Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 5 News List

China dating show bachelor detained in murder case

AP, BEIJING

On the surface, Liu Hao (劉浩), with his songbird voice, seemed like the ideal candidate as a romantic partner on one of China’s popular dating shows.

The 39-year-old music teacher wooed the audience with his soulful singing, and won fans as he duked it out against a competing bachelor with his high-energy running man dance to techno music. Liu’s wide grin reflected his confidence.

One woman was so entranced, she picked him out of eight eligible bachelors on the Happy League dating show in Heilongjiang Province in northeast China.

She picked a possible killer.

Police in Jilin city, one province south of Heilongjiang, said on Wednesday that they had detained Liu after they received an anonymous tip more than a month ago from a viewer who recognized the pudgy-faced Liu as a suspect in a murder case from the 1990s.

Although his square jaw had rounded out and his crew cut had been replaced with a more stylish buzz, his button nose and soft features gave failed to entirely hide a familiar face.

Police watched the tapes and indeed Liu resembled Wu Gang (吳剛) — who stabbed a man to death more than 13 years ago outside a restaurant in Jilin, said Li Ang (李昂), a police officer from the criminal investigation department of the Jilin Public Security Bureau.

Li said that, after a month-long investigation, Liu was detained as the key suspect in the case.

“Liu had become accustomed to his new identity and fooling -everyone around him so he didn’t think twice about going on the show,” Li said. “He had managed to escape the law for so long he became overconfident about not being caught.”

Li declined to give further details on the case, saying the investigation is ongoing.

A clip of Liu’s appearance can no longer be found on the Happy League’s Web site, which has videos of other episodes.

Calls to the show’s management office rang unanswered on Wednesday.

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