Hu Wanlin, also known by the quaint monicker ‘Dr Death,’ has been arrested (again) after poisoning a 23-year-old with toxic soup in Henan. The 64-year-old was imprisoned in the late nineties after selling ‘miracle water’ to thousands, only to find that it was filled with high levels of sodium sulphate, which may have killed up to 140 people. Hu’s re-arrest was sparked after a 23-year-old was found dead, poisoned with (of course) sodium sulphate.
Time explained that, although Hu only has a primary school education, he “was said to have begun studying qigong traditional healing while serving a prison term for manslaughter in the 1980s,” so his crack-pot medicinal background checks out. South China Morning Post also reported on the “doctor,” and noted:
Hu was convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in 2000.
His sentence was reduced, however, and he was released in 2011, possibly due to “positive behaviour” according to a CCTV report aired on Thursday.
Prison did not lead Hu to repent. He had apparently gone back to his old practices after his release, working with “students” to arrange “seminars” in Henan. […]
Hu and his associates were arrested on October 1 on charges of “practising medicine illegally,” but Yun’s relatives [the murdered 23-year-old] argued he be charged with “homicide”, since he was familiar with the hazards of consuming sodium sulphate. […]
“These phony doctors might be clueless about medicine or science, but their understanding of the Chinese people’s mentality is perfect,” Chong said.
The validity (or lack thereof) and healing powers of Chinese medicine are one thing, but just compulsively poisoning people with huge levels of sodium sulphate is something else entirely.