Kidnapped woman woke up in pit of 'jelly' – only to discover something more sinister

The story began and ended at Suzhou Railway Station  in Nehe
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

The city's good name was left in tatters after a spine-chilling find in one local's cellar turned the area into a synonym for death.

It all kicked off when Xu Lixia, feeling lost and alone, found herself perched at Nehe's railway station. She'd just split from her husband and was mulling over her next move when a smartly-dressed man enquired if she was alright.

Yet Xu was on edge, aware of Nehe's burgeoning dark fame. "The city had suddenly been put on the map. Everybody knew about this city because women from Nehe were going missing in droves," said Mr Ballen, the voice behind the podcast.

"Women who lived in Nehe were acutely aware of the risks of being out alone.", reports the Daily Star.

However, Xu wasn't overly concerned, given that the vanished souls were mostly from the red-light district, and as a nursery teacher, she felt relatively secure.

Moreover, the man seemed to be a shoulder to cry on, lending an ear to her woes and handing her a tissue as she wept: "He told Xu that his name was Jia Wenge, and that he was a director at a factory not far way."

He offered her a job and invited her back to his house to discuss the details: "Even though Xu had really appreciated everything he had done to this point, the second he asked her to come back to his house, red flags started going up in Xu's mind."

When Jia accepted her refusal and seemed to be leaving, Xu decided he must be genuine and accompanied him. However, after drinking a cup of tea at his house, she began to feel unusually sleepy.

As she lost consciousness, she realised that Jia had drugged her.

Upon regaining consciousness, Xu found herself in a horrifying situation. Mr Ballen explained: "She was immediately hit by a horrible smell but it was totally pitch black and she can't see anything. She began feeling around her, and she felt stone everywhere she touched."

"Eventually she realised she was in what seemed to be the bottom of a well. But it wasn't water she was standing in she was standing in something that almost felt like jelly."

Whatever the mysterious substance was, Xu had the impression that some of it was moving.

Suddenly, light flooded in as Xu's captor removed the cover from the pit she was standing in. The light revealed the nature of the mysterious "jelly".

Ballen added: "It was people. Dead people and potentially even some half-alive people that were just stuffed into this big pit."

Xu pleaded with Jia for her life, promising to do anything if he spared her from the grim fate in the well filled with corpses. Unbeknownst to anyone, Xu had not been reported missing, and her whereabouts were unknown.

However, a few weeks later, the situation took a turn when the elderly parents of a young businessman from Nehe filed a missing person report at the local police station. Unlike the usual reports of missing female sex workers, which often didn't prompt an extensive search, this case was different.

Suddenly, a wave of missing-person reports began to surface, all involving young men, catapulting the obscure city of Nehe into the national spotlight. The podcaster remarked: "It became a running joke 'If you don't want to live go to Nehe,' because everybody assumed there had to be some sort of serial killer who was just roaming the streets picking people off."

A dedicated team was formed to delve into the baffling string of disappearances. During a routine patrol at the city's railway station, a sharp-eyed officer noticed a well-dressed man who seemed to be avoiding him.

Acting on his suspicion, the officer approached the man, who suddenly bolted, along with two companions. Other officers joined the pursuit, and the trio was swiftly apprehended.

Two of the individuals, Jia Wenge and another man named Li Xiuhua, remained silent, but the third appeared emotionally unstable and quickly broke under interrogation. She guided them to Jia's residence.

A squad of officers forced entry, only to be met with a nauseating smell of decomposition.

One of the detectives discovered a videotape that confirmed this was a significant investigation. In the footage, Jia is seen dragging a semi-conscious man into the basement.

There, the 'emotionally fragile' suspect, Xu, knelt over the defenceless victim, raising a knife high above her head before driving it into his chest.

Xu, along with two others, had been somehow convinced by Jia to join him in a series of murders across the city that ultimately took more than 40 lives. She couldn't explain why she hadn't fled from him at the first opportunity.

Xu, Jia, and his other two manipulated accomplices were sentenced to death.

All four were executed on January 24th 1992. However, 32 years later, the grim tale of Nehe remains a macabre joke in China, and the city's sinister reputation may never fully fade away.