It was the crime that shocked Sydney. A popular Chinese couple, Norman and Lily Lin owned and ran a newsagency in Epping. When the shop failed to open one morning in July 2009, five bodies were discovered in their family home.
Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi will try to prove that Lian Bin "Robert" Xie, murdered five members of his brother-in-law's family, motivated by "bitterness" and a "loss of face", something very important in Chinese culture.
Norman and Lily Lin
In his opening address on Friday, Mr Tedeschi told the jury that Xie crept into the Lin family home in the early hours of the morning and killed five members of the family with a hammer-like instrument as they lay sleeping in their beds. Their daughter, now an orphan, was away on a school excursion at the time.
Xie has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Min "Norman" Lin 45, his wife "Lily Li Lin 44, their sons Henry 12 and Terry 9 and Ms Lin's sister "Irene" Yin 39. The bedroom of the daughter away at school was not touched in any way, suggesting the killer knew she wasn't home.
Xie is married to Kathy Lin who is Mr Lin's sister.
Mr Tedeschi said that after the killings and covered in blood, Xie walked 300 metres back to his own house and placed something on the garage floor which left a smear. When he cleaned his garage floor the next day, he missed the spot but police found it. They also found bloody footprints at the murder scene left by a certain type of shoe that belonged to Xie. Police couldn't find the shoes but found the shoe box they came in at his house. "It was a pre-planned, deliberately executed crime" Mr Tedeschi said.
Xie is accused of killing the married couple first, then the adult female and lastly, the two children. Nine year old Terry Lin was alive for up to two hours after he was allegedly asphyxiated and bashed by his uncle. Unlike the three adults, both boys put up a fierce fight before they died and incredibly, neighbours didn't hear a sound.
The trial continues today.