Chemist Poisons Husband In The US, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Li Tianle, on trial in New Jersey.

From Sohu, NetEase, & Xinhua:

Overseas in America, former Peking University graduate female chemist suspected of poisoning former Tsinghua University graduate husband with thallium

According to American media reports on the 9th, a family tragedy was exposed several days ago in New Jersey, United States: 40-year-old female chemist Li Tianle (transliteration) is suspected of using toxic metal Thallium to poison husband Wang Xiaoye (transliteration). It is reported that Li Tianle and Wang Xiaoye graduated from Peking University and Tsinghua University respectively, later studying abroad in America where they settled in New Jersey. On January 26th, Wang Xiaoye passed away from illness, the autopsy report indicating that he had died from thallium poisoning. The police investigation discovered that prior to the incident, Li Tianle had requisitioned from her company various dosages of the toxic metal thallium multiple times.

Peking University female scholar falls in love with Tsinghua University male scholar

According to reports, Li Tianle has served American pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb as a research chemist for 10 years. Her 39-year-old husband Wang Xiaoye was a computer engineer. According to insiders, back when Li Tianle was in Peking University, she had a boyfriend, but later Wang Xiaoye “broke them apart to compete for her love”, and afterward the two of them went to America to study. It is reported that after Li Tianle and Wang Xiaoye married in America, they gave birth to a son in 2008, and moved to their current address on Stanley Drive in a high-end neighborhood of Monroe Township, New Jersey. However, problems appeared in their marriage a year later. According to neighbor’s recollections, they often heard the sound of a couple arguing, the wife’s sound being louder than the husbands, and the police arrived to investigate almost every week.

Peking University female scholar liked to argue

According to insiders, Li Tianle has always been a lively, smart, and capable girl, but her personality was very strong, and took love very seriously. A netizen revealed information that Li Tianle has done many outrageous things before. For example, she once harassed her ex-boyfriend’s wife, work-related conflicts were escalated until management is involved before she was satisfied, and trivial matters in her personal life were escalated to the court and police station before she would give up. And she always believes that she is right, that she is the victim, that the world is unjust to her.

However, the deceased Wang Xiaoye had good people skills, getting along well with othes. He knew many girls. Friends recall Wang’s personality having a cheerful disposition, loved to to have fun and having people around, loved joking and laughing. From 1998 and on, rumors continuously emerged of Wang Xiaoye having affairs, but most friends believed that with his lively personality and love for socializing, none of them thought anything was unusual.

Zhu Ling thallium poisoning incident

One can’t help but associate the Wang Xiaoye incident with Tsinghua female scholar Zhu Ling’s thallium poisoning incident. Born 1973, Beijing native Zhu Ling was multi-talented, having in 1992 been admitted to Tsinghua University’s Chemistry Department specializing in Physical Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis.

In the winter of 1994 and the Spring of 1995, Zhu Ling at least twice ingested lethal doses of heavy metal thallium salt, the second poisoning resulting in her entering a coma for many days, nearly become a vegetable. Today, at 37-years-old, she is unable to take care of herself, entirely paralyzed, 100% disabled, her brain slow, completely dependent upon her old parents for care. However, just who was the person responsible for this remains an unsolved mystery to this day.

Thallium (Tl) is a type of highly poisonous toxic metal, usually in powder or crystalline form, one gram enough to be lethal. Thallium obstructs the body’s absorption of potassium, affecting cell survival, as well as attacking the nervous system, stomach, and kidneys. It’s toxicity is not immediately apparent, with several weeks passing before those who have been poisoned exhibiting vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, burning sensations in the extremities, and other symptoms.

Li Tianle, suspected of poisoning her husband with thallium.Li Tianle and her husband Wang Xiaoye.

Comments from NetEase:


Does anyone remember the Zhu Ling incident? Isn’t the murderer likewise roaming carefree abroad…this society, sigh.

