True Crime

Inside The Crime: The Lin Family Murders

The Lin Family Murders

What would drive Lian Bin “Robert” Xie to kill five members of the Lin Family? How did he achieve his goal, and how was he caught? That is what we’re going to unveil about the Lin Family murders.

If you’ve been following Project Fangirl for a while, you might’ve seen a post we did on why Robert Xie killed five of his in-laws. What we didn’t go over at the time is how he went about doing the crime and how he ended up getting caught.

The Day The Lin Family Is Murdered – July 18th 2009

On the morning of July 18th 2009, Min Lin, a successful news agency owner, his wife Yun “Lily” Lin, his sister-in-law, Irene and two young sons, Terry and Henry, were bludgeoned to death in their beds with a hammer-like object. Min Lin’s sister, Kathy, discovered the bodies of her brother, sister-in-law, Irene and her nephews at about 9 a.m. after arriving at the house to find out why the news agency had not opened at its allotted time. As a side note, it is said that her husband also found them. However, one person was missing: Jun “Brenda” Lin, Min and Lily’s daughter, was on a school trip.

The Police were called, but all five victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Brenda Lin Becomes An Orphan

Brenda Lin, at just fifteen, became an orphan. She discovered the deaths of her parents, brothers and aunt on Facebook. Her aunt Kathy and her uncle Robert Xie became her guardians. However, this was a toxic arrangement.

Robert Xie sexually abused Brenda, leading to one of the motives behind what happened to the Lin Family. Kathy and Min’s parents, according to Perth Now, attempted to fight Kathy and Robert Xie in court for custody of their granddaughter.

What The Lin Family Murders Investigation Uncovered

During the investigation into the murders, police started to piece together that the perpetrator was known to the Lin Family. There was no sign of forced entry, and they knew the location of the circuit board. The killer also knew that Brenda was not at home as her room was not touched. Nothing was stolen from the house, and a key was used to enter the property.

The investigators also found a heavy blood spatter that was from the floor to the ceiling. All five faces were damaged beyond recognition, meaning forensic analysis was utilised to identify them.

The hammer-like murder weapon was theorised to have been bought at a dollar store. Also, four victims of the five alleged showed signs of suffocation (asphyxia). It was concluded that there was one killer as only twenty-four shoe prints, made from the blood on the floor, were found.

Strike Force Norburn

A strike force was established for the investigation into the Lin Family massacre.  The NSW Crime Commission informed Kathy Lin that the shoe prints from the crime scene were from an ASICS sports shoe a month after the murders had happened.

Police surveillance was conducted over six months and discovered that Robert Xie had been caught destroying an ASICS shoe box for 9.5-sized shoes and flushing the pieces down a toilet. They also uncovered that he’d cleaned out his garage on the morning the killings occurred.

The Xie house was searched by a forensics team who found a blood stain on the garage floor.

How Robert Xie Was Busted For Killing The Lin Family – Stain 91

The blood found on the floor of the Xie garage became known as “Stain 91.” A United States Company, Cybergenetics, which specialises in DNA, found that the stain contained the DNA from four of five murder victims.

According to, Stain 91 was 2cm by 6cm and was found ten months after the murder by three female biologists specialising in forensics. The spot of DNA was found under a set of drawers. Stain 91 contained DNA from Irene, Henry, Terry and Min.

Robert Xie was sentenced to five life sentences, one for each victim, but believes he is innocent of any crime. His wife, Kathy, cannot accept that her husband would murder five members of their family, including her brother, in cold blood. She could not comprehend that he wanted to get his hands on their niece, Brenda, and her brother’s money, all due to his lust and jealousy.

After several mistrials and a hung jury, Robert Xie was found guilty. His lawyer argued that the DNA was likely from living family members. Also, a struggle happened with Henry and Terry, who awoke during the attack and did what they could to fight back. Terry was likely alive two hours after the attack had occurred.

Xie appealed, proclaiming that the police had set him up and that the DNA was flawed.

Robert Xie: Obsession With His Niece And Jealousy

The court also heard about Robert Xie’s obsession with Brenda and how he would “rub himself against her to erect.” Brenda also confirmed to Melissa Doyle on a 2017 episode of Spotlight that her uncle did sexually abuse her.  It was revealed that despite his testimony that he had no motive to kill the Lin family, Robert was overly jealous towards Min due to his success in running his business.

Xie felt that the Lin family’s success should be his. So he murdered them and took control of not just Brenda but the newsagency and a couple of investment units. The court also learned that he was out of favour with the family due to unemployment.

What The Crime Scene Photos Showed

The Daily Mail revealed photos of the crime scene, which showed a power point with a phone charger and a wall splattered with blood. There were also two photos of door handles streaked with blood.

Another photo also showed the DNA stain known as “Stain 91” from the Xie garage floor. There is also a picture of a strip of carpet that was torn up and had bloody shoe prints. Finally, there was also a streak of blood from Henry and Terry’s bedroom wall.

Robert Xie: Unremorseful

Robert and Kathy claim he is innocent. 

Why would he cut up a shoe box and then flush it down the toilet if he were innocent? Also, Min and Lily were well-liked. This would’ve been evidenced by the success of their family business and the crowd of people who showed up at the funeral.

Also, why would he yell at Brenda in Chinese when people were likely to become suspicious? Brenda’s school principal, who has since become a close friend to her former student, told Mel Doyle that when she sat down to lunch with the Xies and Brenda after the murder, she had a horrible feeling that she’d just eaten with the killer. She shared the sentiment with the police and her husband.

Finally, Robert Xie was also revealed to have bragged while he was in prison, awaiting a trial, that he had drugged his wife before committing the murders.

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About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She prides herself as a truth seeker and will do (almost) anything for coffee or Coke No Sugar. Oh! And food!

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