Just two months before Si Cheng was killed with a crossbow in a public library — a crime his son now stands accused of — he was living in a homeless shelter and contacting reporters for help.

According to the Chinese-language newspaper Sing Tao Daily, Cheng, 52, contacted one of its journalists in September with a letter detailing allegations of a tumultuous past that included a near-fatal car accident, marital strife, jail time and estrangement from his son.

Reporter Hugh Li said he met with Cheng twice, most recently on Oct. 5, but never wound up publishing an article about the man until this Saturday, two days after Cheng was fatally shot with a crossbow inside the Main Street public library.

Cheng has had two domestic violence convic­tions involving his family and admitted to Li that he assaulted his then-wife in May 2002.

But according to Li, Cheng felt he was the one who was victimized in the relationship. Cheng made several allegations about his ex-wife that Li was unable to verify.