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April 26, 2013

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Fudan suspect bore a grudge

PETTY arguments and resentment over family background jokes may have led the Fudan medical university student to poison his roommate earlier this month as little details about a flawed personality begin to emerge.

Meanwhile, local prosecutors yesterday approved the arrest of the medical postgraduate student, identified as Lin, on a murder charge.

Lin reportedly bore a grudge against Huang Yang, his roommate and a postgraduate student at Fudan University Medical School.

Huang fell ill on April 1 after drinking water from a dispenser in the room he shared with Lin.

Huang died of poisoning on April 16.

Last week, police said Lin had admitted poisoning his roommate. He allegedly stole chemicals from the university lab and injected them into the dispenser around noon on March 31.

He did not tell the police the reasons for his action, but suggested it was an April Fool's Day joke - something that has been discounted by the investigators.

But a report in yesterday's Southern Weekend newspaper claims Lin, Huang and another roommate Ge Lin quarreled over who should pay for the water container.

Huang and Ge suggested that they split the money equally but Lin was unwilling as he claimed that he drank less from the dispenser. Lin ended up buying the drinking water container on March 31, the day Huang drank the poisoned water.

But the petty quarrel over water was only the latest among the many disputes the trio had in the buildup to the murder.

In previous disagreements, Lin and Huang deleted each other's contacts on popular online chatting platform QQ some six months ago.

Lin's classmates speculated that Huang might have mocked Lin over his family background, labeling him a "Phoenix man" - a derogatory snide at people who toil or study diligently for years to get rid of their poor family background.

The newspaper suggested that Lin may have been deeply hurt by Huang's remarks, prompting him to take the harsh step.

"He remembered all the grudges but showed very little emotion," an unidentified classmate was quoted as saying of Lin.

Lin, 27, grew up in Shantou City in southern Guangdong Province. He was the pride of Heping Town, where the villagers, including Lin's mother, still do not believe he could have committed the harsh crime.

Lin's middle school teacher, surnamed Cai, said Lin was a shy student who excelled academically. And in the eyes of most people, Lin was "the good son" who worked hard and survived on scholarship and tutoring.

He gave his mother 20,000 yuan (US$3,240) when he went home in February for the Spring Festival holidays.

But what surprised many was that even after poisoning Huang, Lin continued to carry on with his work calmly. Even Huang's father, who came to Shanghai to be with his sick son on April 3, did not suspect Lin.

Lin actually did the ultrasound examination on Huang at Zhongshan Hospital where he was being treated. Even as Huang's condition deteriorated, Lin was discussing his essays with his classmates as if nothing had happened.


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