Pan Chih-lin

Nanjing, China

Cause of death Executed
Penalty Sentenced to death
Parents Pan Wen-li
Attack information
Date 1887
Location(s) Chiang-tu, China
Target(s) Stepbrother's family
Killed 6
Weapon(s) Knife

Pan Chih-lin was a Chinese who killed six members of his stepbrother's family in Chiang-tu, China in 1887. He was afterwards arrested, sentenced to death, and executed.


Pan was the son of Pan Wen-li. He had a stepbrother named Wang Shang-te, the son of his mother, who had been widowed from a previous marriage. When Pan's father died he divided his land equally between the two brothers, wishing that they should live together on the little farm, which comprised of three mud huts and two of land. Some time later Pan left the farm to engage in trade, leaving behind a woman supposed to become his wife, but during his absence Wang sold and betrothed the woman to another man. When Pan returned home he confronted his brother about the matter and accused him of having wronged him, but Wang insulted him and denied the accusations.

Pan eventually mortgaged his part of the farm for three taels and enlisted in the army, whereupon Wang redeemed the property and let it to a tenant. By the end of 1886 Pan received his payment and again returned home, finding that his brother had acquired possession of his property. Due to a lack of alternatives he settled down at the farm and lived with Wang and his wife, but when Wang objected to this arrangement Pan demanded back his share of the farm, as well as a refund of the rent which had accrued during his absence. Some friends tried to conciliate between the brothers, but Wang remained unyielding, stated that Pan was not his real brother, and threatened to drive him off the farm altogether. Exasperated by his brother's behaviour and threats Pan decided to kill him.[1][2][3]


One night in 1887 Pan caught his brother unguarded on the farm compound and stabbed him to death with a knife, he carried with him since his time as a soldier. When Wang's wife rushed to the scene to help him, Pan killed her, too, and afterwards carried bundles of straw to the house, where Wang's three children and a baby he was rearing for a foundling establishment, were sleeping, poured kerosene over the straw, and set it on fire, burning all four children inside.[1][2][3]


Pan was arrested and brought to Nanjing, where he was sentenced to death and decapitated. His severed head was then sent back to Chiang-tu and displayed for everyone to see, while his part of the farm was handed over to Wang's relatives.[1][2][3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Murder of six persons, Sheffield Evening Telegraph (December 30, 1887)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Murder of six persons, York Herald (January 6, 1888)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Murder of six persons, North China Herald (November 10, 1887)

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