Chinese author of unsolved-murder novel arrested over unsolved murders

Liu Yongbiao, writer of ‘The Guilty Secret’, reportedly told police ‘I have been waiting for you’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 August, 2017, 4:17pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 August, 2017, 10:13pm

Chinese crime writer Liu Yongbiao was reportedly unsurprised when the police came to arrest him.

The 53-year-old penned his award-winning novel detailing a series of unsolved murders in 2010, but now the author of The Guilty Secret is himself at the centre of a cold case.

“I have been waiting for you here all this time,” Liu told police when they arrived at his house in Nanling county, Anhui province on August 11, Thepaper.cn reported on Monday.

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Liu was taken into custody on suspicion of bludgeoning four people to death during a robbery in November 1995, after DNA testing shed new light on the case, the report said.

After further investigation, police believe Liu and a 64-year-old businessman identified as Wang were behind the murders at a guest house in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, the report said.

The victims were identified as the couple who owned the guest house, their 13-year-old grandson and a guest – all of whom were killed by blows to the head from a blunt object, according to the report.

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Zhejiang police told reporters on Monday they had arrested two suspects – one in Anhui and the other in Shanghai – in connection with four murders 22 years ago. Both had confessed to the crimes, police said.

The case had remained a mystery until the DNA breakthrough in August.

“The suspects did not have any relationship with the victims – this was the most difficult thing,” Xu Zhicheng, an officer on the case, was quoted as saying. “We found it hard to follow the vine all the way to the melon.”

During the reopened investigation, police checked around 60,000 fingerprints from people living in 15 provinces and cities, state-run China Daily reported.

Shen Lianjiang, deputy director of Huzhou’s Public Security Bureau, said both of the suspects needed money, and police believed that was their motive, according to Thepaper.cn report.

Wang was said to be a legal representative for an investment company, while Liu went on to become a well-known writer.

His first published work appeared in a magazine in 1985. A Film, a collection of short stories, was met with critical acclaim when it was released in 2005. He joined the China Writers’ Association in 2013, and the romance novel he published the following year was later turned into a 50-episode television show.

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But it is The Guilty Secret – about a female author who gets away with a string of murders – that has now drawn intense interest in the crime writer. And it appears he was prepared for the knock on the door – when he was taken into custody, he reportedly gave police a letter to give to his wife.

“These past 20 years, I have been waiting for this day,” Liu wrote in the letter, quoted by Thepaper.cn.

“And today, there is finally an ending. I can finally be free from the mental torment I’ve endured for so long.”