A serial killer in China has been sentenced to death for raping and murdering 10 women and an eight year-old girl.
Gao Chengyong, 54, was dubbed China’s Jack the Ripper after he mutilated the bodies of his victims over a 14-year period beginning in 1988.
The father-of-two, who ran a grocery store with his wife in the city of Baiyin in China’s northwest Gansu province, was finally caught in 2016.
He was identified after his uncle was arrested for a minor offence and scientists found a DNA link to the suspect.
Gao confessed to all 11 murders as well as multiple charges of rape, robbery and mutilation of corpses at a private court hearing in July last year.
He is believed to have targeted many of his victims because they were wearing red.
Gao killed for the first time after following a 23 year-old woman back to her home in Baiyin in May 1988 – the same year his first son was born.
Over the next 14 years he killed eight more victims in Baiyin and two in Baotou in the northern region of Inner Mongolia.
Police said he cut the women’s throats and in some cases cut out their reproductive organs.
The body of one woman, Cui Jinping, was found with 22 stab wounds on 30 November 1998. Her hands and other parts of her body were never found.
Gao’s attacks caused such fear that many women refused to walk in the streets without being accompanied male friends or relatives.
The crimes were first linked in 2004 when a reward of 200,000 yuan (£22,900) was offered for information leading to an arrest.
#BREAKING: Chinese “Jack the Ripper” sentenced to death for rape and murder of 11 females (CGTN) pic.twitter.com/iFpfva8NMN
— China News 中国新闻网 (@Echinanews) March 30, 2018
Police said their then-unknown suspect had a “sexual perversion” and was “reclusive and unsociable but patient”.
Following his arrest, Gao was described by acquaintances as a quiet man who rarely spoke of his past or returned to his home town of Qingcheng near Lanzhou.
His oldest son, who only met his father once a year, was quoted as saying he “cannot understand why he did it”.
Gao was sentenced to death on Friday following a private hearing at the People’s Intermediate court of Baiyin City.
The original Jack the Ripper – who has never been identified – is thought to have murdered and mutilated at least five women in London in 1888.
Additional reporting by agencies