Nanjing University, China, January 1996: freshman college student Dao Aiching was found carved into 2,000 small pieces. Her remains cooked, neatly stacked in plastic bags and scattered around the city of Nanjing.
Reality is always stranger than fiction.
Due to insomnia, I have been listening to some podcasts to help me fall asleep, and one particular podcast, a documentary of true crimes that happen in China, turned out to be so interesting, so thrilling, so gruesome that it had kept me awake for entire nights.
This story, that of Dao Aiching, is one of the hundreds of stories that I have listened to.
There are even more interesting ones and when I have time I will translate the best ones into English and share them with my western audience. My last post, pear garden’s underground palace, was a literal translation of two separate true crime stories reported in China.
It is said that China only reports solved crimes. It is very rare that you get an unsolved crime, such as this one about Dao Aiching, reported and the only reason that it was reported at all was because it was so extremely gruesome it was nearly impossible to cover it up.
There are many, many stories about people going missing and years later their corpses were found stuffed in freezers, their remains cooked and eaten.
Those murders that happen in China, the forbidden East—so mysterious, so extremely cruel, and on such massive scales the most horrifying western thrillers written by the most creative writers of the Occident pale in comparison.
A couple and their children sleep next to a small room with a freezer locked with chains and inside hides the remains of a corpse, for four years. A man who kills his wife and keeps her remains for … 11 years. A man who has been “hunting”, butchering, and eating his victims for 20 years, who is frequently seen pushing a cart with mysterious cargo in the middle of the night, strolling his neighborhood like a ghost. A woman who has poisoned to death her brother-in-law’s three children, her sister-in-law’s four children and their livestock—dozens of sheep, hogs, and ox, over a period of ten years. A rapist who sliced off the genitals of women after he rapes them and got away with it for five years. Each story seems more unbelievable than the next. Each story seems to undo the next for its level of depravity, its descent into unimaginable terror.
This particular case that I write about now happened on January 19th, 1996. It took place in Nanjing, the provincial capital of Jiangsu, an area known to produce the most beautiful women in all of China.
The victim was Nanjing University’s freshman student Dao Aiching.
Ten days after she went missing, her body was found carved into 2,000 plus pieces, cooked, neatly stacked into medium-sized plastic bags and scattered around the neighborhoods near Nanjing University. The first report of discovery was made by a middle-aged housewife who claimed to see a black plastic bag in the snow outside of her house. When she picked it up, she thought she saw chopped pork meat inside. She went home to take the meat out and discovered severed human fingers hidden under the thick layers of meat. After nearly passing out, she called the police. And she was so agitated that she was not able to speak coherently for several hours.
Another location of discovery was in a garbage dump. Cleaning personnel discovered a bag full of cooked meat discarded near Huajiao road. Human breasts were discovered in the bag.
The police overseeing the case said that they have seen cases involving dismemberment, but dismemberment of more than 2,000 pieces was a first since the end of World War II.
Because the victim’s body has been cooked, there was little evidence of forensic value to use for the detectives. Even though over thousands of police were involved in the case, to this day, it remained unsolved.
The murderer—whoever he or she or they is or are—has never been caught and roams freely on the surface of earth.
According to what I can recollect in the podcast, they said the murderer was most likely to be either a doctor, a cop, or a medical scientist. “No ordinary human has the ability to carry out such intricate level of dismemberment, under the extreme duress of killing another human being. The murderer has some extraordinary psychology. All the flesh was meticulously severed, cooked, and neatly stacked, like sushi platters. He must have had very competent knowledge of human anatomy and possibly had experience dissecting human corpses.”
The police investigated all the people in this respect but to no avail. Aiching was a peasant girl from rural province of Jiangsu. She has never had any romantic relationship, and has just been in Nanjing for less than a year. It was unlikely to be a crime of passion. So, perhaps, it was random. But her friends had said that she was a very shy girl who never talked to strangers. So it was must be someone she knew. Maybe a professor. Or a classmate. The person must be very gentle-looking and well-educated in appearance in order to gain her trust.
Three roommates of Aiching were asked to identify her corpse, but the police was hesitant. “It’s difficult even for a trained professional to look at the body and not want to vomit. How can those 19 year old girls look at it?” One of them became so shook up even before going into the morgue and refused. Another stopped at the entrance. Only one was brave enough to go in. The grisly sight was so overwhelming she saw only a tiny bit before she rushed out and started to throw up.
After some research on the internet, there is actually one account in which the author claims that the case actually had been solved just within three weeks of initial discovery. The perpetrators were a couple who worked as doctors and medics in the Chinese military PLA (People’s Liberation Army). They in fact had confessed to killing Dao Aiching. But the police were unable to find any material evidence form a complete chain of evidence to prove their case in court. The district attorney therefore refused to prosecute due to lack of evidence. Eventually the couple was released from jail.
The author further claims that the couple in fact had connections to high ranking officials within the PLA and that was the real reason they were never prosecuted. Within a year after they were released, the couple fled to the United States and never returned.
Source and reference: [graphic warning]