A serial killer described as China’s Jack the Ripper has reportedly been arrested, fourteen years after the end of his 14-year rape and murder spree, which claimed the lives of 11 women and girls.
The suspect is 52-year-old Gao Chengyong, who runs a grocery store with his wife these days, and is the father of two children.
According to the BBC, China’s Criminal Investigation Bureau finally got a lead on him this year, when his uncle was arrested for a minor crime, and provided a DNA sample that led investigators to believe the serial killer must have been one of his relatives. Rural Chinese like Gao are often able to avoid submitting the biometric data required for a national ID card.
The killing spree was terrifying, beginning with a 23-year-old woman slaughtered with 26 stab wounds in May 1988, which the BBC observes was the year Gao’s son was born.
“Gao is alleged to have targeted young women wearing red during a 14-year killing spree, following them home to rape and kill them. Some women had their throats cut and reproductive organs removed, according to reports. The youngest victim was eight years old,” reports Fox News.
The New York Times adds that “breasts, hands, and ears” were also sometimes taken as trophies. Some of the victims were sexually assaulted after death.
“The suspect has a sexual perversion and hates women. He’s reclusive and unsociable, but patient,” the police said in 2004, after linking the 11 murders to a single killer for the first time in 2014.
The New York Times quotes Chinese authorities saying Gao’s family was unaware of his murderous activities. “I didn’t know what to say, or how to deal with it,” one of his sons declared, while his wife reportedly “wailed when she heard of his arrest.” Gao is said to have confessed to the crimes after he was taken into custody.