Court sentences Chinese serial killer to death decades after crimes
 
Gao Chengyong stands trial at the People's Intermediate Court of Baiyin City, Gansu Province, March 30, 2018. Photo: Ecns.cn
 
A three-decade old serial murder case in China closed on Friday, with a court in northwest China’s Gansu Province handing down death penalty to the killer for crimes of murder, robbery, rape and mutilating corpses. 
 
Gao Chengyong, 53, was found to have killed 11 female victims between May 1988 and February 2002 in Gansu Province and the neighboring Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, according to the people's intermediate court of Baiyin, a city in Gansu.
 
Gao was likened to the notorious killer “Jack the Ripper” due to the way he mutilated the bodies of his victims which included an eight-year-old girl. 
 
He allegedly targeted women dressed in red during his 14 year killing spree. Gao followed them home where he raped and killed them often by cutting their throat. 
 
Gao confessed in court and said he would not file an appeal. It is reported that he “had no facial expression” when the judge passed the sentence. 
 
Chinese media described the man responsible for the crimes as “very cruel.” He raped and murdered women, and cut women’s reproductive organs off, according to Chinese media.
 
One of the victims was stabbed 22 times in her torso. Her breasts, hands and ears were also taken away. 
 
Police have hunted Gao for 28 years until one of his relatives committed a crime and underwent DNA testing in 2015, which led to his arrest in August 2016 at a retail store at a local school in Baiyin.
 
The case reportedly made slow and stalled progress over the decades until a leadership of the provincial public security department shift last year, and the new group of top officials demanded the cracking of the case. 
 
The terrifying murders began in a grocery store which he ran with his wife in Baiyin where nine of the killings occurred. The other murders were carried out in Baotou, a city in Inner Mongolia. 
 
Gao has been married for 30 years and has two sons. His family members were shocked when told of Gao’s crimes. 
 
According to Gao’s neighbors, Gao was an introverted, honest and silent man, “never revealing what he really meant when talking.”
 
After Gao’s last murder in 2002, he went out to work as a migrant worker in many places across China, while his two sons were enrolled in key universities in China. His elder son is now working in a science and research institute.
 
"I'm shocked, but I didn't really know him," Gao's elder son said in 2016. "We didn't talk too much. And I just can't understand why he did those things."
 
The case triggered a public outcry on China’s social media on Friday, with many saying that even a death penalty was too little to punish the man for what he had done.
 
“Death penalty is just too light! This man is devil,” one said on Sina Weibo, Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
 
“Death is the best way to be free. He should be tortured harshly enough so as to offset what he had done to those victims before he dies,” another said. 

 


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