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Pennsylvania Woman Allegedly Tried To Hire Hitman To Kill Ex-Husband's New Wife, Stepdaughter

Marilyn Zhou faces charges that she tried to hire a hitman to kill her ex-husband's new wife and told him to feel free to kill her victim's 13-year-old daughter, too. 

By Constance Johnson
Infamous Murder-For-Hire Attempts

A woman from the Philadelphia suburbs is charged with allegedly trying to pay someone she thought was a hitman to kill her ex-husband’s new wife and his 13-year-old stepdaughter.

Marilyn Zhou, 56, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of third-degree money laundering, according to a press release from the Office of the Mercer County Prosecutor in New Jersey.

The office's Special Investigations Unit received a tip in December that Zhou was looking for assistance with a murder for hire. An undercover officer then met with Zhou on Dec. 18 in Trenton, New Jersey — 65 miles northeast of her home in the western Philadelphia suburb of Chadds Ford.

Unaware that she was speaking with a law enforcement officer, Zhou allegedly shared that she wanted that individual to murder her ex-husband’s new wife, prosecutors said in the release.

During the meeting, she allegedly gave the officer two color photographs of the woman she wanted killed and $21,000 in cash. She also gave the officer rubber nitrite gloves and a towel to carry out the murder, prosecutors said.

A police handout of Marilyn Zhou

“She also told the undercover officer that if the victim’s 13-year-old daughter was present at the time of the murder, she should also be murdered,” prosecutors said in the news release.

Zhou allegedly offered to pay the undercover agent an additional $20,000 once the job was done.

Officials with the prosecutor's office immediately arrested Zhou after the meeting with the undercover officer ended. With the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police, they later executed a search warrant at Zhou’s home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, seizing $18,000 and other items she advised the officer to use during the murder.

Investigators have not revealed a possible motive for the alleged crime.

Prosecutors have filed a motion to keep Zhou behind bars pending trial, according to Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI.

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