A Murder for the Movies

It was a scene straight out of a Hong Kong gangster flick. On a November morning in 2002, local property tycoon Harry (Cigar) Lam was enjoying breakfast in his usual spot at Luk Yu Tea House, a Hong Kong institution famed for its tasty dim sum and indifferent service. At about 9 a.m., a nearby diner paid for his meal, walked up to Lam's table and killed him with a gunshot to the head.

At the murder trial of eight suspects in Shenzhen last week, details emerged that only added to the impression that real life was being...