网易英国网友: (responding to above)

The murderer evaded capture because of her background. Anothe reason is because the media at the time wasn’t developed. They were able to cover it up.

网易内蒙古赤峰市网友 [jeveler]:

When looking for a wife, definitely do not look for doctors or those learning chemistry, [because they] can kill you in imperceptible ways. Remember my words.
That so many thallium poisoning scandals have come out of Tsinghua and Peking University in the past 10 some years, do all elite students like this method of imperceptible murder? Apart from the Tsinghua Zhu Ling case, similar things have happened on Peking University campus as well. If you don’t believe me, you can Baidu it [Baidu is the number one search engine in China].

网易美国网友 [郫县女婿]: (responding to above)

True, it is indeed like this. There is a true story, where a wife who was a doctor castrated her cheating husband, while he was sleeping, she even put the man under anesthesia (don’t know if it was ether), then cut it off, sewed together the wound, threw the penis into the drain and flushed it away, then called the police. However, the key is not the woman’s occupation. Their occupation only gives them an idea about what methods to use. The key is the woman’s personality. Many women are narrow-minded, and those women who have had a lot of education, especially those from famous schools, are accustomed to attention, are extremely self-centered, arrogant, jealous, and those with good looks are even more so. If I could offer everyone a piece of advice it would be to keep far away from this kind of irritable and petty woman. Be very polite and well-mannered with them when you run into them, but avoid them as much as possible.

网易山西省晋中市网友 [草原上1的狼]:

When I’m look for a partner, my mother often tells me to find a girl who doesn’t know much to live my life with (“An ignorant woman is virtuous.”). Today I thoroughly admire my mother’s intelligence, [because her advice] can save my life.

网易美国网友: (responding to 网易英国网友 above)

So what you’re saying is had that incident happened today, there wouldn’t have been a cover up, that there would have been a different result? Li Gang

网易内蒙古赤峰市网友 [jeveler]: (responding to above)

Oh come on, Li Gang at least was sentenced to 6 years! In terms of traffic accidents, that can be considered a severe punishment.

网易美国网友: (responding to above)

So maybe Li Gang isn’t niubi [powerful, connected enough] enough…plus we’re all eagerly awaiting how long his son will be locked up for, what kind of treatment he gets inside, etc.


Those from Tsinghua really do things differently.

[This comment is suggesting that Tsinghua students/graduates as above-average people also tend to do things like murdering people differently than how ordinary average people would.]

网易上海市浦东新区网友: (responding to 郫县女婿)

If it were that a wife made her husband “wear a green hat” [made a fool of him be publicly cheating on him], and the husband sewed her vagina together,
all of you would then say how that woman deserved it, that the husband did a good thing, etc.
Hehe, Chinese men are truly TM amusing.

网易山东省济南市网友 [xiaocheng]:

Once married forever grace, what kind of hate was there for such a thing to have been done? If people could be a little more forgiving, how much better the world would be!

网易上海市网友 [mofer527]:

Can someone who left the country and settle abroad really be a talented/intelligent person??? Is a traitor worth sympathizing with? Better if they are dead.


Fortunately this was outside of the country.
A husband and wife quarrels and the police will investigate? Are you serious?

网易广东省云浮市网友 [中华好小子]: (responding to mofer527)

As a netizen, we need to be civil. Online comments should be impartial and objective. Don’t say uncivil things, don’t curse/abuse others, much less insult others. One’s character can be seen from their speech, words can embody whether or not a person has good morals, upbringing, and high character.

网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市网友 [茉莉花] :

This is actually about two foreigners…


The place this happened was different, and so was the result! (in comparison to the Zhu Ling incident)

网易加拿大网友 [封口废]:

Zhu Ling was a Tsinghua University student, and because it was very competitive, she was envied and poisoned. She didn’t die but she was poisoned stupid. The person who poisoned her was a female student in her dorm, the child of a high ranking official, and strangely the police didn’t even open a case. In reality, they had all the evidence needed. Poor Zhu’s parents kept petitioning, but got nowhere. It is said that the murderer left the country, even founded their own company. If only God had eyes. Many of Zhu’s classmates were sympathetic, several years ago bringing up the incident again online, even helping collect donations for the Zhu family, and I too donated some money. I very much sympathize with her and her parents, and even wrote an email to the Phoenix TV “Lengnuan Rensheng” program, hoping they would look into this poor girl. But they never replied.


