Gao Chengyong, a 52-year-old Chinese man whose alleged crimes earned him the nickname of “China’s Jack the Ripper,” has been arrested, local media reported Monday. Gao is accused of raping and killing 11 female victims — including one who was just 8 years old — between 1988 and 2002.
“The suspect has a sexual perversion and hates women,” Chinese police officials reportedly said in 2004, when they linked all the crimes and offered a reward of 200,000 yuan ($30,000) for information leading to an arrest. “He's reclusive and unsociable, but patient.”
The first murder attributed to the killer took place in May 1988, when a 23-year-old woman was found dead in the city of Baiyin, located in the northwest province of Gansu. Police said that the killer followed young women dressed in red, before raping them, slitting their throats and mutilating their bodies.
In 2004, based on DNA evidence, fingerprints and footprints, police said that the killer was a man between 33 and 40.
The killer’s modus operandi triggered comparisons with Jack the Ripper — a 19th century serial killer active in impoverished areas of east London who is believed to have mutilated and murdered at least five women.
The murders in China were linked to Gao after his uncle was detained in Baiyin over a minor crime. When his DNA was collected and analyzed, officials concluded that the killer was a relative. Gao was then tracked down and arrested at a Baiyin grocery store he runs with his wife.
According to officials of China’s Ministry of Public Security quoted by China Daily, Gao has confessed to the 11 murders.