‘China’s Jack the Ripper’ sentenced to death for murdering 11 women and girls and mutilating bodies
Gao Chengyong, whose youngest victim was just eight, was also found guilty of robbery and rape during 14-year reign of terror
The Chinese serial killer who murdered 11 women and girls before mutilating some of the bodies was sentenced to death on Friday.
Gao Chengyong, 54, who has been dubbed “China’s Jack the Ripper”, pleaded guilty to multiple crimes over a 14-year period at his trial last year.
Gao, a married father of two, murdered 11 females in Baiyin in Gansu and Baotou in Inner Mongolia between 1988 and 2002.
The youngest victim was only eight years old.
The sentencing report from the People’s Intermediate Court in Baiyin also said he was convicted of robbery, rape and mutilation of corpses.
A report by the chinanews.com portal described his expression as calm and peaceful as the death sentence was delivered.
The killer usually targeted young women who were living alone in northwest China and followed them to their homes before raping and killing them.
The victims were usually dressed in red, and the killer tended to carry out his crimes during the daytime.
In many cases, parts of victims’ bodies, including their hands, ears and private parts, had been mutilated.
The question as to how Gao, who was described by his wife as a quiet, reliable and honest man, was able to get away with his crimes for so many years has gripped the whole country.
Gao was arrested in August 2016 at a grocery store near a school in Baiyin after police received a tip-off, according to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.
But at the time of his arrest Xibu Shangbao, a newspaper based in Gansu, said Gao had been identified as a key suspect after a distant relative was arrested on suspicion of unrelated crimes and provided a partial match with the DNA left at the crime scene.
When Gao was arrested, his DNA and fingerprints matched those left at the scene of his various crimes.
Gao, was reported to have tried to commit suicide after his arrest then later to have confessed to his crimes.
According to The Beijing News he clearly remembered every detail of each crime, including the exact date it was committed.
He was prosecuted four months after his arrest and stood trial in Baiyin in July last year.
Zhu Aijun, Gao’s lawyer, told news portal thepaper.cn on Friday that Gao appeared to have two different personalities and his generally calm demeanour masked his murderous tendencies.
He also said the victims appeared to have been targeted at random and were not known personally to him.
Zhu added that criminologists and criminal psychologists needed to study Gao’s case to further understand why he acted as he did.