A Tragic Love Story

Guo Shuang, from Zhengzhou was born in 1983 to a working class family. She graduated from Henan Workers Medical College. In 2005, 22-year-old Guo Shuang landed a part-time job as a janitor at Henan Staff Medical College. In spite of the lowly position, Guo Shuang felt fortunate that she was selected as she had no connections. She was later transferred to Zhengzhou University Hospital. That was where and when she met Fang Wenzhong.

Born in 1965, Fang Wenzhong was admitted to Henan Medical University at the age of 18. He received a doctorate from Tongji University at the age of 33. His main research direction was hepatobiliary surgery. Later, he went to Harvard University and Columbia University to participate in postdoctoral research work, studying hepatobiliary and molecular biology respectively.

Dr Fang got married and settled down in the US. His wife was also a doctor. Then in 2005, he received a letter from the Chinese government inviting him to take up a professorship in China. The compensation offered was much higher than his pay in the US. Dr Fang divorced his wife and left for China, taking up a top position at Zhengzhou University Hospital where Guo Shuang worked. Dr Fang took notice of her because of her bubbly personality and her excellent attitude towards work.


Fang Wenzhong celebrated his 41st birthday on 26 February 2006. On this day, he invited a group of colleagues, including Guo Shuang, to his birthday party, which was held in a private KTV room. Guo Shuang did not feel comfortable going to the party as she felt awkward partying with doctors and nurses, but considering that Fang Wenzhong was the boss and she was a newcomer, she decided that she had to turn up. This party would change her life forever.

At the party, Fang made Guo Shuang drink way beyond her limit. She vomited several times and was soon semi-conscious. Dr Fang told everyone that he was bringing her home. Everyone knew what he had in mind, but nobody admonishes the superior in China. Guo Shuang vaguely remembered struggling against some external force and when she regained consciousness the next morning, she was lying naked on a bed inside Fang Wenzhong’s home.


23-year-old Guo Shuang felt as if her life had just ended. She was stunned beyond words and hurriedly left for home. Back home, she kept pondering over whether she ought to call the police. Having been brought up in that environment, she was well aware that rank equals immunity. She could anticipate the trauma of going through a trial and being the government’s poster boy, no witnesses would come forward and it would be next to impossible to convict him.

Then, she received a call from Fang. He said that he was attracted to her and wanted to start a relationship. Guo Shuang was disgusted at first, but after calming down, she decided that there was no point falling out with him. She would only lose her job. She decided to do something that would actually result in some form of compensation. She decided to play on his lust, become his mistress and demand for a promotion.

Later that year, Guo Shuang passed the nursing exam but never got promoted. Fang had been giving her money but his promise to promote her turned out empty. She realised that he was planning to fire her as rumours of their affair was already spreading throughout the hospital. He told Guo Shuang that they ought to break up. He even fired her.

When Guo Shuang was still Fang’s mistress, she met an 18-year-old boy, Wang Zijian, who was a sophomore in high school at the time. They were just casual friends at first, but when Wang expressed his feelings for her, she told him all about what she went through. After she was fired, she made up her mind to kill Fang in revenge and Wang agreed to help.

On the afternoon of 30 September 2006, the couple carried out the murder. Fang was slashed in the neck and clubbed to death with a hammer. They burned the body, the weapons and their clothes in Fang’s car. However, they were still caught while on their way to Tibet. During the trial, Wang Zhijian insisted that he had committed the murder voluntarily and was never misled by Guo.


On August 2, 2007, Guo Shuang and Wang Zijian were both sentenced to death by the Zhengzhou Intermediate People’s Court for the murder of Fang Wenzhong. Upon appeal in December 2008, the Supreme Court upheld Guo Shuang’s death sentence. Wang’s case was still pending at the Supreme Court.

The story attracted widespread media and public attention. The couple were forced to admit that they were ignorant about the law and regretted that they had taken matters into their own hands. Some commentators even called Guo a manipulator for trying to get something from a superior by being his mistress.

The media stuck to Chinese society’s apocryphal notions, urging the public to report crimes, but the downtrodden working class knew too well that the higher one’s rank, the greater one’s immunity to prosecution.

Before the execution, Guo asked the reporter about the final judgement on Wang Zijian. The reporter said, “You got your wish, his life is spared.”

After hearing this answer, Guo Shuang burst into tears of joy. She almost couldn’t believe her ears. With the confirmation, she wept. That was indeed her last wish. Guo Shuang was elated before she was executed. Check out the video below.