Yang Xinhai's motives were rape and robbery, police say of four-province rampage China's 'monster killer' murdered most of his victims in their sleep with hammers and axes and often violated the women's bodies, the Beijing News said yesterday. Yang Xinhai, who goes by the alias Yang Zhiya, confessed to 65 counts of murder, 23 rapes and five serious attacks shortly after he was arrested in Cangzhou, Hebei province, on November 3. The latest details about the crimes were published in the Beijing newspaper yesterday, quoting Li Wenping, a policeman from Renhe township. According to the report, Yang had confessed to 49 murders, 17 rapes and five attacks causing serious injury in Henan province alone. Many of these crimes took place near his home in the poverty-stricken Zhumadian area where he was raised. Yang had also confessed to eight murders and three rapes in Hebei, two murders and one rape in Shandong and six murders and two rapes in Anhui, the report said. The total number of victims of these crimes has not yet been confirmed by police. What is known, however, is that the crimes were carried out over two years in 22 separate incidents, with Yang often killing entire families at a time. In one such incident on December 2 last year, he reportedly entered the home of 68-year-old Liu Zhanwei in Xiping county, Henan province, and killed the old man's wife, their son and daughter-in-law and their two grandchildren with a hammer. The old man, who was not home at the time, escaped the attack. In another case, in October last year, Yang killed a father and a six-year-old girl with a shovel and raped a pregnant woman, who survived the attack with serious head injuries. She remains in a state of shock and remembers nothing of the crime. 'Yang buried the murder weapon after each attack and used a new one the next time,' policeman Li was quoted as saying. 'He disposed of his bloody clothes by throwing them into a river.' Yang's first murders are reported to have taken place in Fuyang, Anhui province, in the winter of 2000, when he killed three people and raped one. His last murders are said to have taken place in Hebei province, where he killed a family of three in Lidao village on August 5, followed by a family of five on August 8 in Dongliangxiang village. Earlier reports said he went on the rampage after being jilted by his girlfriend, but police have listed robbery and rape as the motives for the killing spree, which began when he was released from prison after serving a sentence for rape and robbery. But the enormity of his later crimes also suggests that 38-year-old Yang enjoyed killing.