CHINA FILES: School, neighborhood, frightened of 12-year-old boy after matricide

A picture of the young suspect. Credit: Tencent News
A picture of the young suspect. Credit: Tencent News

Too young to be criminally charged, a 12-year-old who stabbed his mother to death because she was ‘too strict’ has been released by authorities but is unable to return home or attend school after an outcry from the local community in Yuanjiang, Hunan province, according to reports.

According to Xinhua, the boy, in 6th grade at primary school, killed his 34-year-old mother on December 2 in her bedroom, stabbing her more than 20 times with a knife.

A neighbor, according to The Beijing News, overheard “screams” during the incident but, upon visiting them home, was met by the boy, who has been given the alias Wu Lin in media reports.

Wu, the neighbour said, claimed the disturbance was because his mother had beaten his younger brother.

Suspicious, the neighbor contacted Wu’s grandfather, who arrived the next day to find the boy and his little brother in the house with the body of their mother in a pool of blood.

A police officer at the scene reportedly questioned the boy, who didn’t appear afraid.

“Do you hate your mom?” the officer reportedly asked. Wu nodded in response, according to The Beijing News.

Because of his young age, Wu was released four days after the incident, though the family is now staying in a hotel, as the child is unwelcome in the community.

“All of us don’t want him back,” a neighbor said, pointing to Wu’s seeming lack of remorse, according to The Beijing News.

Efforts by his father to take Wu back to school encountered similar resistance. The principal reportedly turned them away, saying other parents had threatened a boycott if he returned.

According to The Beijing News, a family remember of Wu said he had expressed surprise at being unable to rejoin classmates.

“I didn’t kill anyone else, I just killed my mother, why they don’t let me go to school?” he reportedly said.

The family has turned to the government for assistance.

According to China News, a local government spokesman told The Beijing News the case had been reported to municipal authorities, saying they had a “comprehensive scheme” in place to address Wu’s education and other fallout from the case. The spokesman, though, declined to provide details of the plan.

Zong Chunshan, the chairman of the Beijing Juvenile Law and Consulting Center, urged authorities to take an active role in the case, calling for Wu’s mental state and circumstances to be assessed to ensure he was not a danger to society, The Beijing News reported.

According to the outlet, Wu’s father said both he and his now-deceased wife had spent long periods away working during their son’s childhood, leaving their parents (Wu’s grandparents) responsible for his care.

He said Wu’s mother had left several months after his birth, returning twice a year, until two years ago, when she settled at the family’s hometown to care for the children.

The father claimed that, doted on by his grandparents, Wu had developed “bad habits” and clashed with his mother and her efforts to instil discipline upon her return.

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