The chilling story of a New York mother stabbed to death along with her four children is hard to read and yet hard to look away from. Who would do such a thing to a mother and her children? To a baby as young as 18 months old? Well, now the man accused of the quintuple murder has been identified. Mingdong Chen is a cousin of the children's father, and as it turns out, he was only in his home because the Zhuo family was being kind to a relative down on his luck.
Somehow that just makes the whole tragic tale that much more despicable, doesn't it? Chen was hurting, so the Zhuo family took him in, and yet according to police he quite literally stabbed them in the backs (or rather their necks and torsos)?
According to police, Chen had been fired from a string of restaurant jobs. The Chinese immigrant could not hold down a job. And so the Zhuo family had taken pity on him and was allowing him to stay with them.
And this is how he repaid them?
It's startling how cruel people can be, even to the people who are kindest to them. We strive to teach our kids that the good things in life come to those who live by the golden rule, that it pays in the long run to be the bigger person.
It sounds nice in the abstract.
But then things like this crop up in the news, and you're forced to face the fact that kindness can only take you so far. Some people see you giving and will just take and take and take and then come back and take some more.
In this case, Mingdong Chen is accused of taking the ultimate thing from his cousin: his wife and family.
Thirty-seven-year-old mother Qiao Zhen Li reportedly became bothered by Chen's behavior and had tried calling her husband but couldn't track him down. She called her mother-in-law way back in China, but the mother-in-law couldn't get hold of her son either. Finally a sister-in-law in Brooklyn showed up, only to find Qiao Zhen Li and her four kids, 9-year-old Linda Zhuo, 7-year-old Amy Zhuo, 5-year-old Kevin Zhuo, and 18-month-old William Zhuo, all dead. Chen was also there, allegedly covered in blood.
The 25-year-old now faces five counts of murder. If convicted, he's sure to spend a long, long, long time in prison. And after hurting the very family who stuck their necks out to help him, I can't imagine there will be many people rushing to visit him there.
Have you ever been wronged by someone who you bent over backward to help? What happened?
Image via Laurent Hamels/PhotoAlto/Corbis