Why a Chinese Murderer Got Public Support

Who would have any sympathy for a murderer? Well, that is what happened in China. A murder suspect killing two of his neighbors gained widespread public sympathy. The accused murderer belongs to the city of Jinzhong, located in the southern Fujian province of China.

A copy of the wanted poster for Ou.
Source: CNN

The local court accuses Ou of killing two of his neighbors and injuring a couple more. When the police almost caught him, he attempted to kill himself while resisting arrest. Medical officials quickly rushed Ou to the hospital, however, attempts to save him failed. He’s a fascinating story.

Did Ou Kill Two People?

Ou had escaped to the nearby hills after police started looking for him. After weeks of searching, the police department could locate Ou inside a dark cave. Soon after that, the local police released photos of Ou on October 12th.

people are looking for Ou near a shack.
Source: CNN

But why did Ou kill his neighbors? According to police sources, Ou was embroiled in a heated land dispute with his neighbor. One day when the argument blew out of proportions, Ou attacked his neighbors with a knife. Ou stabbed a 78-year-old man with a knife and his daughter-in-law in the brawl. Both of them died on the spot.

How Did Ou Receive Public Sympathy?

Unlike in other western countries, murder in China is punishable by death. This particular case shook up the entire country. However, the media was shocked when the public sentiment leaned towards the murderer himself. But what made the public express their sentiment towards Ou? Well, all credit goes to social media.

Ou’s mugshot.
Source: CNN

After reviewing his old and current social media posts, the public formed a positive image of Ou. People believed that Ou was an ordinary man who was pushed over the edge over a simple land dispute. Also, when the public got to know that Ou had saved a young boy from drowning three years ago, the public sympathy only grew stronger.

Why Did Ou Kill Two People?

After going through Ou’s social media posts, it was revealed that Ou and his family did not have a home. Ou was concerned about his 89-year-old grandmother, who would constantly fall sick. He wanted to create a better environment for her to live in.

CNN’s post about Ou’s story.
Source: YouTube

When Ou wanted to build his own home, his neighbors would not let him. His neighbors always stopped him from making his own home. Even though it seemed mean, the dispute should never have escalated to such a violent crime. The sympathy he got was strange.

No One Came Forward to Help

According to his Weibo posts, Ou had already shared the matter with local police and village officials. He even tried to seek help from the media. But no one came forward to help him. He was left to fight the battle on his own.

A wanted flyer for Ou hangs on a poll.
Source: YouTube

After this murder, people started their opinions about the faulty civil society and the corrupted bureaucratic system. Many even posted on Weibo that they have lost all faith in the current government. Weibo deleted Ou’s account on the platform soon after this incident, reducing public confidence in Weibo.