By Horace Lu
Changchun police have arrested a man in Yangquan, Shanxi Province who has been wanted for 16 long years for a murder. The murderer, as it turns out, is a member of the local CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) named Hou Jun (侯军).
Back in 1995, Hou Jun, who was running a restaurant in Changchun, fell into a dispute with a customer surnamed Wang. Wang was asking for compensation because his coat was stained by wet paint while in the eatery. Hou Jun offered 500 yuan, but Wang thought the sum was too small and the next day, he took his buddies to the restaurant to “sort things out”.
One thing led to another and the fight soon turned violent. In the altercation, Hou Jun grabbed a wooden stick and beat Wang hard with it. Wang died soon after, and Hou Jun fled the city in a panic. Local police failed to find any clue and could only put him on the “wanted” list.
During his 16 years on the run, Hou Jun changed his name to Cui Shiling (崔石令) and even altered his age so he was ten years younger on his ID. When eventually captured, he was running a furniture shop that was relatively popular in Yangquan, many miles away from where the murderer took place.
In order to redeem his faults and cover up his crime, Hou has been doing many good works in the past years and was even elected to the local CPPCC this May by the name of Cui Shiling.
This October, Changchun police finally found traces of Hou Jun. When they eventually tracked him down, they could hardly recognize him because he was now pot-bellied, wearing a suit and looking very different from what he looked like 16 years ago. After striking up a conversation with Hou, their suspicions were confirmed because his accent gave him away.