Suicide via 11 Stab Wounds. That Guy Must Have Been Really Depressed.

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Self-inflicted sword suicide by focusing qi force.

So many interesting stories out there today, but I had to get something out on this mysterious “suicide” case out of Hubei. (Well, not so mysterious actually, but certainly entertaining, if you’re into black humor.) ChinaSMACK has a rundown of all the particulars. Here’s a summary:

August 27th at around 6:40 in the afternoon, Hubei province Gongan County Disciplinary Committee cadre Xie Yexin died in his office, with over 10 stab wounds discovered on his body. Xie one month ago participated and assisted the investigation of corruption against the county’s Deputy Secretary. The Hubei province Jingzhou city Gongan county government website posted information on the night of October 28th stating that through the careful investigation of the public security organs, Xie Yexin committed suicide.

Those of you in the West who might have grown up reading about ritual suicide in Asia, keep in mind that hara kiri (also known as seppuku) is a Japanese tradition. If you suggested self-inflicted disembowelment to your average Chinese person, a loose translation of the response would be “Are you fucking kidding me?”

Nevertheless, here we have Mr. Xie, who must have possessed giant brass cojones to pull off this deft maneuver. Now, if you’re the skeptical type, you might be thinking “Look, I trust everything the police say, but in this case, I’m finding myself questioning just how Mr. Xie was able to do this.”

I understand your confusion, but good for you giving the cops the benefit of the doubt. To help out Doubting Thomases such as yourself, the police have explained that Mr. Xie’s first 10 wounds were simply “test stabs”. In other words, he wanted to get it right, so he needed a few trial runs before settling on that eleventh masterstroke.

Don't try this at home, kids.

Still not sure how it went down? Here’s a helpful diagram (the site I found it on says it came from the police, but that seems unlikely). Anyway, as you can see, Mr. Xie, looking very Caucasian (reminds me of Robert F. Kennedy for some reason) and clinically detached, made a series of test stabs before victory was achieved.

By the way, I appreciate that the depiction is discreetly limited to his torso and head and does not continue below the waistline. Gotta think of the children.

I think this graphic graphic clears up all questions, doesn’t it? This fellow looks quite lucid and capable of inflicting several more injuries at this point, so obviously Mr. Xie could have done it.

Those tests he conducted must have been interesting, though. I mean, stabbing yourself at least twice in the forearms/wrists. How clever to make those look like defensive wounds! Methinks Mr. Xie was having a bit of a funny with the police. Ha ha ha. That Mr. Xie must have had quite a sense of humor! (For the record, the police have said that those were definitely not defensive wounds.)

Now, some of you might still be wondering whether Mr. Xie’s job had anything to do with this. Let’s clear this up right now: just because he was conducting a major investigation into the activities of the local Deputy Secretary, that doesn’t mean that the two things had anything to do with each other. I’m sure that the Deputy Secretary figured that Mr. Xie was just doing his job and, also being a good civil servant, wouldn’t dream of interfering or exacting revenge. Anti-corruption investigations are so commonplace these days, it just doesn’t make sense that anyone would get upset about it.

As to Mr. Xie’s motives for the suicide, I hear that he became despondent after the death of Puddles, his prized miniature Schnauzer. I’m not sure that’s been confirmed yet, though.

Some people are just so cynical. It amazes me. Obviously Occam’s Razor applies here. The simplest explanation is that Mr. Xie stabbed himself eleven times. Why can’t we just accept that?

I’m glad to see that some folks have done just that, not only accepting the obvious but pointing out to other depressives that if they wish to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Xie, there are several options. (Click on the image to see full size.)

Several questions remain. Will Mr. Xie become a revered icon in China, held out as a tough guy who puts your average samurai to shame?

Will we see a wave of copycats and an informal competition to see who can first reach the fabled “death of a thousand cuts”?

What response will we see from the manufacturer of the “Lang Bo Fei” brand of knife used by Mr. Xie? I’m thinking new marketing campaign at the very least. I mean, if you want to be known as a company that sells sharp knives, well, eleven cuts makes your product look a bit dull and ineffective.

Most importantly, how will Next Media Animation deal with this? (I can’t wait.)

16 responses on “Suicide via 11 Stab Wounds. That Guy Must Have Been Really Depressed.

  1. BlackSugarDaddy

    I bet Mr Xie must be a pious reader of Chinahearsay and he got so depressed and ultimately out of his mind by reading helpless articles about China here. Before he died, he thought of a plan to be part of Chinahearsay so that he would be a pious reader forever, then he worked out the idea of stabbing himself 11 times and went on the headline today. Congratulations, Mr Xie !

    1. KS Chin

      And why not? I remember the classic interview of a supporter of Marcos who when asked how he got so much money. She said vehemently “He saved a lot!”

  2. bah, humbug

    Once in a while your cynically sarcastic tongue-in-cheek posts outdo even the must cynically sarcastic tongue-in-cheek viewpoints that I have. This one is another one of your classics.

    However, subtlety is a two edged sword. And I will wager one baozi that there is at least one person somewhere reading this that took your post at face value and really believes you are truly defending the official version of the suicide story.

    Lighten up! Be more blatant! Run in circles, scream and shout! I think it is more fun.

    1. Stan Post author

      And to those people I say, “Boo freakin’ hoo.”

