‘Ghost bride’ seller executed for killing two mentally ill women
Published: Feb 09, 2021 03:44 AM


A man in Qingyang, Northwest China’s Gansu was executed for intentional murder on Monday, the Intermediate People’s Court in Qingyang announced. The man, named Ma Chonghua, killed two women who were mentally ill and sold their bodies for “ghost marriage” in 2016.

Ghost marriage, or yinhun, is a marriage in which at least one of the partners is deceased. Traditionally, it was seen as a way for people to look after each other in the afterlife.
On April 2, 2016, Ma abducted 45-year-old Liu Caixia, one of the victims and a villager in Qingyang, by posing as a matchmaker, according to the announcement by the court. He later injected Liu with multiple doses of promethazine hydrochloride, a sedative, which caused Liu’s death.

Ma then hired a driver to transport Liu’s body to Shenmu county in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, where he sold the body to a local villager for a ghost marriage, for which he was paid 35,000 yuan ($5,259). 

After that, Ma went to another village in Gansu where he abducted 51-year-old An Furong with the help of two locals. Ma killed An Furong by injecting her with chlorpromazine hydrochloride, and planned to sell her body to a villager in Yulin, Shaanxi for 42,000 yuan.

Both the victims were mentally ill, according to the court.

Ma was seized by the police on April 13 when he tried to transport the body to Yulin.

Police in Shaanxi announced in August that Ma and another two suspects in the case, Yang Peisen and An Wentai, were to be prosecuted for abducting and trafficking women, intentional homicide, and concealing murder. 
The Qingyang Intermediate People's Court sentenced Ma to death for intentional homicide on July 1, 2019, depriving him of political rights for life. Ma later appealed against the sentence but the High People’s Court of Gansu upheld the original verdict.

The verdict was later approved by the Supreme People's Court of China, due to Ma’s despicable motives and the serious consequences, the Qingyang court said.