China arrest ends 28-year killing case
A 52-YEAR-OLD Chinese man was arrested last week for at least 11 cases of rape and murder, 28 years since he mutilated his first victim in north-west Gansu province's Baiyin city, reported the Chinese media.
The victims of Gao Chengyong were all under 30 years old, with the youngest aged eight.
All but two of the killings took place in Baiyin, about 70km north-east of provincial capital Lanzhou, with the last going back to 2002.
The other two cases happened nearly 1,000km away in Baotou city in the Inner Mongolia region.
According to Lanzhou Morning Post, most of the victims were sexually violated after they were slashed or strangled to death by Gao.
He would remove some of their tissues, usually from their breasts, or their reproductive organs, and sometimes also chop off their hands before slipping away.
He also seemed to target women who were dressed in red and would launch his assault after tailing them to their residences.
Gao, who is married, lived in a village near Baiyin up to 2002, when he suddenly gave up farming and left home to wander around for years. He came back to settle in the city where he had taken nine lives.
According to the police, although they had physical evidence of the killer, including DNA, semen and fingerprints, they could not identify Gao earlier because their search was not extended to his village.
But recently the case was re-opened after a relative of Gao's had his DNA collected and tested due to a minor crime, the China Daily reported.
The DNA was found to resemble that of the killer, and police quickly pinpointed Gao, whom they arrested on Thursday when he was manning his store in an industrial school.
He confessed to his crimes soon after the arrest, according to reports.
The arrest was a shock to residents in Baiyin and his village as most who know Gao had the impression that he was a "quiet and decent man" as well as a "filial son".
Besides, he was an envy in his village as both his sons had graduated from prestigious universities, with one now working in a scientific research organisation, reported the Western Business Newspaper.
On Friday evening, Baiyin was filled with the sound of firecrackers as residents celebrated the closure of a case that had haunted them for 28 years, reported the newspaper.
Most women claimed they dare not be outdoors alone all these years for fear that the killer was still around.
"Now, the saddest persons are his wife and children.
"His wife has not stopped crying since Friday," said a woman who knows the family.