Lin family murders-Robert Xie trial begins-update trial aborted

Lin family murder trial: jury to be sequestered from Monday while they consider verdict

Robert Xie found guilty of murdering five members of extended family

Updated 14 minutes ago 12/01/17

Sydney man Robert Xie has been found guilty of murdering five members of his extended family, including his two young nephews.

After three years of court hearings, including four separate trials, a Supreme Court jury found Xie bludgeoned his five victims to death inside their North Epping home in July 2009.

The jury came to a majority decision after earlier indicating to the court that it had been unable to reach a unanimous decision.

Xie stood up in the dock and rejected the verdict as the jury left the courtroom.

“I did not murder the Lin family,” he said. “I am innocent.”

Parents of victims shed tears of relief

The victims included Xie’s brother in-law newsagent Min Lin, Min Lin’s wife Lily Lin, and Lily Lin’s sister Irene Lin.

Min and Lily Lin’s sons Henry, 12, and Terry, 9, were also killed.

Min Lin’s parents wept in relief in the Supreme Court’s public gallery following the verdicts.

On the other side of court not far from where her husband sat in the dock, Robert Xie’s wife Kathy also wept, declaring  “he’s innocent” as the jury left the courtroom.

More to come.

Robert Xie trial: the key evidence

As the jury retires to consider its verdict, here are some of the key issues they will need to examine

If the jury in the long-running Lin family murder trial is still considering its verdict in the case this coming Monday, they will need to come to court with their pyjamas and a toothbrush.

With the 12-person panel about to begin deliberating on Wednesday, they were informed by Justice Elizabeth Fullerton that, as of Monday, rather than returning home at the end of the court day, they would be staying together at a hotel to help them focus on the task at hand.

“It’s absolutely critical at this stage that you have a focused and concentrated aptitude to the evidence and all that it gives rise to,” Justice Fullerton said.

Robert Xie, right, and his wife Kathy Lin.Robert Xie, right, and his wife Kathy Lin. Photo: Danielle Smith

“It’s with your concentrated and focused attention that your verdicts will be reached in the best way possible.”


Justice Fullerton told the jurors that they would be staying at a “commodious” hotel which had a conference room in which they could consider their verdict without distraction.

She would be on hand to answer any questions they had.

“You’ll be fed…[and] there will be an alcohol allowance…I haven’t decided on the size of that allowance yet, however I won’t be mean-spirited,” she said.

“Please come on Monday with your bags packed.”  

The jury is expected to formally retire on Thursday to begin considering whether or not Crown Prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi QC has proven the guilt of the accused, Robert Xie, beyond reasonable doubt.

Mr Xie, 51, allegedly murdered his brother-in-law, Min “Norman” Lin, Min’s  wife Lily, his two sons Henry, 11 and Terry, 9 and Lily’s aunt Irene in their North Epping home.

He is accused of creeping into the house in the early hours of July 18, 2009 and then beating the Lins to death with a hammer like object in their bedrooms.

He has pleaded not guilty, asserting that, far from harbouring resentment toward the Lin family, he had a close, loving relationship with them

His defence has also asserted that it is impossible for one man, in the dark, to murder five people in the way the Crown alleges.

Robert Xie found guilty of murdering five members of Lin family

Robert Xie guilty of Lin family murders

Candace Sutton and

ROBERT Xie has been found guilty of murdering five members of his wife’s family who were bludgeoned to death in their beds in 2009.

The jury in the Lin family murder trial returned the guilty verdict after earlier saying their could not reach a unanimous verdict after eight days of deliberation.

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton asked the jury to return to the jury room on Thursday to keep on considering a verdict.

Justice Fullerton told jurors they must consider the opinions of their peers during deliberations, but reminded them they must reach a verdict that satisfies their genuine beliefs.

As the majority verdict was handed down, Xie told the court he did not murder the Lin family.

“I am innocent,” he told the jury as he left the court.

His wife Kathy began to cry.

Xie, 52, was accused of murdering his brother-in-law, Epping newsagent Norman “Min” Lin, and four others in Sydney’s northwest in 2009.

