1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

China's 'Jack the Ripper' snared

August 29, 2016

Police in northwestern Gansu province say they've arrested a serial killer who mutilated several of his 11 female victims. His alleged crimes, spread over 14 years, shocked the community.

Gao Chengyong alleged serial killer
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/D. Qing

The 52-year-old Gao Chengyong - dubbed China's "Jack The Ripper" after the London murderer from the 1880s - was detained at the grocery store he ran with his wife in the city of Baiyin, state-run media reported Monday.

The China Daily cited the ministry of public security as saying Gao had confessed to 11 murders in Gansu and the neighboring Inner Mongolia region between 1988 and 2002.

Police said after they initially linked Gao's profile to the murders they were able to collect his DNA which was a match for the killer.

Gao allegedly targeted young women dressed in red and would follow them home before raping and killing them. The youngest victim was eight years old.

Reports said Gao would often cut his victims' throats and then mutilate their bodies. Local media said some victims also had their reproductive organs removed.

Killings ceased a decade ago

His campaign of terror continued for 14 years, leading many local women to refuse to go out alone. But the killings stopped suddenly in 2002. Police have yet to find out why.

Authorities first linked Gao's alleged crimes in 2004, two years after they stopped. They said at the time, the suspect "has a sexual perversion and hates woman," describing the wanted man as "reclusive and unsociable but patient."

Earlier this year, Investigators first DNA tested Gao's male relatives after his uncle was accused of a minor crime. They then concluded that Gao was their prime suspect.

The original Jack the Ripper was a Victorian era serial killer active in east London. He was widely believed to have murdered five women, mutilating several of them. Those killings have never been solved.

mm/jm (AFP, China Daily)

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Two women speak to a crowd holding EU and Moldovan flags
Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage