“Yingying is gone. I won’t tell you where she is. I won’t tell anyone where she is,” he said, according to the transcript. “The FBI has looked for her. The police and FBI don’t know where she is. I’m apparently very good at this.”
“They will never find her. The family, you know, they won’t leave until she’s found,” he said later. “They’re gonna leave empty-handed because no one will ever know where she is…She’s gone forever…That apparently is my expertise.”
In fact, Yingying Zhang’s body was never found. The story of Zhang’s tragic death is being retold on ABC 20/20 in an encore episode that airs Friday, June 12, 2020 at 9 p.m. In 2020, Zhang’s family is still looking for closure.
Here’s what you need to know:
Terra Bullis Was Brendt Christensen’s Girlfriend & He Was Married to Michelle Zortman
At the time of the murder June 9, 2017, in Champaign, Illinois, Christensen was in an open relationship with his wife, Michelle Zortman. Bullis was polyamorous, and living with a group of polyamorous housemates, according to the Chicago-Tribune. Bullis was terrified to hear her boyfriend detailing the brutal murder.
“You’re safe. And I mean that,” he said in the recording. “You are very safe. You are.”
“Unless for some reason I’m a complete idiot and say something to somebody and then I’m not safe,” Bullis answered.
“That’s true,” he said.
You can read the full transcript of Brendt Christensen’s confession here.
Brendt Christensen Claimed to Be a Serial Killer in His Recorded Confession With Terra Bullis
In Brendt Christensen’s murder confession, he claimed he had killed 13 people in his recorded conversation with Terra Bullis. He confessed to the murder after a vigil for the victim, Yingying Zhang. Officials found no evidence that Christensen was a serial killer.
Terra Bullis admitted she introduced Brendt Christensen to FetLife, a fetish social media website, according to the News-Gazette. Christensen’s activity on the website was part of a startling discovery investigators made after taking his phone and computer into evidence.
In April, Christensen visited a forum called “Abduction 101” on the website, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in his case. He also visited sub-threads called “perfect abduction fantasy” and “planning a kidnapping.” The FetLife website describes itself as “the Social Network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky Community. Like Facebook, but run by kinksters like you and me. We think it is more fun that way.”
At Christensen’s trial, his defense team argued that Yingying’s murder did not involve substantial planning and premeditation. Instead, he was in a downward spiral and, at the same time, happened to be introduced to the dominant-submissive lifestyle. Bullis testified she had introduced him to BDSM and to the social network FetLife. She also said she introduced him to flogging and showed him a video of a flogging demonstration.
“I introduced him to the ideas. He was not part of the community,” she said, according to the News-Gazette.
She added, “I did not aim to teach. I was answering inquiries.”