There is a saying that says: The more outstanding a person is, the more dangerous that person is. However dangerous this world is, is however many outstanding people are in control. Those below, do you agree with what I’ve said?

网易四川省成都市网友 [duzidengdai0]:

I think it is better if a woman’s intelligence and ability is not too strong, [because] often they will be mentally/emotionally extreme. I used to think I was rather outstanding, but in the end I haven’t done well, and now think it it’s better to be a simple woman. Independence and personality is still necessary, but being a good wife and a good mother is a more important duty for women.

网易广东省广州市网友: (replying to 郫县女婿)

This is why the most important thing when looking for a wife is her personality, and the least important is her level of education! I’ve suffered this misfortune myself! Even today very much regretting it!

Comments from Sohu:


From them we can see that well-known universities teaches knowledge but not morals!


This kind of “male or female scholar”, it doesn’t matter if they’re dead or alive. Even a dog knows to be loyal to their master, never complaining that their home is poor. Think about it, a Chinese person, studying so hard and finally becomes successful, but for a cozy life runs overseas to settle down and work, no different from an ant, without ever thinking of repaying the motherland, repaying society, no different from waste~~


They are American, it has nothing to do with us.


A pair of garbage!!
Fortunately, they didn’t embarrass themselves here in China!!



搜狐辽宁省沈阳市网友: (replying to the other 搜狐辽宁省沈阳市网友 above who posted the same comment on Sohu)

Repay what? Repay who? They went to school relying on their own ability, the money spent their parents’, and you want them to repay you?

xinxihuanyu: (responding to above)

You can attend this school [Peking University or Tsinghua University] just by spending your parents’ money? Taking up social resources, do you know what that means? Revealing one’s true colors too soon, no matter how capable you are, no one will want you.

沙贝尔勒: (responding to above)

You don’t have the ability to go abroad, so you’re even more a waste. Are those who go abroad no longer people?

xinxihuanyu: (responding to above)

If you go abroad, you should be a master, not a slave; better to be the beak of a chicken than the ass of a cow. Do you think “cow ass” is very glorious?


Why not come back to China to work? I look down upon these kind of Chinese the most!

北京一隅: (responding to above)

Fortunately these two elite students didn’t come back, otherwise they might have hurt others! Chinese people are poor enough, suffering under corrupt officials.

There are currently over 18,600 comments on the article published on Sohu.

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    网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市网友 [茉莉花] :

    “This is actually about two foreigners…”

    I love this logic.

    • Yurp


      “They are American, it has nothing to do with us.”

      We should be ashamed guys.

  • cdn icehole

    Li Tianle found out the hard way that developed countries have competent forensic scientists.

    • Jon

      And police who actually give a damn.

      P.S. Fauna: can you include a “Like” button in the comments system, like in Disqus?

      • anon

        Please, no Disqus. Being in China, that thing doesn’t load 90% of the time.

        And not to nitpick, but I thought it was a nurse who realized Wang had thallium poisoning, not a forensic scientist. They tried to rescue him, even trying to rush the antidote by car, but he didn’t make it. Prussian Blue I think it was called.

        Maybe we can say the police actually did their job and investigated to discover that she had repeatedly tried sourcing the thallium from her employer? Then again, I’ve seen the police investigators in China do their job before too so it’s not as cut and dry as one nation’s police force definitely being more competent than another.

  • Jay K.

    lady liberty wears a blind to keep li gang form escaping.

    some logic are totally perplexing fromt here comments, its like okay they are chinese but moved to us so in conclusion they are traitors..what the hell does this have to do with anything?!