      Seriously, once in a while people write in response to some sarcastic comment or entire Onionesque post, and it embarrasses the crap out of me when they think it’s real because they are embarrassed. I never mean to trick folks like that and make them feel bad.

      On the other hand, if I write things in too blatant a fashion, then it just isn’t as funny. And that’s the whole point.

      Agree/disagree?

      1. S.K. Cheung

        Entire blogs have misconstrued your satire in recent memory, so Bah Humbug is right, your sarcasm could similarly pass them by. On the other hand, as you say, this is funnier (and if they misconstrue it again, then yet funnier still).

        1. Bah Bah, Humbug (have you any wool)

          Thanks SK for your vote.

          Stan, you are a terrific writer and I admire your posts. (I read your blog frequently although rarely comment.) Your writing is akin to Mark Twain (Sam C) or GB Shaw. And I myself would agree with you about “boo f– hoo”, but truthfully on this one it took me reading more than 50% of the post to see the depth of your humor. Maybe I was just dense that day. But, still… I guess what motivated me to comment was that if it took me more than 50% through, I wondered about some who might read it whose first language was not English (ie.e, in zhong guo) who might not see the big picture with teh full force of your humor. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about them, eh?

          1. Stan Post author

            Thank you for the ridiculously gracious comments. Or perhaps that was sarcasm? Hmm. . .

            Yes, no doubt that non-native English speakers will miss a lot. It’s a tough call. I have a similar problem when I teach, since my classes are filled with the following kinds of law students: Americans, Europeans, Chinese undergrads, Chinese graduate students. How do you tailor your language to that group? What I end up doing is speaking somewhat normally, but of course I cut down on idioms and cultural references. It’s bad enough with all the legal jargon.

            I could do something similar on this blog – kind of write down to the lowest common denominator to ensure that the largest percentage “gets it.” But again, that’s like fighting with two hands tied behind your back. It’s hard enough writing something funny without worrying about this sort of thing. So I can’t do it. Gotta let the voice say what it wants, and let the chips fall where they may. And without a distinctive voice, I’d just be another schmuck with a China blog, and no one needs that.

  3. S.K. Cheung

    My money is on “assisted” “suicide”. Nice to see that the police can close the case within 24 hours. That’s some good ol’ fashioned CCP police work. Brisk. All-encompassing. Exhaustive. Definitive. Model policing, I’d say.

    I wonder if other members of that County Disciplinary Committee are likewise feeling a little suicidal right about now. Maybe they’re feeling a couple of hesitation slashes coming on.

    1. Stan Post author

      Assisted suicide. Oh my, that’s nice, particularly since it’s obviously coming from a regular reader of China Hearsay.

      Resolved: I will henceforth refer to this sort of thing as “assisted suicide.” Excellent.

      1. S.K. Cheung

        I imagine this falls into a slightly different category than the “assisted suicide” you advocated for in an earlier thread. Maybe this can be “assisted suicide – without consent subgroup”, not to be confused with the “assisted suicide – with consent subgroup”. This might lend itself well to another venn diagram too :-)

  4. ChasL

    Seems folks have neglected to fact check the notoriously unreliable Chinese internet rumor mill. Here’s coverage of the police press announcement:

    http://finance.ifeng.com/money/roll/20110831/4496172.shtml

    According to the investigation, Xie was not stabbed 11 times. All but one were non-fatal shallow cuts parallel to the body (such as the slit wrist) indicating they are self-inflicted.

    On the left side of the deceased was a knife that matched a set of 5 Xie had at home, indicating he brought the knife to the office.

    Autopsy report was quoted in the press announcement as well. According to the medical examiner, one fatal stab to the suprasternal fossa rupturing the superior vena cava was the cause of excessive bleeding and shock which led to Xie’s death.

  5. ChasL

    The family pointed out the knife was wrapped with tissue. There’s a perfect reasonable explination – compensation.

    If Xie’s finger print was all over the knife, it would be an obvious suicide and there would be no victim’s compensation or life insurance pay off.

  6. S.K. Cheung

    Wow, it looks like the infamous Charles Liu is in our midst. How nice.

    Fact checking is great. However, that link comes with an interesting disclaimer at the end. The piece only reflects the opinion of the writer, and the site/link does not vouch in any way for the accuracy of any of the contents. That’s helpful…if one were to have any confidence in the “facts” therein.

    THe non-fatal cuts could have been self-inflicted. The fatal blow could have been too. But it’s nice of the police to come to that conclusion so quickly. Quick. Precise. Conclusive. Good ol’ fashioned CCP-style police work.

    The knife could have been from Xie’s home. That would be a brilliant weapon choice if one were to cover one’s tracks while “helping” Xie to commit suicide.

    The autopsy report describes the fatal blow…but it could have been self-inflicted, or..ahem..”self”-inflicted with assistance.

    I especially enjoyed the part where the police concluded it was suicide, but it wasn’t their job to look into whether there was any reason for the guy to supposedly commit suicide. They didn’t even check if he had a history of depression, or had previously been suicidal. Nice. I guess they figured the guy just woke up that morning and decided to stab himself…yeah, that makes sense, let’s go with that.

    If Xie was trying to disguise the fact that it was suicide, then i guess he didn’t do a very good job, since the cops had him figured out in less than 24 hours.

    Anyhow, thanks for the laughs.