Chen Danlei was a Purdue University graduate student before she stabbed her husband He Lei twice in the chest around Christmas 2004. He Lei told the court that they were playing a scene in a movie they watched the night before in which the man was stabbed by the woman during a sexual intercourse. According to friends close to the couple, He Lei helped Chen Danlei in the lawsuit but did not had confident in continuing the marriage. Chen was due on August 26, 2005 for a court hearing on the assault case. Both of the couple graduated from Qinghua University in Beijing, China.
On August 20, 2005 Chen Danlei shot He Lei on the bed, and then dismembered his body to be fit into 5 plastic bags later found in the trunk of their car. Because her own passport had been withheld by American court after the stabbing case, Chen altered He Lei's passport to board a plane back to China. Dressed in men's clothes, she was stopped by the Chinese customs at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Raised up in a single parent family, Chen was known to have trouble controlling her temper. One of her college classmates recalled Chen had problem communicating with friends and professors. In one instance, when Chen's advisor told her to conduct some experiments, Chen replied 'why do you ask me to do these since you've already known the answers?' The professor completed the experiments for Chen. Chen also got into odds with her adviser in the Purdue University, and had to quit from the PhD program.
The Shanghai First Middle People's Court sentenced Chen Danlei to 2 years suspended death on 9/4/2006, with $55,000 compensation to He Lei's family. In Chinese legal system, this sentence equals a 10-15 years minimum jail time.
Other sources: Shanghaiist, Shanghai Daily, Lafayette Police