    • anon

      Some people are just like that. They’re similar to certain American nationalists who call certain corporations or business-owners traitors for employing foreigners or immigrants instead of Americans. These guys simply feel that people like Li and Wang ought to apply their talents towards improving China rather than “selling out”. They feel that China needs people like them, so them not “giving back” is like them turning their back on the country and people that fostered them. It’s similar to the idea that someone who becomes successful suddenly turning their back on and forgetting their old friends for new ones. It’s like moving up in the world and forgetting who you were. People feel a sense of betrayal by such things. It isn’t always warranted but its not that hard to understand.

  • Chris N.

    I’m surprised at how many people think that this crime justifies how women should remain ignorant or that a women worth marrying shouldn’t have such a high education.

    Women hold up half the sky, but men hold up the bigger half.

  • dim mak

    “I think it is better if a woman’s intelligence and ability is not too strong, [because] often they will be mentally/emotionally extreme.”

    In b4 feminism

    • fobulous

      The person who wrote that comment is a woman. And she justifies her belief that women should be simple because of her own failure to be outstanding in life. FTW.

  • Cleo

    A chemist at a large company would have a rather nice income but she looks like any struggling Chinese American corporate employee. Interesting.

    • Jay K.

      how can you judge form those photos she’s in court and probably was in jail before appearing on court i dont think they have a walk in closet in jail or holding cell dude

    • staylost

      You don’t get to choose your outfit in jail. Or maybe you do?

      “Would you prefer this ugly green jumpsuit, or this ugly yellow one?”

  • Curren$y

    Thallium poisoning sucks man just look at Zhu Ling’s case. Thallium didn’t kill her but made her retarded.

  • pengyou

    Typical Beida vs Tsinghua rivalry.

  • Matthew A. Sawtell

    Now I am surprised at this – not so much the “Chinese” angle, as so much that wife poisoning a husband has been in American lexicon for years.

    So… when a normally should be a healthy man drops dead in very suspicious circumstances…

    … it is not too surprising that someone says, “Poison?”

  • Fman

    You haven’t noticed 90% of the smart and talented people in China immigrate to other countries?

  • Albino

    The only thing interesting about this article are the comments posted beneath it. Most people are ignorant of the world or humanity in general.

    “They are American, it has nothing to do with us.”

    Could it get more stupid?

    “This is actually about two foreigners…”

    Can we go full retard?

    “Can someone who left the country and settle abroad really be a talented/intelligent person??? Is a traitor worth sympathizing with? Better if they are dead.”

    It was hard work, almost impossible but we achieved it! Great success!

    This idiot in class: “Teacher, Einstein left Europe for the US. He was a traitor and an idiot, why are we studying his theories?”

    • McCurry

      They’re just jealous, or ignorant. Pick one

      • ander

        I’d say both jealous *and* ignorant – as well as petty

  • pervertt

    Can anyone explain why the terms “Peking University” and “Tsinghua University” are used instead of their pinyin equivalents?

    • http://D Vader

      These institutions were established in China before the Chinese Civil War, so the Wade-Giles system of “lettering” Chinese was prevalent in use.
      I’m guessing that since the whole world knows them by their Wade-Giles names, they are unwilling to change it incase of confusion…
      Peking-Tsinghua may be number 1 in china,
      But they don’t definitely don’t rank with the rest of the educational institutions in the world….Exhibit A, people get poisoned by Thallium and maybe…just maybe something happens.

      • pervertt

        That seems a logical explanation. Glad to hear it isn’t a Taiwanese plot to undermine the names of these 2 institutions.

        • anon

          I remember Fauna having translated them in previous posts as Beijing and Qinghua but including Peking and Tsinghua in parentheses. I think she got lazy. Then again, the schools continue to use their Wade Giles romanizations as their official English names.

