Chinese serial killers to die

2003-12-09 12:13

Beijing - Chinese courts have sentenced two serial killers to death in a pair of unrelated cases that resulted in a total of 27 deaths and horrified a nation. One of the killers found his victims at video-game parlours and internet cafes.

Huang Yong, 29, was sentenced on Tuesday for killing 17 young men he had lured to his home from internet cafes and video arcades, China Central Television reported on its noon broadcast.

His death sentence was decided immediately after a three-hour public trial on Tuesday morning at the Pingyu County People's Court in the central province of Henan, CCTV said.

It wasn't clear if Huang would appeal against the sentence. He has reportedly confessed to the murders, and CCTV said he confessed again in court on Tuesday.

Huang was arrested earlier this month after his latest target managed to escape a torture session by promising to support him in his old age, Chinese newspapers have reported.

When police went to arrest Huang, they uncovered the remains of more than a dozen young men in his home. Huang reportedly confessed to killing 25 over the past two years, the reports have said.

His victims were all between 15 and 21 years old, CCTV said Tuesday.

In the eastern city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, 20-year-old rubbish recycler Chen Yongfeng was sentenced to death on Monday for murdering 10 competitors, China News Service reported.

Chen made his living picking through garbage and selling any recoverable material, a trade that attracts poor migrants. But when business proved tough, he began robbing and killing his competitors and dismembering their bodies, the report said.

When he was arrested in May, the Beijing Evening News reported that the wave of killings left Wenzhou "in the grip of terror, with residents looking at the eyes of outsiders and filled with doubt and fear".

Police arrested Chen when they knocked on his door to ask him to move an old bicycle parked outside, the newspaper said at the time. He opened the door and the officers saw his home spattered with the blood of his latest victim, the bicycle's owner, it said.

Chen reportedly plans to appeal.

China's ruling Communist Party has sought to portray the country as safe and increasingly well-off, but a recent spate of lurid crimes threatens to undermine that message.