July 28, 2012, Kunming - Kunming Intermediate Court of People sentenced 56 years old Zhang Yongming to death penalty for killing 11 men from 2008 to 2012 in the same village of Nanmen, Jincheng Town, Jinning County of Yunnan Province. It is reported that Zhang Yong ming was sentenced to suspended death penalty in 1979 but was released 18 years later in 1997.
This year in May, after Chinese media reported tens of men were missing in the same town Jincheng of Jinning County of Yunnan province, China’s ministry of public security launched a probe and sent its investigation team to Yunnan and shortly thereafter Yunnan policed announced 56 year old Zhang Yongming was arrested for intentional serial killing. Within four years, Zhang killed at least 11 of the 17 reportedly missing men in the same village of Nanmen, Jincheng Town, Jinning County, Kunming City, capital of southwest Yunnan Province.
On May 23 the county police chief and head of the local police station have been sacked for inattention to their duties. At least 6 pairs of parents of the missing teenagers reported the missing of their children to the local police but the police refused to investigate, insisting on the excuse that the children had run away from home by their own. Only when Han Yao, a 19-year-old teenager was suddenly missing in April of 2012 did the tragedy get attention of the media. And under pressure local police conducted investigation and found local villager 56-year-old Zhang Yongming was the prime suspect. In the house of Zhang Yongming the dead teenager’s body, telephone card, bank card and other belongings were found. And in the area around the house, vegetable plot of Zhang, more bodies were excavated.
56 years old Zhang Yong Ming was a villager in Nanmen village, Jincheng Town, Jinning County of Kunming City. Zhang was sentenced to suspended death penalty for killing and dismembering a victim in 1978, later was changed to life in prison and finally released in 1997 after serving 19 years in prison. After release Zhang lived alone in his shabby 20-square meter house.
Since 2008, Zhang Yongming succeeded in killing 11 men, most of whom were teenagers, through sudden and heavy attack on single pedestrian in scarcely walked road. After the victims were dead, Zhang destroyed the evidence of crime through dismembering, burning and burying the bodies of victims.
According to Xinhua, Zhang Yongming did not show any sense of regret and remorse on court and he refused to apologize to the family of the victims.
Reason of serial killing kept a secret
So far the Chinese police and court have not responded to repeated online questioning of the purpose that motivated Zhang Yongming to conduct the horrific serial killing. But there are heated rumors that Zhang Yongming is a Yunnan cannibal and the purpose of killing is to eat human flesh. Some netizens has called Zhang Yongming the most horrible Chinese cannibal in decades. The authority kept the purpose of killing as a secret for fear that it may cause panic, discontent and all in all, criticism among Chinese public.