Britain’s “Body in a Suitcase” Gambler Packs His Bags for Prison
Posted on: May 3, 2017, 10:48h.
Last updated on: May 3, 2017, 10:54h.
Known in the UK’s tabloid media as the “body in a suitcase” killer, gambler Ming Jiang was sentenced to life imprisonment by a British judge on Tuesday. Jiang murdered his high-rolling friend Yiang Lui last fall in order to assume his identity and steal his money to further fund his own gambling play.
Jiang, 43, killed and dismembered fellow Chinese national and successful financial investor Lui, 36, last October, before stuffing his torso into a suitcase, which he then set on fire.
Judge John Potter described the former Lufthansa air steward as “highly dangerous,” informing Jiang that he would likely spend the rest of his life in prison, as he handed down a minimum of 33 years before parole could even be considered.
“You killed a gentle and kind young man with … cunning for your own selfish desire to feed your gambling habits,” said Potter. “You befriended this man and moved in the same social circles as him.
“You were given special status in some casinos, despite being banned from others for what is reported as your erratic behavior,” the judge added at Jiang’s sentencing. “But you came up with a plan which was chilling and which was a murder committed by you for personal gain.”
$230,000 Gambling Spree
That plan involved leaving a smoldering suitcase, into which Jiang had stuffed his former friend’s body parts, in a remote drivers’ rest area, before stealing Lui’s credit cards and passport in order to gain access to his bank account. Then within days of the killing, the murderer began making arrangements for a “quick sale” of Lui’s Manchester apartment.
Jiang, who was described by prosecutors as an “insatiable gambler,” had debts of £273,000 ($340,000) at two casinos at the time of the killing, and was broke. Two weeks later, he bought £178,000 ($230,000) in chips with Lui’s money and went on a gambling bender.
Judge Potter felt no sympathy for the killer’s situation.
“Your high-spending, high-rolling behavior was in fact a selfish and self-centered veneer, behind which you hid a life of increasing dependency on debt, which was rapidly spinning out of control,” noted the judge.
Friends and Lovers
Police used license plate recognition technology to place Jiang’s car near the scene of the crime on the night of the murder. They subsequently found Liu’s DNA matched bloodstains in the trunk of Jiang’s vehicle.
Jiang told detectives that he and Liu were gay lovers about to enter into a civil partnership and that Liu was also a paid escort for older Chinese men, an assertion dismissed by the prosecution as an “elaborate smokescreen of slurs.”
“Given the nature of this murder, I anticipate the [parole] authorities, at the appropriate time, should it ever be reached, will have to consider with very great care the danger you present to the public,” summarized the judge.
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