UVA kidnappers

The Newsplex is reporting that two UVA engineering students, Guan Yu Lu and Bai Chuan Shu, both 19, were arrested for kidnapping a man off the street in Tyson's Corner last Tuesday, holding him for 24 hours in a Falls Church motel, and demanding $500,000 in ransom from his family. Update: The Fairfax County Police have issued this press release, and the Washington Post has new details. Photos: Guan Yu Lu is on the left, Bai Chuan Shu is on the right.

9 comments

uh...not so much. It doesn't seem that anybody was massacred, and this was a crime of greed, not a psycho killer on a rampage. And seriously - you can't deny that 9 out of 10 UVA students aren't motivated by greed to some extent. These guys just took that ethic a bit too far. And without making cultural judgments, in some societies kidnapping is extremely common. Here it isn't and is considered just below murder on the severity scale.

Actually, Music Lover, I think I could plausibly deny that 9 of 10 UVa students are motivated by greed.
That poor girl recently murdered in her home in Charlottesville--the full-time AIDs worker--was as much the prototypical UVa student as any. This is just criminal behavior.

Has anyone given thought that this might have tie-ins to Chinese gangs?
They knew him from China. Could this been an attempt to extort money from his Chinese family thru the host family?

@Yikes - Virginia Tech was a far more tragic event. It is unfair to the victims of that tragedy to compare it to this incident.

@Music Lover - It is completely unacceptable for you to slander an entire campus population in a public forum. Apparently, you have not met a significant population of UVA students and alumni or else you would realize the untruth of your statement.

If you require a specific example, look no further than the living wage campaign. The living wage campaign is a student run organization seeking to coerce the administration into paying minimum wage workers a salary that would adequately support a family in Charlottesville because minimum wage certainly will not. Those employees will continue to work at the school whether or not they are paid a living wage, so the effort is a selfless undertaking. You might argue that these students have to deal with such workers every day, and so it is in their interest that they be happy and well paid, but recall that these students will be gone in 4 or fewer years after they begin their involvement with Living Wage. (see e.g. http://www.dailyprogress.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=CDP/MGArticle/CD... for an example)

Furthermore, many of my friends poured hours of energy into volunteer efforts, and I have seen statistics supporting the idea that the general UVA student population is involved with volunteer projects and community improvement. UVA students hurl themselves across the world to work in 3rd world countries for NGOs, and believe me, they aren't there for the cheap prices and high salaries.

@all -

I would posit that there are delinquent elements in any reasonably large population. No amount of screening can completely and fairly eliminate these elements, especially because they can develop after acceptance to the population and such screening tests will likely eliminate some non-delinquent individuals.

3 Blahs

So what. Let the mafia serve justice through its own "legal system"

Mafioso save court costs; they have their own law and order.

Ok, I know both Guan Yu Lu and Bai Chuan Shu, and neither of them had any real solid motive to commit such a crime. Both of them have wealthy parents, as in probably in the millions (Guan Yu's mother is a doctor and his father owns a Seafood trading firm, Bai Chuan's dad owns a company in Shanghai), so they did not actually need the money. Both of them were sociable and like to party, like any other college kid. Both of them had decent grades (Guan Yu has a GPA above 3, I am not sure about Bai chuan though).
The only plausible motive that I can think of is that they were motivated by the need of adrenaline. These guys were bored to death and had too much time to kill. They probably just kidnapped the guys just for the sake for the thrill. If you think about none of their demands made sense. Why would they call the host family instead of the actual family in China if they wanted the money. Both Guan yu and Bai Chuan were chinese and frequently called home; therefore they know the area codes in china and had mobile phone that could make international calls directly to the family of the victim. Yet they chose to call a local family here. They probably knew that the local family could not pay half a million and knew that they were going to get caught. Why else would they use a credit card, easily traced, to buy over 1k worth of clothes?

Maybe they want to be Scofield...

...Prison Break...

uh...Agree with anomaly.

Va Tech II? Where is the mental health screening in Virginia?