BEIJING, July 27 -- Police in Minquan County, Henan Province, detained a woman suspected of poisoning to death eight people, including seven members of her extended family, dismissing the clan's nearly 10-year-old misplaced belief that they lived in haunted houses, media reported.
At least 20 other family members were injured in the serial poisoning dating back to 1996, said the Dahe Newspaper.
The report said the 39-year-old woman put "dushuqiang," a lethal rat poison, into the victims' drinks as revenge for disputes or dissatisfaction with relatives.
The paper identified the 39-year-old villager with an alias as Wang Fang, who reportedly confessed to the following crimes.
In late 1996, Wang put rat poison into boiled water and told her niece to drink it.
The girl was killed. Wang said her mother-in-law favored the girl rather than Wang's daughter, raising her jealousy.
Two months later, she killed another niece in the same manner because she thought the girl's mother looked down upon Wang and her husband.
In 1999, she spiked orange juice with the chemical and made a boy drink it, killing him. The boy's father, also a relative, quarreled with Wang earlier.
Four other members of the Hu family in Chalou Village, including Wang's parents-in-law, were poisoned to death over trifles.
The clan reportedly believed their houses were haunted and never alerted police.
The paper said police discovered the serial poisoning when investigating the death of Wang's lover, a businessman named Huang.
Wang put dushuqiang into buns the man ate on June 6. The report said Huang, 57, angered her by failing to keep his promises.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)