Young Canadian Model Murdered in Shanghai.

This is a very sad story. It needs to get out so other young girls and their parents can learn from this tragedy.

I traveled to China last year on a two week business trip. One of the thoughts that struck me was that it appeared to be a very law abiding society. Then when I visited Tiananmen Square, I was reminded of the scene when Government tanks turned on young student protestors and masacared them. There is much about China that lays beneath the surface.

Diana O’Brien was a young model from Canada who was lured to China with promises of “catwalk” modelling opportunities. Once she arrived there, the opportunities became offers to dance in bars. Apparently, many young girls go to China thinking they are breaking into the big time when in reality, many of these modelling agencies inlvolve little more than an apartment and a cell phone.

The JH model managment company that Diana worked for disappeared when news of her murder broke. Their website was taken down on Thursday. Although an official from the State Security Bureau would not comment, her murder seems to have been committed by a street criminal who stabbed her to death near her apartment for her belongings.

Young women and the parents of young women, need to know what they are getting themselves into before they travel to a strange place and put their lives in the hands of people who see them merely as a way to make money. This coming in the wake of the summer Olympics might cause some to question their own saftey in Beijing. Some of the age old principles still hold true; Beaware of your surroundings, Never travel alone – always have at least one companion at all times, Always let people know where you are going, Carry a cell phone (and pepper spray it is is allowed)to enable you to call for help.

In the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, people will approach you all of the time trying to get you to buy; fake watches, perfume, stamps and many other things. Most of these people are legitimately trying to make a sale but you do not know who are the ones that may be trying to pick-pocket you or surround you to rob you or lure you off a busy street where you won’t be seen so easily. Walk briskly past them and ignore them. You should shop whee you are not being hassled and therfore can concentrate on your safety.

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