In the preface of his novel, The Guilty Secret, published in 2010, Liu Yongbiao revealed some details about his upcoming work, The Beautiful Writer Who Killed, which would be told from the perspective of a ravishing female author who committed a series of grisly murders without getting caught by the police.
Turns out, Liu’s works were not entirely fictional.
A court in the city of Huzhou, Zhejiang province found that on November 29th, 1995, Liu and his accomplice, surnamed Wang, checked into a local hostel, planning to rob other guests. When a tourist from Shandong province caught them stealing and fought back, the duo killed the man, cracking open his head with a hammer. In covering up the crime, they also murdered the couple who owned the hostel and their 13-year-old grandson.
Following the murders, the pair fled, only managing to make away with stolen items worth a measly 120 yuan.
With no surveillance cameras at the hostel, the killings remained unsolved for more than two decades. Last year, local authorities decided to revisit the case. Eventually, they were led to Liu and Wang by a sample of DNA found on a cigarette butt at the crime scene.
“I have long awaited this day,” Liu is said to have told police when they raided his home to arrest him. In a letter dedicated to his wife, Liu wrote, “All these years my soul has known only torment, now I am finally free.”
At the trial, both Liu and Wang pleaded guilty and were sentenced to death.