Mr Lin, 45, his wife Lily Lin Yunli, 43, her sister Irene Yin Yunbin, 39, and the Lins’ young sons, Henry, 12, and Terry, 9, were bludgeoned to death in the early hours of July 18 that year.

The bodies of the five victims were found in the North Epping home Norman and Lily Lin shared with their young sons.

The long-running fourth trial, in which Xie pleaded not guilty, opened in late June last year in the NSW Supreme Court.

Lily and Min Lin pictured with their sons Terry and Henry were all murdered in the Lin family home in Epping, Sydney, on a winter’s night in 2009.

Lily and Min Lin pictured with their sons Terry and Henry were all murdered in the Lin family home in Epping, Sydney, on a winter’s night in 2009.Source:Supplied

Robert Xie has been on trial for the alleged murder of five members of his wife Kathy’s family in 2009. Picture: Dylan Robinson.

Robert Xie has been on trial for the alleged murder of five members of his wife Kathy’s family in 2009. Picture: Dylan Robinson.Source:News Corp Australia

The Lin brothers Terry, 9, and Henry, 12, two years before they were brutally murdered in their family’s home in Epping, Sydney, in 2009.

The Lin brothers Terry, 9, and Henry, 12, two years before they were brutally murdered in their family’s home in Epping, Sydney, in 2009.Source:News Limited

Five coffins lined up at the Lin family funeral at Olympic Park, Homebush in 2009. Picture: News Corp.

Five coffins lined up at the Lin family funeral at Olympic Park, Homebush in 2009. Picture: News Corp.Source:News Limited

During the trial, Crown Prosecutor Tanya Smith told the jury residue found in Xie’s garage and referred to as “Stain 91” stain was a mixture of blood from at least four of the victims.

Evidence was given during the trial that the five members of the Lin family were asleep in their beds on a winter’s night when the electricity was cut to the two-storey house.

The Crown alleged that it was Xie, armed with a hammer-like object and a rope, who murdered the victims sometime between 2am and 5.30am.

Henry Lin, 12, (left) with his parents Min and Lily Lin before their brutal murders in the family home in 2009.

Henry Lin, 12, (left) with his parents Min and Lily Lin before their brutal murders in the family home in 2009.Source:News Limited

The former Lin family home where the murders took place in 2009 in the Sydney suburb of Epping. Picture: North Nor'West Property.

The former Lin family home where the murders took place in 2009 in the Sydney suburb of Epping. Picture: North Nor’West Property.Source:Supplied

Robert Xie with his wife Kathy leaving the NSW Supreme Court during his long running murder trial. Picture: News Corp

Robert Xie with his wife Kathy leaving the NSW Supreme Court during his long running murder trial. Picture: News CorpSource:News Corp Australia

The Crown claimed Xie was motivated to kill his brother-in-law and his family out of jealousy and because he was infuriated with his perceived “subordinate status” within the family.

Bloodied footprints found in the upstairs bedrooms of the Lin family home were found to be consistent with ASICS sport shoes — a brand of shoe allegedly worn by Mr Xie, Ms Smith said during the trial.

But Xie’s defence barrister, Robert Webb, claimed that bloodied shoe prints found at the Lin family’s North Epping home may have belonged to three brands, other than ASICS.

Mr Webb also argued that Xie regularly attended dinners at the Lin family home and was not motivated by jealousy.

The Crown also alleges there was a sexual motive, regarding a person who for legal reasons cannot be identified.

“The defence case is that the sexual misconduct alleged didn’t happen,” Mr Webb said during the trial.

Three previous trials have ended without a verdict for different reasons.


July 18, 2009: The bodies of Epping newsagents Norman and Lily Lin, her sister Irene Yunbin and the Lins sons Henry, 12 and Terry, 9, are found bludgeoned to death in North Epping.

May 5, 2011: Police arrest Robert Xie and charge him with five counts of murder.

May 8, 2014: The first trial begins.

