After penning a series of successful novels in the 2000s, Chinese author Liu Yongbiao set out to ink a new true-crime novel called The Beautiful Writer Who Killed, about a "female writer who has killed many people, yet the cases remain unsolved." Now it seems the successful writer may never get to tell that story, having been arrested last week in connection to an actual murder case that's puzzled local authorities for more than two decades.
According to Chinese website Sixth Tone, Liu was arrested at his home on Friday under suspicion that he and an accomplice were involved in a gruesome botched robbery back in 1995. Police believe that the two suspects—Liu, 53, and a man named Wang, 65—initially went to a hostel in the city of Huzhou to rob its guests but ended up beating a man to death in the process, the Guardian reports. They then allegedly killed the owners and their 13-year-old grandson to cover it up.
Since then, the case has gone cold—until new DNA evidence led police to Liu's door. When the officers apprehended him on Friday, he reportedly told them, "I've been waiting for you here all this time."
The author and his suspected accomplice, an investment company legal rep, were reportedly taken into custody, China Daily reports. But before he was arrested, Liu reportedly passed one last bit of writing off to the police: a letter addressed to his wife. In it, the novelist apparently cops to the crimes and admits his guilt, according to arresting officer Chen Hongyue.
"I lived in fear for 20 years. I knew the day would come," Liu wrote, according to China Daily. "I can finally be free from the mental torment I've endured for so long."