June 2, 2014
- The woman in her 20s, only known as Miss Wu, was eating at a McDonald’s restaurant in Zhaoyuan of eastern China when she was beaten to death with an iron bar
- It is believed a dispute began after the mother refused to give a man, Mr Zhang, her phone number
- Police said the accused six are members of a cult calling itself ‘All-powerful spirit’ or ‘Almighty God’, translated from ‘Quannengshen’ in Chinese
- It is believed Mr Zhang and Miss Wu didn’t know each other
- No one was reported to have tried to help the victim
- WARNING: Graphic content
By Sally Lee
Published: 22:12 EST, 31 May 2014 | Updated: 05:27 EST, 1 June 2014
Six cult members have been arrested over the beating death of a woman a McDonald’s restaurant ineastern China on Wednesday night.
Only known as Miss Wu, the alleged victim was having dinner at the fast-food outlet when an unknown man, identified as Mr Zhang, asked for her phone number.
Once she refused, that’s when a very tragic and violent conflict unfolded over a brief 20-minute period.
The bashing of Miss Wu took place at a McDonald’s in eastern China after she refused to give a cult member her number
Upon the rejection, Mr Zhang used an iron bar to beat Miss Wu to death right in the middle of the eatery.
Witnesses told thenanfang.com that Mr Zhang was also having dinner with his friends at Zhaoyuan, in China’s Shandong province, when an argument broke out with Miss Wu followed by a physical dispute.
The website reported Mr Zhang’s friends joined in and also beat Miss Wu, kicking her in the head and she was lying on the ground in a pool of her own blood.
They then proceeded to use an iron-handled mop to strike her in the head and continued to do so until the handle broke.
Graphic images and a three-minute clip of the beating is circulating online.
Mr Zhang was eating dinner with friends before he allegedly beat Ms Wu to death
With Mr Zhang’s friends joining in on the alleged assault, kicking her in the head, she was left lying in a pool of her own blood on the ground
Another news site, ecns.cn, reported that Mr Zhang was encouraged by a woman shouting ‘beat her to death’.
The accused six were arrested on Saturday and police believe they are part of a religious cult.
Zhaoyuan police said on their microblog that the members, four of which are from the same family, belonged to a group calling itself the ‘All-powerful spirit’ or ‘Almighty God’ and had been collecting numbers in an effort to recruit new people.
The six people allegedly involved in the incident are believed to be cult members and were arrested on Saturday
Emergency crew confirmed that Miss Wu, who has children, died at the scene which occurred between 9.10pm to 9.30pm.
No one was reported to have tried to help the victim as video footage of the incident caused an uproar as it showed customers watch the woman scream in agony as she was beaten to death.
The McDonald’s is located across the street from a local police station.
Zhaoyuan is in Shandong province, a traditional hotbed for religious cults. The region gave birth to the violent anti-Christian Boxer movement that laid siege to Western interests in Beijing and elsewhere during the waning years of the Qing dynasty in 1900.
It has been reported no one raised the alarm while Ms Wu was being beaten to death with an iron rod
State broadcaster CCTV said religious material had been found at a location linked to the sect but gave no further details. A clerk who answered the phone at Zhaoyuan police headquarters said no one was available to comment on the case.
All-powerful spirit, or ‘Quannengshen’ in Chinese, was founded in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang in the early 1990s and later spread to the country’s eastern provinces, the newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
Video and images of the attack are circulating the internet where people can see McDonald’s patrons stood idly by as Ms Wu is heard screaming
It said the group promoted a philosophy based on a distorted reading of the Christian Bible and had been banned as an ‘evil cult’ by the government in 1995, although that could not be immediately confirmed.
Another paper, the Beijing Morning News, said 17 members of the group had been arrested in Beijing in December 2012 for harassing people in a public park with claims that the world was coming to an end.
China has struggled at times to control grassroots religious movements based on Christian or Buddhist ideology, most notably the Falungong meditation movement that attracted millions of adherents before being brutally repressed in 1999.