June 10, 2014: Trial #1 aborted due to the discovery of new evidence that according to Justice Peter Johnson could have a “significant” impact.

August 4, 2014: Second trial begins in the NSW Supreme Court.

September 23, 2014: Second trial aborted when Justice Johnson becomes too unwell to continue.

February 5, 2015: Third trial begins with six months allocation.

December 11, 2015: The jury is dismissed when it cannot agree on a verdict and a fourth trial is ordered.

June 19, 2016: Fourth trial opens before Justice Elizabeth Fullerton.

10/06/14 major update trial aborted after jury discharged

Robert Xie: Murder trial aborted as new evidence emerges over Lin family killings

1pm 10/06/14

A Supreme Court judge has aborted the trial of the man accused of murdering five members of the same family in Sydney.

Discharging the jury, the judge said new evidence had emerged late last month which may make a substantial difference to the trial of Robert Xie.

Xie was accused of creeping into the home of his brother-in-law Norman Lin and sister-in-law Lily Lin in North Epping in the early hours of July 18, 2009.

Prosecutors alleged that Xie, motivated by bitterness, killed Lin, Lin’s wife Lily, the couple’s two sons Henry, 12, and Terry, nine, and Lily’s sister Irene, with a hammer-like weapon.

Justice Peter Johnson said the new material presented may change the shape and content of the trial in significant ways.

He told the court the defence had requested the jury be discharged, and the Crown had agreed, and he believed it was the appropriate course of action.

He told the jury they were discharged and there would be a new trial with a new jury.

Justice Johnson congratulated them for their hard work and said all the notes they had taken would be destroyed.

Update 09/05/14 Trial Murder Begins

Robert Xie trial: Lin family bludgeoned with hammer-like weapon, faces smashed

By court reporter Jamelle Wells

Updated 1 hour 6 minutes ago

A man used a hammer-like object tied to his wrist to bludgeon five of his relatives at a house in Sydney, completely smashing the faces of two of them, a court has heard.

Robert Xie, 50, is accused of murdering his brother-in-law Norman Lin, Lin’s wife, Lily, their two boys, aged nine and 12, and Lily’s sister Irene in July 2009.

The court heard each victim was hit on the head with the makeshift weapon, but that Mr Lin and his wife had particularly brutal injuries, with their faces “smashed” and completely destroyed.

The court heard one of the children was beaten up to 18 times in the attack in North Epping, while the other lay dying for up to two hours in the house after being bashed.

Xie has pleaded not guilty to each of the murder charges.

In his opening address, crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC said Xie was motivated by a bitterness towards the adults in his family and that some of the bodies were left in a “bizarre manner”.

The three adults were in their beds when they were attacked.

The court heard there was a “furious commotion” when the boys, Terry and Henry, were killed in their bedroom as one of them was moving around the room.

Mr Tedeschi said Xie knew the layout of the house and killed Norman and Lily first, then Irene followed by the boys.

The prosecutor said Xie was covered in blood after the killings and the following morning disposed of the clothes he wore and cleaned his garage floor.

Xie, a former surgeon, ‘pre-planned’ killings: prosecution

He said Xie was an ear, nose and throat surgeon in China before leaving medicine to manage a factory and moving to Australia in 2002.

He managed a restaurant in Melbourne before moving to Sydney in 2005.

The court heard that the night before the attack, Xie was with the victims at a family dinner at his parents’ house in Merrylands.

The prosecutor said Xie went to their house and killed them some time between midnight and 5am.

Mr Tedeschi said he switched the power off before entering the home and carried out the killings with a minimum of noise.

He said there was no moon that night and hardly any street lighting.

He said Xie probably wore gloves to hide his finger prints, but that bloodied footprints were left in the house.

The court heard the accused disposed of his shoes some time after the murders but that the shoe box was left in his house.

“It was a pre-planned, deliberately executed crime,” Mr Tedeschi told the court.

The prosecution said that since being in custody, Xie had told a fellow prison inmate that on the night of the attack, his wife Kathy was sedated.

He also allegedly told the inmate about his motive, which would be revealed to the jury later.

