A Security Guard Chose Not To Intervene While A 19-Year-Old Murdered 16-Year-Old Microblogger Lai Zengyutong

Murdered 16-year-old microblogger Lai

We have an update to the disturbing story of a murdered 16-year-old girl who might have been tracked down via her Sina Weibo posts. If you haven’t been following, here’s the quick summary: high school student Lai Zengyutong disappeared on January 12 in Shenzhen and was found dead the next day in an empty shop. (Her name has also appeared as “Laiceng Yutong” and “Tsang Yue Laitong,” along with misspelled variations.) Her killer, 19-year-old Meng Shuai, was apprehended on January 21, with netizens following the story every step of the way and fervently discussing online. “Lai’s death has also elicited a torrent of concern for the safety of Weibo microbloggers, particularly young women who might not understand the risks involved in posting personal content online,” wrote Alexander Nasr on Tea Leaf Nation.

The latest details come via Sina – first, Meng has denied that he tracked down Lai via Weibo, according to Shenzhen TV:

But Meng told police he chose his target randomly and denied he found Laiceng based on her microblog, the TV report said.

Meng told police he had been cheated in a pyramid scam and had a tense relationship with his family. He decided to rob others to make a living and strangled the girl to death after she resisted, the report said.

This probably isn’t a detail that will make anyone feel better about the world, and neither is this next part:

Meng told police he killed Laiceng as a way to “take revenge on society” for all the “unfair treatment” he had received in life.

Wide are the cracks through which the disenfranchised might slip.

Unrelated to all that, there’s this final detail buried in the tail end of the article:

Laiceng’s relatives told Shenzhen Television that a woman had witnessed a man grabbing Laiceng. The woman rushed to a factory to get help from a security guard.

The guard told her it was none of his business and no one called the police, the relatives told the TV station.

Was the guard paralyzed by the Genovese syndrome? “Diffusion of responsibility,” it’s called, but in this case, who was he thinking the buck would pass to? Alas, it strikes me as plain laziness, and it might have cost a girl her life. Again, no reason to feel better about the world.

(H/T Alicia; image via Daily Dot)

    7 Responses to “A Security Guard Chose Not To Intervene While A 19-Year-Old Murdered 16-Year-Old Microblogger Lai Zengyutong”

    1. MAC

      Attention Chinese people: if you feel that foreigners look down on your country, it’s not because China is a developing country and not fuqiang enough.

    2. SeaHorse

      I like how these stories always have commenter suggest the bystander effect only affects people who are Chinese.

      • MAC

        Do you really, honestly think the story as described is just as likely to occur in Canada as in China, with a security guard saying “none of my business” and nobody even calling the police?

        • SeaHorse

          Nope. Canada is in much better economic shape the most of the world, smaller population, more space, the crime rate is lower than most of the world, the weather makes it almost not worth it to mug someone this time of year besides our police force will probably likely catch you anyways, there are regulations as to who can become a security guard, and we have an educational system which awards good behavior. Of course lesser countries like China would have higher crime rates then us.

          However I can’t deny that it -could- theoretically happen. I mean we had at least one school shooting in history even though our country is commonly acknowledged to be vastly better than the States so I -can’t- say we are all good people by blood and country. So the way I see it’s just something that happens in developing nations that are obviously not as clean shaven as we are.

    3. narsfweasels

      I like how every story aout China has people coming on and shouting “China bashing!” “Bias” “so-called democracy” and “It also happens in America!”. It really helps society move forward.

      • SeaHorse

        Am I saying it’s China bashing? It sounds to me I am saying I like a specific type of commenter. Or perhaps suggesting that this specific type of commenter is really helping society move forward by pointing out obviously the bystander effect only works on Chinese people.

    4. laowai88

      No one wants to get involved because everyone is scared of the police, plain and simple. Given that they can detain you indefinitely without cause, it’s actually quite logical that people will go out of their way to avoid contact with the police.


    Leave a Reply

    • (will not be published)

    XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

    − 2 = five