A man has been executed in Shanghai after being convicted ofmurdering his wife and hiding her body in a freezer in their home for the following three months while he assumed her identity on social media and in text messages with her family.
On October 17th, 2016, 30-year-old Zhu Xiaodong strangled his wife, Yang Liping, to death over what was described in court as “trivial” domestic arguments less than a year into their marriage. Afterward, he wrapped Yang’s body up in a quilt and hid it inside of their freezer. There her body stayed for the next 105 days.
During this time, Zhu assumed his wife’s identity on WeChat, replying to text messages from her friends and parents who all apparently didn’t suspect a thing. Meanwhile, he used money from Yang’s bank accounts to take vacations, including one to South Korea, and to date other women.
Finally, on February 1st, 2017, Zhu was forced to turn himself in, knowing that he could no longer keep the charade going after Yang’s father had asked the couple over for a birthday dinner that night.
In August 2018, Zhu was given the death penalty for his crimes by the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court, however, his defense team argued that his sentence should be reduced as he has shown regret and Yang’s murder was one of “impulse,” not premeditation.
However, prosecutors maintained that the death penalty was the only appropriate punishment, noting that Zhu had bought crime books as well as the freezer before murdering his wife.
They also pointed out the extremely heinous nature of Zhu’s crime and the relaxed attitude he took afterward. After stuffing his wife’s body in a freezer, Zhu had gone out for drinks with a friend. While on the day that he turned himself in, he first “recklessly squandered” money on “personal pleasure.”
Last year, the Shanghai High People’s Court upheld the ruling. On Thursday, officials announced that Zhu had been executed.