Here are Miss Chen’s qualifications for the 2006 Da Er Wen (达尔文) Award:
- Currently on trial in Shanghai for murdering and dismembering her husband, He Lei, last August in West Lafayette, Indiana, where both, at one time or another, were graduate students at Purdue University.
- Chen, a Sichuan native, admitted to shooting He in the head with a gun she bought online using the name Jack Washington. “When I saw blood gush out of his head, I tried to stop it by covering it with clothes, but I could not,” Chen told the court. “I held his head and burst into tears.” Chen said she shot her husband because he wanted a divorce.
- The reason He wanted a divorce is because Chen was facing deportation the US … because of a 2004 assault charge … in which she allegedly stabbed her husband twice in the chest. Some reports said the assault happened while the couple was having sex. Mr. He spent US$50,000 to bail out his wife and helped her hire a lawyer. After three months of counseling, a restraining order against Chen was lifted and the couple got back toggether. Chen is still listed as a wanted criminal on the Purdue University Police Department website. She is wanted for “FAILURE TO APPEAR-ATTEMPTED MURDER, BATTERY COMMITTED BY MEANS OF A DEADLY WEAPON, CRIMINAL RECKLESSNESS.”
- Although Chen admitted to the murder, she says she is not the person who chopped He up into eight pieces. “I wanted to put him into the refrigerator, but he was too heavy to move,” Chen said. She says an American guy she met on the internet did the dismembering for US$2,000 (although she only thought he was going to move the body). The guy’s name? Jack. Police have found no proof this guy existed.
- But the police did find receipts at Chen’s Indiana apartment that show she went shopping after the murder. She bought garbage bags, gloves and cleaning detergent. She claims “Jack” told her to buy these items.
- Less than a week after the murder, Chen purchased a plane ticket to Shanghai using her dead husband’s credit card. She managed to board the plane in Chicago using her dead husband’s passport with a doctored photo. She was discovered by authorities at Pudong International Airport.
- Officials searched her possessions and discovered to-do notes reading “have to finish dealing the body” and “purchase air ticket with his credit card.”
- Evidently, Chen did not follow her own advice. He’s dismembered body was found in the trunk of the couple’s car in the parking garage of an airport hotel in Chicago. Someone complained to police about the stench.
- A psychological examination of Chen found she didn’t suffer from any mental illness. This finding surprised her family, who claimed she suffered from an inherited mental affliction.
Also receiving votes:
He Lei: For getting back together with Chen.
O’Hare Airport: For letting Chen get on the plane in this time of heightened security and vigilance.
The United States: For making it so easy to buy a gun online.
Wife admits dismembering husband (China Daily … headline is wrong)
Wife held over killing (Shanghai Star)
Woman’s fear of divorce kills husband (Shanghai Daily)
For more information about the Darwin Awards, go here. Technically, Chen is not dead, but at least she is removing herself from society.