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Robert Xie found guilty of murdering five members of the Lin family

Throughout the years, over the course of four murder trials, Robert Xie has remained calm and composed.

As the weeks turned into months and years, while he faced two aborted trials, a hung jury, and a fourth trial, Xie sat in the wooden dock with a blank expression fixed on his face.

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The trials of Robert Xie

The trials of Robert Xie

In 2009, five members of the Lin family were brutally killed as they slept in their Sydney home.

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The trials of Robert Xie

In 2009, five members of the Lin family were brutally killed as they slept in their Sydney home.

He occasionally gestured towards his lawyers, or nodded towards his wife Kathy, sometimes with a faint trace of an affectionate smile.  

His usually calm demeanour seemed at odds with the person who savagely attacked five members of the Lin family, including two young boys.

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The victims were beaten almost beyond recognition, their limp pale bodies lying in pools of blood, streaks of bright red on the walls.

But there was, the Crown argued, two sides to Xie and on Thursday a majority of 11 jurors found him guilty of five counts of murder in the NSW Supreme Court.

Xie, his face impassive, rose to his feet in the dock and said: “I did not murder the Lin family, I am innocent.”

His wife, supported by a chaplain and dressed neatly in a purple cardigan, sobbed quietly in court with her head bowed after the verdict was delivered.

“He’s innocent!” she cried after her husband’s outburst.

But Kathy’s parents, Feng Qing Zhu and Yang Fei Lin, embraced Crown prosecutor Tanya Smith and sobbed on the other side of the courtroom.

Holding pictures of their loved ones outside court, Feng Qing Zhu and her husband spoke to the media, mostly in Mandarin.

“My son has been avenged,” she said.

“The law has given me truth.

“God can see this.”

Xie, 53, was charged with murdering his brother-in-law Min “Norman” Lin, 45, Mr Lin’s wife Yun Li “Lily” Lin, 43, her sister Yun Bin “Irene” Lin, 39, and the Lins’ two sons Henry, 12, and Terry, 9 on July 18, 2009.

Prosecutors said Xie was motivated to kill his wife Kathy’s brother and his family because he was enraged by his perceived lowly status within the family.

“These perceptions invoked intense emotions on his behalf including anger and resentment and that [Xie] directed these emotions at Min and his wife,” Ms Smith said.

There was also an alleged illicit sexual motive, the details of which cannot be reported due to non-publication orders.

The Crown said Xie sedated his wife, and left her in bed when he went to the Lin’s family house in North Epping between 2am and 5.30am.

He cut the electricity and used a key to get inside without a sound.

He was carrying a hammer-like weapon – “assembled for maximum effect to incapacitate and kill” – and used it to beat Min and Lily while they slept.

Xie then crept to the second bedroom and killed Irene.

It’s likely Terry and Henry woke up and tried to escape before they were murdered, possibly because they had seen Xie and would have been able to identify him.

“It’s apparent from the blood splatter patterns – there was a furious struggle in that bedroom,” Ms Smith said.

Asphyxia was a contributing cause of death in the parents and children.

For unknown reasons, Xie then returned to the parents’ bedroom and rearranged their bodies so they were lying in a “v-shape”, Min hidden under the covers.

In the daylight hours of July 18, Xie was up early cleaning his garage, where detectives later found a 6mm mark.

The Crown said the stain matched the blood of at least four of the victims, Min, Terry, Henry and Irene.

When Kathy found out the family newsagency had not opened that morning in July, the couple went to the Lins’ house on Boundary Road, and walked upstairs.

“[Xie] was hugging Kathy Lin and telling her not to look upon entering into Min’s bedroom at a point where he was not in a position to see Lily Lin’s body,” Ms Smith said.

Xie then left his wife at the house, while she made a hysterical call to triple-0.

“He left his scared wife – who didn’t want him to go – all by herself,” Ms Smith said.

Police identified Xie as a main suspect about six months after the murders, and began surveillance.

In May 2010, after Kathy was told by the NSW Crime Commission that police found bloody shoe prints at the crime scene, Xie was captured on video destroying shoe boxes.

About 20 bloody shoe prints in the upstairs bedrooms of the Lin family home were found to be possibly consistent with ASICS Gel Evation sport shoes, in a style not produced since 2005. It was a brand and size of shoe worn by Xie.

Xie was arrested in May 2011 and taken into custody.

In a conversation with an inmate, identified only as Witness A, Xie expressed concern there was CCTV footage of him getting rid of the murder weapon shortly after the Lin family’s bodies were found.

The court heard Xie, a former ear, nose and throat specialist, also told Witness A about a pressure point on the body that could incapacitate.

Some of the conversations between Xie and Witness A were captured on tape, but others were not.

Friends of Xie gave evidence, describing him as a friendly, gentle and honest man.

“People can have two sides,” fellow Crown barrister Kate Ratcliffe told the jury.

“There’s the side they show to the world .. and the side they keep to themselves, that only comes to be known in unguarded conversation … or activities they didn’t think anyone would ever know about.”

The court will hear submissions on Xie’s sentence on February 10.

Article source: http://smh.com.au/nsw/robert-xie-found-guilty-of-murdering-five-members-of-the-lin-family-20161222-gtgufs.html