A Shanghai man has been sentenced to death for murdering his wife and hiding her body in a freezer for three months, local media reported on Thursday.
Zhu Xiaodong then impersonated his wife Yang Liping on social media, chatting to members of her family every day, before turning himself in, Thepaper.cn reported.
A court in the city found him guilty of murder in November last year and ruled that he had strangled her in October 2016 after a string of quarrels over trivial matters.
Prosecutors said that even though Zhu had confessed to his crime after handing himself over to police in the company of his parents in January last year, this was no mitigation for the “vile” nature of his offence.
They said he had shown no remorse for the murder and had used his wife’s money to travel and date other women in the months after her death.
One of Zhu’s neighbours, a woman only identified by her surname Lu, told Thepaper during the trial that she struggled to believe that he had been capable of such a thing and had always found him to be friendly and willing to help those who needed it.
She added that the couple were relatively quiet and seldom had spoke to their neighbours.
The area’s committee chairman, a man named Tao, told the Shanghai-based news portal last year that he remembered Zhu had continued to walk his dog around the neighbourhood after committing the murder.
He said police told him that Zhu had been using his wife’s money to travel and was dating women he had met online.
He also claimed that although Yang’s Weibo account had gone silent after her murder, he continued to exchange messages with his wife’s family through other platforms and adopted a similar tone and writing style to his victim to avoid arousing suspicion.
In early 2017 Zhu confessed what he had done at the police station when he went to hand himself in on the same day that his wife’s father was celebrating his birthday.
Tao also told Thepaper that Zhu’s mother had claimed her son had attempted suicide the day before he surrendered to police.
The victim’s family expressed relief after the sentencing. Yang Ganlian, the dead woman’s father, said: “We can’t say we are happy, but we are comforted. My wife has had a bit of a meltdown – she has been suppressing her feelings for a long time.”
Zhu now has 10 days to appeal against the sentence.
This article Chinese man sentenced to death for strangling wife and hiding body in freezer for three months first appeared on South China Morning Post