  • pedant

    “Thallium (TI) is a type of highly poisonous toxic metal[…]”

    The symbol for Thallium is Tl, not TI. Ti is titanium.

  • Rick in China

    Hahaha, this quote is great:

    She always believes she is right, she is the victim, and the world is unjust to her.

    Sound familiar? Views seemingly shared amongst many in the middle kingdom.

    • anon

      It’s shared amongst any one who has ever been accused of having a victim complex, like Jews, African-Americans, the Middle-East, and certain commenters on this site.

  • Nereis

    No talks of motivation yet. If this was seemingly random then the use of Thallium and her over-the-counter purchase of said Thallium indicates possible mental instability on her part, but not enough to get off on an insanity plea.

    • cdn icehole

      Some of the US sites indicated that they just finalized their divorce. There were also allegations of her husband having an affair. Regardless if her husband cheated on her or not. He should have remembered the phrase: “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned”.

      Obviously this isn’t a random act since there is a paper trail of her ordering Thallium. Since she is a chemist, she should have bought boxes of rat poison in cash and extracted the thallium out of it. Of course the police always check the alibi of the surviving spouse; more so as they just divorced. In any case, she’s screwed.

      • Tom

        In any case, she’s screwed.
        You nailed it!
        Some may have overlooked this minor point. A man is dead, his wife will pay the price. American, Chinese it dose not matter. She was caught, and that is that.

  • Kedafu

    Song of the article

    Out of Control
    -Chemical Brothers

    cause that crazy bitch is…..


  • Irvin

    That’s what happens with the absent of psycho therapy in china.

    • john digmeme

      This happened in the USA, and there are more ‘psychologists’ graduating from American universities every year than the entire population of Beijing.

  • John

    You can take the Chinese out of China but you can’t take the China out of the Chinese. ;D

    • anon

      Don’t be an idiot. Spend some time on

  • Simon

    my wife’s name has just changed into Yao Tian-Le. She tried to kill me last week, and yes she is in America with new green card that I obtained for her last year. What a china bitch! May they all rot in hell

  • Cleo

    As an American Born Chinese, the posts regarding their American citizenship making them foreigners seem like an overfamiliar condemnation. Is this crab mentality? Keeping one’s peers from having any leverage? Because to me, this couple is about Mainland Chinese who have had an American career and passport but are still Mainland Chinese born and bred as opposed to American Chinese like me.

  • Joe

    Why bother with the trial? Straight to execution. Whatever happened to punishment of old? An eye for an eye? Nowadays an eye for twenty years of housing, entertainment and food. Fail.

  • MBE

    One thing I learned from Chinese internet is, if her husband indeed had an affair, the Chinese netizens’ reactions would be very different. You would have tons of women saying he deserved it and more wronged wives should do the same, and the adultery should be taken into account when sentencing her blah blah.

    (And high sharp cheekbones are not considered beautiful in Asia. I’ve already seen Taiwanese newspapers calling her “looking like a witch, evil from her heart reflecting on her face.”)

  • cantabileloves

    wow. intoxicating the husband with thallium. as a chemist doesn’t she know that through an autopsy everything will be revealed? oh gosh.

  • Chad

    Typical moron logic: Oh looks a minority of netizens think in a certain way so all 1 billion of them must think alike as well.

  • Jess

    As an Australian, I can say that that sort of mentality exists just about everywhere outside the US. Whenever an Australian is successful internationally (i.e. in the US), his/her Australianness is always emphasised in the media. Even if they were only born in Australia, moved to another country at 14, and adopted foreign citizenship. It’s a weird semi-inferiority complex that kicks in.
    It’s especially prevalent in Korea, where the concept of being Korean is tied to race, not nationality. If you’re half-Korean, then you’re impure, a mutt, and not Korean…unless you accomplish something good. Then it’s obviously your Korean blood or Korean upbringing that caused it! And in Korea, being good looking counts as an accomplishment.

