China · Religion

Six cult members murder a woman in a McDonald’s

May 28, 2014
Zhaoyuan, Shandong, China
Six people beat a woman to death for refusing to give them her phone number

The group of six were members of the banned cult Church of the Almighty God. (The Chinese government has banned the group claiming they have been involved in various criminal activities including deceit, theft, causing bodily harm, and attacking the government.)

The group entered a McDonald’s restaurant and asked patrons and employees for their phone numbers, allegedly to recruit new members. One patron, a woman named Wu Shuoyan (37), refused. Upon her refusal, cult member Zhang Fan beat Wu with a chair. Once the victim was on the floor, Zhang Fan stomped on her and encouraged the others to help. Another member, Zhang Fan’s father Zhang Lidong, then beat Wu with a metal mop handle until it broke. During the attack, the cult members threatened to kill any witnesses who attempted to interfere in the murder. Police were alerted and apprehended the assailants at the scene.

All defendants were part of an extended family. Lü was the only one not related; she was living with Zhang Fan at the time of the murder. One person not tried was Zhang Fan’s 13-year-old brother. Zhang Hang was another brother, and Zhang Qiaolian was Zhang Lidong‘s lover.

Because one of the defendants was 13 at the time of the murder, he did not stand trial. Zhang Fan and Zhang Lidong, being the two who inflicted the most damage, were sentenced to death; both were executed on February 2, 2015. The other three received sentences based on the severity of their involvement: Lü Yingchan was sentenced to life in prison, Zhang Hang to 10 years, and Zhang Qiaolian to 7 years.

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