Fact stranger than fiction: Chinese crime novelist exposed as murderous robber

Fact stranger than fiction: Chinese crime novelist exposed as murderous robber
A famous crime fiction writer in China’s Zhejiang Province has turned out to be a robber with four deaths on his conscience. He and his accomplice were exposed two decades after the crime thanks to new DNA testing technology.

The writer, Liu Mouyi, and a second man, Wang Mouming, were convicted by a court in the city of Huzhou on Monday. They were found guilty of killing and robbing a family of hotel owners, including an elderly couple and their 12-year-old grandson, as well as a guest who was staying for the night.

The crime was committed in 1995, but only after new technology was developed did police identify DNA in saliva on a cigarette butt that was left at the crime scene by one of the robbers. Liu and Wang have been sentenced to capital punishment for the murders, while their property was confiscated to pay compensation to the relatives of their victims.

According to the Beijing Youth Daily, the two men were childhood friends and grew up together in Anhui Province, which neighbors Zhejiang. The hotel robbery was their second attempt to address a money shortage by committing a crime, but the first in which they went through with the plan.

Liu later became a magazine editor and a fiction writer, publishing several crime novels and collections of essays under various pen names. One of his books won a provincial literary award a few years ago. Wang worked as a legal representative for a Shanghai-based investment consultancy before being arrested last year.

Thinking about his own misdeed inspired Liu to write crime fiction, the remorseful author said in an interview with CCTV. He added that he deserved “to die a thousand times” for the murders he had committed.

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