at 11:17 a.m. Defendant testified at deposition regarding the dates the couple were at the hotel. The dates line up exactly. There is no subsequent login from the parents’ IP address (or any other IP address). So even without the Google-provided originating IP address, we have strong evidence that the proof of life email could only have come from the hotel Wifi. But Google did produce the originating IP address of the proof of life message, which is that of the hotel Wifi and which matches the login/logout history. Dr. Lavian explains further.

United Airlines produced flight information showing that Defendant changed Ms. Ku’s return flight from Taiwan at the ticket counter at the Taipei airport on the morning of December 1, 2019 just before he left Taiwan.

Verizon produced call metadata showing Ms. Ku’s call history from the Samsung Galaxy around the time of her disappearance. She made her last two phone calls the evening of November 28, 2019 from a Wifi network (the production does not indicate the actual IP address of the network, only that it was a Wifi call). The calls were to tutoring clients, whom we spoke with and who noticed nothing unusual. After the disappearance on November 29, 2019, there was a single voicemail from Defendant on December 7, 2019 but no other calls from him. There were no outgoing calls from Ms. Ku’s phone after her disappearance.

Wells Fargo produced bank records showing no activity in Ms. Ku’s bank accounts after her disappearance.

Wright Apartments in Mountain View produced lease information showing Defendant’s personal references and financial information around the time the apartment was acquired in December 2017. In September 2020, Defendant vacated the apartment and placed all of Ms. Ku’s belongings in storage. The electronic media in the storage unit contained a number of intimate images of the Decedent and an unidentified male in the 2013 time frame, which is consistent with what we now know about Defendant’s relationship with her.

Defendant was deposed in the missing person conservatorship matter as well as this civil case. In the first deposition, he confirmed that he was alone by himself on the night of the 29th of November 2019 at the same hotel where he and Ms. Ku had stayed the previous night. The depositions were relevant to other aspects of the case, but since I do not believe most of Defendant’s testimony, the depositions were mainly valuable for impeachment and inconsistencies rather than proof of what actually happened. In the second deposition, Defendant admitted having perjured himself at the first deposition in several areas, (1) purportedly to “protect” Ms. Ku’s family from the truth that his wife was (according to him) an escort who he met on Backpage or Craigslist years earlier during his marriage to Melissa Yu, and (2) to come up with a fake explanation for not attending his sister’s wedding in Mexico because he was afraid of cartel violence—even though he really did break his wrist, according to video evidence and neighbor interviews that confirmed Defendant was at one point in a cast when he re-entered Taiwan on December 7, 2019. The perjury and revelation significantly alters Defendant’s relationship with Ms. Ku from one that formed organically to one formed based on convenience. As well, the ease which Defendant lied while under oath further reinforced the notion that all of Defendant’s testimony is dubious at best, and is best used for impeachment and inconsistency.

In any event, the deposition testimony as provided by the Defendant himself confirmed our understanding of the facts, which is that Defendant was alone at the hotel on the night of the 29th when the proof of life email was sent, the proof of life email originated from the hotel where the Defendant was staying, and Defendant was the only person who could have sent the proof of life email. Defendant’s explanation at deposition for his wife’s disappearance was that she ran off with a young Taiwanese man who was driving them around on a tour because she took a liking to him. It made no sense to us why Ms. Ku, who was reportedly highly concerned about money, would leave her wealthy, successful, engineer husband in the Bay Area for a random low-level driver in Taiwan.

From the totality of the evidence developed in the investigation, especially the proof of life email and the supporting Google-provided evidence, I have concluded that Defendant either killed the Decedent, or was directly involved in her untimely death in some sinister but as-yet-uncertain manner. There is no other reason for the proof of life email. The Decedent’s time of death is narrowed to between the final self-portrait at 11:17 a.m. on the 29th and the initial email from Defendant at 9:11 p.m. on the 29th that he sent and then replied to himself. We are seeking to proceed with this wrongful death case now that we have overcome the presumption of life prior to the time that would have to pass for the presumption of death. I am calling for some measure of justice for the Decedent’s family in recognition of the fact that the criminal case may take substantially longer, and we need our day in court to achieve that measure of justice.