After successfully evading authorities for two decades, a woman accused of killing seven victims, including a 3-year-old girl, has finally gone to trial in China on Monday.
Not intentional: Charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery, 46-year-old Lao Rongzhi claimed to Nanchang Intermediate People’s Court in Jiangxi province that her involvement in the crimes was caused by an abusive relationship she could not get out of, reports South China Morning Post.
- Lao claimed that her ex-boyfriend Fa Ziying forced her to take part in the crimes.
- Lao noted during her relationship with him, she had four abortions and her body often had bruises.
- “Fa Ziying often beat me, choked me and tortured me. He threatened my family if we broke up … I didn’t want to kill anyone. I just wanted to live,” she was quoted as saying.
- In tears, she apologized to the victims’ relatives, offering to pay compensation, despite having only 30,000 yuan (about $4,600) in her bank account.
- Five months after Fa was captured by authorities in 1999, he was executed for murder, kidnapping and robbery.
- Lao was able to evade arrest as Fa gave police misleading information about her whereabouts.
Life with Fa: Fa, who was married with a daughter when he met Lao in 1993, escaped charges of assault and robbery in 1995 and ran away with her.
- Lao, who was a primary school teacher in Jiujiang at the time, was 10 years younger than Fa.
- She would later be accused of luring businessman Xiong Qiyi to a rented flat where he was killed in 1996.
- After the murder, Lao and Fa allegedly went to Xiong’s home and proceeded to kill his wife and 3-year-old daughter as well.
- Months later, two women working in nightclubs in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, were also robbed and murdered by the pair.
- In July 1996, Lao allegedly lured another businessman to a flat in Hefei, Anhui province, and locked him in a cage while they demanded ransom from his family. They also lured a carpenter to the apartment and murdered him in front of the businessman to intimidate him.
Lao’s capture: Lao, who was arrested in November 2019 while selling watches inside a Xiamen shopping mall, also apologized to her recent boyfriend who knew nothing about her identity and past.
- It was revealed that in the last 20 years, Lao had been living in Xiamen under a fake name while working odd jobs in nightclubs.
- Her identity was uncovered with the aid of a police database, leading to her eventual arrest.
- On the second day of her trial, Lao maintained that she was coerced by Fa. “I was only 21 … I was confused,” Lao told the court. “I was coerced by Fa and couldn’t break up for fear that he would retaliate against my family.”
Feature Image via The Paper 澎湃新闻