• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Nanny goes on trial for grisly murder of parents in Paris
Police in the Vincennes forest look for evidence after bodies found. Photo: AFP

Nanny goes on trial for grisly murder of parents in Paris

AFP · 19 Jan 2016, 07:26

Published: 19 Jan 2016 07:26 GMT+01:00

The baffling case first came to light in June 2012 when two women jogging in the Vincennes forest east of Paris stumbled upon a human leg "cut off at the ankle", according to a judicial source. Two days later, a dog dug up part of a human torso.

Efforts to find the rest of the bodies were in vain, and all investigators could determine was that the body parts belonged to an Asian woman and man.

The discovery of the remains in the popular park came at the same time as Luka Rocco Magnotta, a Canadian convicted of killing and dismembering a Chinese student, was reported to have fled to Paris.

In an unusual twist, a Chinese couple turned themselves in to police just over a week after the macabre discovery, and admitted killing another Chinese couple, Ying Wang and her husband Liangsi Xu.

The woman, Hui Zhang, said she had been the couple's nanny.

She told police how one night several weeks earlier, she had found their two-year-old son Lucas dead, asphyxiated in his sleep.

She and her partner Te Lu decided to offer the child's parents money to try to get them not to report the boy's death.


(Police forensics teams search for evidence in Vincennes. Photo: AFP) 

They invited the parents to their home, but said their plans quickly went awry faced with the fury of the grieving couple.

A fight broke out and the nanny said she grabbed a small axe and slashed at the couple, who eventually fell to the floor, dead.

Hui Zhang and Te Lu argue their actions were self-defence, saying the parents had attacked them with a butcher's knife. Te Lu was seriously injured in the fight.

Hui Zhang said she put the two bodies in the bathtub and cut them up with an electric saw, putting the washing machine on to hide any noise.

Then she and her partner got rid of the body parts, hidden in dustbin bags, and carefully cleaned the apartment.

The couple's confession led police to find further human remains in a dustbin bag in the forest, but not the body of the child, Lucas.

Story continues below…

Hui Zhang said she threw his body, as well as the rest of the remains, into dustbins.

The couple - both aged 34 - arrived in France in 2004.    

Psychological experts say Te Hu had no criminal leanings and Hui Zhang was "extremely intelligent" and dominated her husband.

While Lucas's grandfather told police the nanny gave the child sleeping tablets, other parents have described her as attentive and the case relating to the boy's death was dismissed.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French wine output drops 10 percent after stormy weather
A vineyard in Valfaunes partially destroyed after a violent hailstorm near the southern city of Montpellier. Photo: AFP

Bad weather has pushed wine production in France down ten percent this year.

Migrants armed with sticks hold up truck driver in Calais
Migrants standing near the Calais motorway. File photo: AFP

The driver involved says he deals with similar incidents "every night".

Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
The burqini ban in 30 French towns has provoked debate worldwide. Photo: AFP

Almost two thirds of French people said they're against the controversial swimwear.

Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Photo: Thomas Heylen/Flickr

A few things you need to know about interning in France.

Police arrest Lyon man who 'talked of attack plans'
French soldiers patrolling the Part-Dieu train station last year. Photo: AFP

The man had talked about plans to attack a busy district in central Lyon.

France swelters as heatwave pushes on
Photo: AFP

Thursday will be scorching hot again as most of France remains on heatwave alert.

France's burqini ban goes before country's top court
A woman models the burqini swimsuit. Photo: AFP

France's highest administrative court will on Thursday examine a request to scrap a ban on the Islamic burqini swimsuit.

14,000 pregnant women in France took 'birth defect drug'
Dépakine has been linked to an increased risk of various congenital defects. File photo: AFP

Health authorities have been criticized for their slow reaction to warnings that Dépakine can be dangerous during pregnancy.

How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Photo: AFP

Almost all of France is on a heatwave alert. Here's how to keep cool.

Heatwave warnings extended yet again as France bakes
Photo: AFP

The national weather agency has issued orange alerts to a further 23 départements.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
'To boycott France is to surrender to terrorists'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
21 photos to make you want to come to France right now
Society
This is how much the French are obsessed with cheese
National
French MP's call for Facebook ID cards blasted 'as idiotic'
Travel
Summer checklist: Fourteen great travel ideas for France
Travel
Here's why France is still world's top tourist destination
'Wealthy American tourists' snub France over terror fears
National
Where to go swimming in France (and where to avoid)
2,741
jobs available