The trial continues.

POLICE have charged a family member with the high profile brutal killing of the Lin family in Epping in 2009.

In shock …(Pigs arse… The sunglasses should of been a give away) Epping newsagent Min’s Mr Lin’s sister Kathy Lin and husband Robert Xie speak about discovering the five dead family members murdered inside the house in North Epping

Robert Xie, 47, the brother-in-law of Min Lin was arrested at his home in North Epping just after 9am.

Detectives with Strike Force Norburn took Xie to Parramatta Police Station and charged with five counts of murder.

Robert Xie chose not to appear in Parramatta Local Court when the charges were mentioned. He did not make an application for bail and it was formally refused by the magistrate.

The charges were adjourned to Central Local Court on July 1.

Yun Li “Lilly” Lin, 43, her newsagent husband Min Lin, 45, their sons, and the boys’ aunt, Lilly’s sister Irene, were bludgeoned to death as they lay in their beds.

The investigations were launched following the discovery of the bodies inside their home on Boundary Rd at North Epping on the morning of Saturday 18 July 2009.

Check this imposter out (Seeing only the Uncle has been charged at the moment, I have changed the title!)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Her father, Min Lin and mother, Yun Li ‘Lillie’ Lin, were bludgeoned to death at their suburban Boundary Road home, with sons Henry and Terry, and aunt, Yun Bin ‘Irene’ Lin on the morning of Saturday 18 July 2009.

Brenda, 15, was the only member of the immediate family to survive. She was on a school trip in New Caledonia with her Cheltenham Girls classmates, when she learnt the news of the murders via Facebook.

Just after 9am today, Mr Xie was arrested without incident at a home in North Epping, police said.

He was taken to Parramatta Police Station where charges are expected to be laid.

The arrest follows a major investigation undertaken by the NSW Police Force spanning nearly two years.

Strike Force Norburn was established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths and comprises detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, with assistance from the Eastwood Local Area Command.

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Peter Cotter said, “This was a tragic incident and one of the largest single homicides in NSW history.

“The investigators have never given up, and today is testimony to their dedication, and the culmination of 2 years of intense investigation,” Det Supt Cotter said.

                     Brenda Lin thought killings a cruel joke

Jonathan Dart

August 15, 2009

AT FIRST Brenda Lin thought it was a joke. Then she felt nauseous when she found out her family had been murdered.

Brenda, 15, was on a school vacation in New Caledonia with her Cheltenham Girls classmates, when she learnt the news of the murders via Facebook.

Her parents, Min Lin and Yun Li ”Lillie” Lin, were bludgeoned to death at their North Epping home, with her brothers Henry and Terry, and her aunt, Yun Bin ”Irene” Lin.

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”We decided we would use the internet and go on Facebook to see what all our friends were doing in the holidays and talk to them and catch up,” she told Channel Nine. ”And then everyone started asking if I was OK … someone said that my family was murdered and I couldn’t believe it.

”At first I thought it was just like some cruel joke that they were playing on me and it’s not funny. I didn’t think that could happen to my family and at first I guess I felt really dizzy and I don’t know, I was really shocked and I just couldn’t really think or see anything straight.”

It is understood police have had little result from forensic tests as a result of painstaking examination of the Lins’ house, and have yet to establish a firm motive.

Brenda revealed the psychological trauma she had endured since the murders, saying she had still not come to terms with life without her family.

”I still wake up each morning thinking, ‘Oh yeah, Mum and Dad are going to be downstairs making breakfast and Henry and Terry will be playing on the computer or something’,” she said.

”I don’t think right now I realise what has all happened. I think some time soon everything will just come crashing down on me and I’ll finally realise.”

Five bodies found in Epping home 

Five bodies discovered in Epping home Another family member discovered bodies Police start murder investigation

HOMICIDE police are piecing together the gruesome details of a possible murder-suicide that has left five people dead, including a mother and her two young sons, in Sydney’s northwest.

The bodies of a woman in her mid-40s, her 12 and nine-year-old sons, a 46-year-old man and 40-year-old woman were found this morning at a house in quiet, suburban Boundary Road, North Epping.

A relative of the dead mother made the devastating discovery.

Police, who say the bodies were found in several rooms, believe the tragedy was “domestic related”.

Investigation begins

Part of Boundary Street was cordoned off while detectives canvassed neighbours for information.

Acting Superintendent Stephen Henkel said the possibility of murder-suicide was being investigated and only post-mortem examinations would determine how all five died.

He declined to comment on the relationship between the victims and would not say what, if any, weapons were used.

“It’s going to be a long and protracted inquiry and those details are not available at this time,” he told reporters at the murder scene.

Supt Henkel said officers who attended the scene would be given counselling if needed.

The family member who discovered the bodies had been taken to hospital and was receiving counselling, he said.

’A nice, normal family’

“Any incidents like this is upsetting for any person, not only police, but also other people,” he said.

“Their welfare is being looked after.

“The loss of life in any incident is tragic and this is one of those incidents which is a tragic case.”

A stunned neighbour described the Asian family as “very nice”.

“They’re a family of five, their kids went to the local school,” neighbour Pamela Burgess said.

“They were very nice, they were normal.”

Ms Burgess said she did not see or hear anything untoward over the past 48 hours.

“I bump into them from time to time and nothing seemed out of the ordinary,” she said.

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20 thoughts on “Lin family murders-Robert Xie trial begins-update trial aborted

    • Thanks girl….I was on my way today as I caught that story, posted as I was out the door. How many times is it a relative in these things. The poor girl living with the beast that slaughtered her family


  1. “It’s a tragedy to Kathy, Min’s sister, and every family member – Brenda, my parents-in-law and me and our son. I know people who haven’t experienced this cannot feel what we are experiencing.” said Mr Xie.

    No, not many people know what it feels like to bludgeon their nephews to death.

    I wonder if his wife knew about it? I cannot believe that his behaviour was unaffected after this – unless he’s a psychopath (the clinical use of the term, not the pop culture use) which is possible. There are a lot of them around. From what I read at athe time, it was an incredibly difficult crime scene to obtain evidence from, mostly because so little was left behind. This *might* argue a very controlled, planned killing, but combined with the reported ferocity (bludgeoning one person requires a lot of effort – to kill five in this manner would have to be exhausting) it’s a very contradictory – and confusing – situation.

    Who’s taking bets on an insanity plea? =/


  2. Perp sounds to me like a personal grudge, business dealings gone wrong? Cut out of successful venture? I assume to cops have been on to him for quite a while, as going by the ferocity of the murders they knew it was someone close to the family. Robbers etc do what they have to so they can get away.But as you say he spent some time and effort…reminds me of a case in SA but I will refrain. Much more to come on this, need to catch up. Love your input here though, very informed and considered replies.


  3. Thank God he was arrested now. I have read that the surviving family member, Brenda inherits her parents estate on attaining 18 years of age. Brenda is 18 in July and the fact that she was living with her uncle is very scary . I will leave you all to ponder.


  4. Not sure how I feel about the police knowing (or being pretty bloody sure!) he did it 15mths ago, but allowed Brenda to live there??


    • I don’t think she was ever in danger. If he did something to her then it would have given the game away. Apparently they are quite fond of her anyway.

      If Xie is guilty then say hello to NSW’s latest lifer, that’s all I can say.


  5. When first I read this last year, I presumed must be – Asian underworld killing (money laundering) went bad – that was why they didn’t even leave the children alone.
    Judging by the Lin’s family who were not from a wealthy family background, and managed to buy few businesses & house in cash (in $ millions). In Australia we pay extensive tax – how one can accumulate so much wealth in 20 years – by doing a newsagency business???
    I think there is more cynical aspects than the facts stated by the Police here…


    • Assumptions like that are what get Australia labelled as a racist country. People can make a lot of money legitimately, you know. Maybe they were lucky with investments or won a lottery payout. Would you have made the same assumption if they were from England, for example? In not saying there is no possibility of the sort of thing you’re suggesting, but there are a few unpleasant connotations in the way you say it.


