The Latest: Girlfriend: Christensen seemed proud of killing

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the trial of Brendt Christensen and his claim to have killed 13 people (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

The girlfriend of an ex-University of Illinois student charged with kidnapping a visiting scholar from China says he seemed proud as he told her he killed Yingying Zhang.

Star prosecution witness Terra Bullis testified Thursday for a second day at Brendt Christensen’s trial. He told her he raped and then beat the 26-year-old to death.

Bullis secretly recorded Christensen as they attended a vigil for Zhang. The FBI arrested him the next day.

Champaign’s News-Gazette reports Bullis told jurors Christensen’s eyes widened and seemed eager to provide details.

He told her Zhang was his 13th victim, writing the number 13 on her hand. Investigators haven’t been able to corroborate the claim.

She says he also pointed to a woman at the event, saying she’d be “a good target.” He said they could follow her but never did.


4 p.m.

There are reasons to doubt a boast from a man charged with killing a visiting scholar from China that he killed 12 other people.

Brendt Christensen, a former University of Illinois doctoral student, claimed to be a serial killer in conversations recorded by his girlfriend, the prosecution’s star witness, who testified for a second day at Christensen’s federal trial Thursday.

Before Yingying Zhang went missing in June, 2017, Christensen spent months on the internet researching the topic of murder, including how to dispose of bodies. Zhang’s body was never found.

Serial-killer researcher, Enzo Yaksic, says the contents of Christensen’s searches demonstrate an ignorance of “basic things that proficient serial killers … would know.”

He thinks the chances that Christensen actually killed others are “minuscule.”

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