Gansu court begins trial of serial killer

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/18 21:18:39

Gao Chengyong confesses to charges of rape, murder

An alleged serial killer, who was accused of raping and murdering 11 female victims in China, confessed in all seven cases during a trial Tuesday in a court in Northwest China's Gansu Province.

Gao Chengyong, the suspect, pleaded guilty during the trial at the Intermediate People's Court in Baiyin, Gansu, which started to hear Gao's cases involving 11 deaths from Tuesday morning.

Zhu Aijun, attorney of Gao, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the remaining four cases will be heard on Wednesday.

"Gao looked calm during the trial," Zhu said.

Gao, a native of Yuzhong county in Gansu, faces criminal charges including multiple counts of murder, rape, robbery and defiling corpses, according to previous reports.

The Baiyin Intermediate People's Court said Monday that Gao's case is influential and complex, the verdict would not be announced Tuesday, the Hongxing News, a news site affiliated with the Chengdu Business Daily, reported.

According to China's Criminal Law, people found guilty of murder, rape, and robbery may face the heaviest punishment of execution, the report said.

An attorney of a victim said that each victim's family demanded different amounts of compensation, some as much as 1 million yuan ($148,000). The family he represents asked for 570,000 yuan, covering funeral expenses, death indemnity and mental suffering of family members, Shanghai-based news website reported.

"We are so sad. No amount of money can heal the wounds of the victims' families," quoted Cui Xiangping, a younger brother of victim Cui Jinping as saying.

Zhu said that he would defend the case based on evidence and try to prevent a wrong ruling.

"It's about being responsible for the victims and their families," Zhu said.

Police in Baiyin arrested Gao at a store in the Baiyin Industrial School in August 2016 after hunting the fugitive killer for 28 years.

Gao confessed to raping and killing 11 women and girls in 14 years from 1988, with 10 of the murders occurring in Baiyin and one in Baotou, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The youngest victim was just 8 years old.

The cases showed Gao targeted young women wearing red, followed them to their homes in daytime and raped them before or after killing them, according to the Beijing News.

Police said Gao also cut off parts of the victims' reproductive organs and tissues, local news site reported.

In Gao's hometown Qingcheng of Yuzhong, a neighbor was cited as saying that Gao was a quiet and helpful man who kept a harmonious relationship with the neighbors, the Fengmian News under the Sichuan Daily Press Group reported on Monday.

"I could not believe that he killed people," a neighbor said.

In March 2015, provincial police resumed their investigation into the murders armed with stronger investigative methods, and analysis of fingerprints and DNA evidence led to the final identification.

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