U of I hosts webinar discussing the 2017 murder of an international student


Champaign-Urbana, Ill. (WCIA) —

Stop Asian hate rallies have popped up around the country and in Central Illinois. They’re in response to shootings in Georgia and attacks in New York. Now a story with ties to Central Illinois is being brought to the forefront.

YingYing Zhang was a Chinese student at U of I. She was murdered in 2017 by Brendt Christensen. He’s serving life in prison.

A webinar was put on with directors and producers of the movie ‘finding ying-ying’..

They want people to see what it is like as a Chinese international student, especially with everything happening now. They hope this brings education to people in the area and also brings courses to teach international students what the U.S. is like. Zhang got into Christensen’s car after she missed her bus and he said he’d give her a ride.

“For YingYing, she was just here for 6 weeks. She didn’t really know too much about social standards or the cultures here and that’s why she got into a stranger’s car, just like I did and Shilin did,” Jenny Shi, director of “Finding YingYing”, said.

Both the director and producer were international students at the same time as Zhang. They say they both went in a stranger’s car when they first got here, and what happened to Zhang, could have happened to either of them.

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