  6. It is never wish to make assumptions based on scant knowledge. I am posting a paragraph from a news report of today’s Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper below –

    Min Lin’s newsagency had a turnover of more than $1 million per year, and he had also bought two commercial units on Rawson Rd, along with his two-storey home at North Epping. He was asset-rich but heavily mortgaged.

    I have also read that Min Lin worked around 80 hours per week.

    Innuendo in relation to ill gotten gains is very hurtful to remaining family members. The life of a newsagent is very hard with pretty awful long hours. I see this with the Chinese born husband and wife team at my own local newsagency. Nicer people one could not meet – always cheerful and obliging. I know they are not wealthy now, but hopefully the rewards of their hard labours, in time, will reap the profits they so deserve. This is likely the way in which Min Lin started his business.

    One thing I will always admire in the many Asian people who run businesses in this country (often arriving here with very little), is the will to work and to give their children much better lives than they had. Aussies could take a leaf out of their books!


  7. Imposters? Sunglasses a give away?

    Please edit this post to say ‘imposter’ and not ‘imposters’. Kathy has not been charged with the murders. No doubt what she feels is terrible and very much real.

    Might I add that your sunglasses comment is entirely irrelevant and downright stupid, really. On occasions, both Kathy and Brenda had been wearing sunglasses when they appeared on TV. It is a matter of privacy, not guilt or innocence.


  8. I feel for poor Brenda….Knowing now that she had been living with the person responsible for taking her entire family away from her….Her life has changed so much but then to find out that she had been looking into the eyes of evil for so long after it happened…. I cant help but think did Kathy know!!! As for people on this page saying about how they got their money…its called work and a lot of it!!!!! My thoughts right now are with Brenda as she is going to have severe trust issues after being with her uncle for so long and finding out that he is responsible…..This is certainly a case of jealousy is a curse….


  9. It’s worth noting that it’s been public knowledge that Xie was a suspect in the case for some time. So it’s not as though Brenda is just finding out about this. There have been media reports for months indicating he was a suspect.


  10. Of course, Kathy knew what the husband Robert Xie has done. Maybe even helping to get rid of evidence before calling the police. They have lived under the same roof all these time as husband and wife before the murder and after.

    Considering it is such a frenzied attack there must lots of evidence left behind but there was very little evidence found by the police later instead. Sounds like the work of more than one person is needed to get rid of that amount of evidence in such short spate of time.

    Someone such as the wife Kathy probably double-check the evidence is cleaned out properly before calling the police.


  11. Hi Perplexed,
    Im an Asian background and with my statement – I’m not tried to be racist by stating the facts as this type of killing happen in HongKong and China (the only one left behind tend to be a girl not boy, or worse wipeout entire family as a warning – and very sad and disgusting indeed). If you had read the news 2 years ago – there were no statement saying Lin family is asset rich and heavily mortgage as detailed in recent news. (Im trying to find this clips). The statement stated within 2 years of their news agency business they able to pay in cash $2m for a new business and house – whether their Asian or not…regardless – cost of living in Sydney is ridiculous on top of 3 kids educations + mortgage and if happen to win lotto surely the media would mentioned that…
    He was a refugee and studied engineer – so there you… go figure within 2 years do the maths even if you work 100 hours a week with 3 kids + bills and tax how one can manage to save $2m cash…as I would love to learn how to be able to save that in a year just to able to payout my mortgage.
    This look more like a professional job than killing spree by the uncle…why he let Brenda live, Im sure him & his wife know the schedule that Brenda was away on trip??? why electricity was disconnected from the main electrical switch of the street not from the house?? Just look at his uncle body frame – it looks impossible for him to be able to do with such force with bland instrument without anyone woken up and screamming


  12. Racism got nothing to do with stating the facts…obviously I don’t think the way you did (Perplexed) win lotto, etc. Oh by the way to answer your statement if they English…I would presummed the same drug involvement might be one of the options…so there you go….


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