In one of the most tragic and biggest news event in 2008, Wang Zhijian single-handedly murdered his lover, Zhang Meng, her daughter, and one of his flatmates. The Chinese national also went after 15-year-old Ms Li Meilin, the daughter of the latter, but she miraculously survived his repeated slashings.
The complicated backstory begins at a brokerage firm in Tianjin, China, where the soon-to-be couple met via a colleague. Wang was married, but divorced with his wife after an "incompatible" relationship. Zhang Meng decided to hit him up, and they soon met frequently as Wang poured his heart out to the former about his ex-wife.
However, she eventually revealed that she was married. Her angry husband called Wang over and asked Zhang to choose between the both of them. She sucker-punched her husband and chose Wang instead. Her family wasn't the most approving of her decision, and they began to harass Wang at his workplace. Unable to deal with the harassment, he opted for an early retirement and received a RMB400,000 compensation package.
In the next three months, he splurged extensively on branded clothes and expensive meals for Zhang. They eventually moved in with her daughter, Feng Jianyu, but broke up a couple of times along the way. Feng got an opportunity to study in Singapore, and Wang visited her and her mother on social passes when they were on good terms.
Things weren't rosy, however. Wang claims he was subjected to "bizarre and humiliating treatment", having to financially support his lover's lavish lifestyle and clean up after them, while he had to made do with scraps and was 'help captive naked in a bedroom' for his efforts. He was forced to defecate and urinate into plastic bags and newspapers, but dare not retaliate due to fear of harsher reprisals from Zhang. "She might bite me," exclaims Wang during trial.
Frustrated, he went back to China, but Feng was being transferred to another school and Wang requested for his help in the transition. Wang withdrew with nearly his entire live savings and returned reluctantly. The 48-year-old later elaborated that he spent over $100 on crabs each time for Zhang and her daughter, and was harshly insulted when he couldn't afford them. Unable to find a way to deal with this masochistic relationship, Zhang's final comments about how Wang was "produced by dogs and donkeys" proved to be the last straw.
An argument broke out and the couple quarrelled for over an hour, before Zhang decided to hit the sack at 9pm. Wang, who was naked, laid down on the mattress in the same room but could not fall asleep. He claimed to be in a daze. According to him, "he couldn't breathe (and his) whole body was trembling." He felt a sense of unjust - how Zhang was constantly spending his money but failed to be faithful to him.
Wang went to the kitchen to cool down, but returned with a knife. He closed the bedroom door and began to stab Zhang. Feng heard the commotion and stood at the door, and a few moments later, she was stabbed by Wang. According to reports, the mother-daughter duo suffered a total of 98 stab and slash wounds.
Following that, he went to the kitchen to retrieve a second weapon, eventually settling for a chopper. Wang then went into another bedroom and set his sights on Yang Jie and her daughter, Li Meilin, another mother-daughter pair. Yang managed to escape, but Wang was mercilessly slashing. She ran into the kitchen toilet after a valiant fightback, but the latter managed to hack it down and continue his assault. He paused for unknown reasons, but resumed stabbing her in the lower back, right ear and back of the neck after a few minutes. She was eventually rescued by police officers. However, her mother, who tried to escape through the window, gripping onto the laundry pole holders for dear life, was not so lucky as Wang slashed her fingers and she promptly crashed six storeys to the ground.
Photos: The Straits Times