    Speaking of which, this woman has nice cheekbones, and seems to be much better looking than her victim. But surely she could have found an easier way to kill her husband. I mean, she lives in Jersey, after all…

  • Brother Sam

    The same concept also applies in reverse.

    If that “third generation Chinese American” commits some crime/shameful act, there is no doubt that the “Chinese” component of his history will be emphasized, where as if that same person performs some miracle, that “Chinese” part of him will be downplayed and the “American”-ness will be emphasized.

  • Joshua Xanadu

    Thanks God someone actually wrote this comment. It is the appropriate response to everyone of these ChinaSMACK commentators: “I can’t believe all Chinese blahblahblah…”

  • Albino

    This mentality is prevalent in the entirety in these parts of the world. It has to do with insecurity and small mindedness.

  • Albino

    Why don’t you employ “Because I’m a foreigner.” then?

    The one thing I have learned is that Women (especially here) only live to dominate and control. So, be a man and take that control away from her. If that means ‘losing’ her then that simply means you never ‘had’ her.

    At work it’s hard to exercise control, especially when everyone’s like that. But in your personal life, at least, you can exercise that control.

    I know this one girl in Guangzhou. It can’t hold a job, because it gets fired all the time. Its boss wanted it to write an email to a customer but the fool totally messed up the order. The guy was so angry he started shouting at her, because it would never listen and learn. It turned round to its boss and said “Why are you shouting at me, I’m only a girl.” You can imagine it walked out with whatever belongings it had without its wage.

  • fobulous

    No matter how dumb SHE is, it is even more ignorant of you to call her an “it”. Get a fucking clue. People are people.

  • bobiscool

    I love how for the whole paragraph you called her an “it”.

    Or maybe I don’t.

  • Dr. Jones Jr.

    To be fair though, while the US may have (mostly… partly… somewhat) moved on from a cold war mentality, the mentality promulgated by the Neo-cons for a “war on terror” is the same. The reality is that this kind of “us versus them” rhetoric is the oldest trick in the political book: rallying citizens behind policies and politicians with fear of the outsider; overcompensating with chauvinistic ethos wherever there is a pathetic lack of logos.

  • Albino

    And we have a white knight to the rescue.

    People are people? You obviously have never worked with those who refuse to learn and better themselves and whose entire ambition is to do as little as possible and while when they don’t get anything for it in return.

    Also said ‘it’ is extremely prejudiced and racist. So, racists are racists, you are very right about that.

  • Rick in China

    The phrase people are people may be referring to your extremely assholish reference to her as it. If someone doesn’t learn, is as ignorant bitch, fails at life etc…they’re still people. If this were not true, YOU are clearly an it as well.

    Fobulous, I suggest ignoring it, as it’s clearly bitter and projecting. :)

  • Cool Matt

    Yes, people are people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully?!

  • Cool Matt

    Comon guys, people ARE people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully?!

  • Cool Matt

    Comon guys, people ARE people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully?! (third time trying to post this)

  • Tommy

    That’s not true. I’ve never heard a third generation American’s heritage being brought up for a crime or an accomplishment. If you’re a third generation American you are just about as American as you can get I think.

  • Alikese

    That’s not true at all. If a person’s race or heritage is unique it will be discussed (e.g. Barack Obama: first black president, Jeremy Lin: first Chinese-American NBA player); if it is common it won’t be (e.g. George W. Bush: 43rd white president, Albert Pujols: 100,000th Domincan baseball player)

  • Alikese

    Kind of. Cold War fear meant that everyone was legitimately worried about death from invasion or nuclear war, or the downfall of western civilization due to the spread of Communism.

    The war on terror is more “someone, sometime might make a small attach again.”

  • Alikese

    Both of these comments were supposed to be replies to other people’s comments. What happened?

  • cdn icehole

    The site went down shortly after the latest story was posted. Me thinks Fauna needs to find a more reliable web hosting service.

  • cdn icehole

    This is interesting. The system treated my reply to Alikese comment as a new comment.

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